Rustic Rose-Gold Ring with Engraving

Looking at this ring, some might wonder how exactly jeweler David White engraved such lines inside this ring.

This simple and rustic handmade band features platinum and rose gold, a beautifully warm combination. The hand engraved wood grain pattern inside the ring is almost like a secret known only to the one wearing the ring. White created the ring from four separate components, leaving not one visible solder joint. What a very nice way to bring in the new year — thanks for sharing, David!

Student Experience: Jeremy Lepak and the Little Ladybug

While we love to see artists collaborate, we also love to see people learn new skills to venture into the realm of sole authorship.

Many jewelers send rings, pendants, and other custom pieces out to engraving artists for embellishment — which is great for the individual engravers — but some jewelers strive to create and finish pieces where he or she is the only artist to work on it.

Thanks to engraving classes at the GRS Training Center, jewelers like Jeremy Lepak can engrave their own custom work. “I attended the Intermediate Jewelry Engraving class in 2013,” remarked Lepak, who created this custom ladybug ring and then hand engraved it himself.

“I was very happy with the results. It answered all the questions I had after taking the Basic Metal Engraving class,” he noted. “I think that both of those classes combined could get most jewelers where they want to be with engraving.” Thanks for sharing your work with us, Jeremy!

Have you taken a course at the GRS Training Center? Share your photos with us and you could be featured here! Send photos and story to featured@grstools.com.

Engraving & Anodization: Have a Wonderful, Colorful Christmas

Simply engraving the jolly ol’ Saint Nick character found in traditional folklore can leave the imagery lacking — the colorful stories behind Santa Claus need more than the cold look of steel!

Anodization may be one of the most interesting techniques used to create vibrant colors for metal engraving. Where scrimshaw has a range of pigments available for coloring, adding color to metal can be a bit more complicated. Salvi Caracuel of Spain, who learned the technique from Jean Santos, recently completed the engraving and anodization on this titanium project piece — and what a wonderful job he has done! Thanks for sharing, Salvi.

Have you dabbled in anodizing metal? Check out this forum post from Jean Santos on EngraversCafe.com to learn more and then send us photos of your anodized engravings! We would love to feature them: featured@grstools.com.

Artisan Alley & ESU: Buckle from Molly Day

Here at Glendo, we love to help new engravers explore the possibilities of the art. One special area of this comes from the Artisan Alley, which provides an internship for selected students of Emporia State University’s Engraving Arts program.

Molly Day is one of the interns currently working in the Artisan Alley. Each intern recently completed a project focusing on relief engraving on a belt buckle. The objective was to engrave a piece where the relieved area created contrast with the rest of the design.

Day created a special “prize” belt buckle for her brother, featuring a professional tractor rider. To engrave the metal, she used a 120 degree graver, a small flat, and a needle tool. Nice work, Molly!

Artisan Alley & ESU: Buckle from Sam Gleue

One of several Engraving Arts students at Emporia State University, Sam Gleue works in the Artisan Alley here at Glendo Corporation as an engraving intern. Created specifically to provide additional learning opportunities for selected students, the Artisan Alley is part of the Research & Development Department.

Sam is interested in incorporating scrollwork in his imagery. The project objective called for a large area of relief work on a belt buckle, where the relief creates contrast with the rest of the design. He used relief to bring the scroll into the foreground of the design. He used a 90, a flat, and a needle tool. Thanks for sharing, Sam!

Look for this buckle project featuring Molly Day on Friday’s Featured Photos.

How fine is your engraved hair? Send us photos of your portraits, animals, and anything similar to featured@grstools.com — your work could be featured here!

Artisan Alley & ESU: Buckle from Anneliese Narcisi

Anneliese Narcisi is one of the students from the Engraving Arts program at Emporia State University who works in the Artisan Alley here at Glendo Corporation. Created specifically to provide additional learning opportunities for selected students, the Artisan Alley is part of the Research & Development Department.

The students are constantly working on developing their own style and learning traditional techniques, and the multitude of projects on which each works can make the process easier. This belt buckle is a recent project from Artisan Alley. “The objective for this project was to create a large area of relief on a belt buckle; the relief should communicate well with the rest of the image and help to create contrast,” noted Narcisi, who is in her final year of the program.

“I chose to do the profile of a geisha woman against a rising sun motif,” Narcisi commented. “I enjoy rendering hair. I do so by using the 120 with minimal power and slowly create a delicate taper. I used a 120, a large flat, and a needle.” Thanks for sharing, Anneliese!

Look for this buckle project featuring Molly Day and Sam Gleue next week on Featured Photos.

How fine is your engraved hair? Send us photos of your portraits, animals, and anything similar to featured@grstools.com — your work could be featured here!

What is Lux Cut?

Diane Scalese will be teaching a new class in 2014 called “Lux Cut Engraving”.

While this style is similar to the bold Flare cut technique pioneered by Diane Scalese and Ron Smith, or the sparkling Lumenesque Scroll by Sam Alfano, Diane will be taking a three-dimensional cutting technique to new levels with the introduction of non-traditional design elements such as bugs and birds — that’s right, bugs and birds.

“The big difference in this class is on the creative and design side,” noted Scalese. “The techniques are geared towards small items that are often difficult to engrave with traditional bright and flare cutting.” Her 2014 class has already sold out, but you can call 800-835-3519 now and get on the waiting list, just in case someone else has the misfortune of dropping out!

Ready to take a class at the GRS Training Center? Visit the GRTSC website to learn more about the courses we offer from instructors like Diane Scalese.

Casting Call!

An aspect of hand engraving that makes it pretty dang cool is the ability to make copies of a work.

One method of duplicating a design is found in printmaking, most often done with copper plates. While the plate will eventually wear down and degrade in quality, crisp and elegant prints can be pressed into paper for dozens or more copies — with or without inking the plate first, depending on the desired result.

Engravings can be used to make castings as well, like this one created by GRSTC Instructor and well-known hobo nickel carver Bob Finlay. First, the engraver makes a mold from the engraving and then fills the mold with a polymer material (or something similar). The material hardens and can be inked, as shown here, to bring out the detail of each cut. Thanks for sharing, Bob!

Do you make castings or prints of your work? We’d love to see it! If you’d like to share your work, send your photos to featured@grstools.com and your work could be featured here.

2014 Learn Plate Revealed!

We love to challenge the instructors at GRSTC. To create the 2014 Learn Plate, we commissioned jeweler and engraving artist Todd Daniels to create a unique piece to fit our upcoming theme.

With a distinctly innovative way of creating, Daniels is always pushing the bar higher and seeking new ways to set stones and put metal together in unexpected ways. The background technique on this plate — all hand engraved and pierced — is a style with which Daniels had been experimenting. When he showed it to us at GRS, we knew it would be a perfect fit for the 2014 Course Calendar.

His piece features both hand engraving and stone setting, utilizing multiple metals to complement the colorful palette in the 2014 calendar for the GRS Training Center. Everything executed perfectly by hand, this piece will truly be a treasure amongst the collection of Learn Plates at the GRSTC. Thanks for your creativity and hard work, Todd!

Ready to take a class at the GRS Training Center? Visit the GRTSC website to learn more about the courses we offer from instructors like Todd Daniels.

Cutting Through Chrome

This lovely scroll design is a great example of cutting through plated metal to reveal the base metal underneath.

Where Mitchell Lurth’s engraving on Tuesday featured anodized metal with hand engraving, this loupe engraved by Diane Scalese shows off how engraving a plated workpiece can lend itself to great results. The jeweler’s loupe is chrome-plated brass.

Cutting through the chrome plating reveals the golden-hued brass underneath, creating contrast between the silver and gold tones. The result looks like gold-inlaid background, but with much less work. Of course, the workpiece isn’t as valuable as one with gold inlay, but the effect is the perfect choice for a client on a budget. Nice work, Diane!

If you’d like to share your work, send photos to featured@grstools.com and your work could be featured here.

Just Under the Surface

Most often in hand engraving, workpieces are solid metal to the core. Although many products out in the marketplace have been plated with a precious metal or clad with an alloy, these types are generally not used in hand engraving because of the unpredictable base metal composition and overall value.

However, a workpiece with an anodized or chemically altered surface can lead to a more interesting result with less time invested. This plate, engraved by Mitchell Lurth, is a good example of what happens when an engraver reveals what is just under the surface.

Until recently, engraving an American nickel with a copper core (just about any modern nickel) was just not what hobo nickel collectors wanted. However, several engravers are finding interesting results by cutting through the clad surface to reveal the deeper copper core. Such materials are what they are, but there is a certain beauty to the two-toned metal result that is quite easy to accomplish.

Have you engraved a plated, clad, or anodized metal workpiece? Let us know how it turned out! Send your photos to featured@grstools.com and your work could be featured here.

Scrollwork Metamorphosis

Engraving Arts students at Emporia State University are given a unique opportunity: an exclusive internship working at Glendo Corporation, maker of GRS Tools. The Artisan Alley internship program encourages students to explore techniques, take risks, and try new methods.

In October 2013, interns Anneliese Narcisi, Sam Gleue, and Molly Day faced the challenge of using scrollwork to represent a form. As for subjects, Narcisi chose an owl; Gleue went with a skull; and Day opted for a skeletal mermaid.

While the represented forms are stylized, each plate incorporates an interpretative version of scrollwork. Day’s mermaid is created using less traditional scrollwork. Looking at how different people approach the same challenge is a great way to find inspiration. Research works with a similar subject matter and then determine how different artists work through the creative process. Thanks for sharing, artisans!

If you’d like to share your work, send your photos to featured@grstools.com and your work could be featured here.

Break It Down

Finished engravings can look very complicated, especially to a beginner. But when you break down the complicated images into simple elements, every engraving has the same foundation.

Each graceful scroll, letter, scene is made with the most basic of artistic elements, simple lines and dots. Every engraving uses at least one of these two elements to create a finished, expressive whole.

These basic building blocks can also be used to reach stylistically different results. This demonstration plate, created by GRSTC instructor Sam Alfano during his Basic Metal Engraving class in September 2013, is a great example of different treatments for letters and scrolls.

Stippling, closely spaced lines, and flare cut provide three very different treatments for letters. Alfano also provided examples of straight, curved, and cross-hatched shading on leaves, scrolls, and borders, as well as a flare cut scroll.

If you look at a piece of work and think, “I could never do something like that,” try looking at the individual lines and dots instead of at the whole. Look at where lines begin and end, and how the width of the line varies along the path. Determine where lines meet, how dots are used to create tone, and then try incorporating the techniques into your own work.

Before you know it, you’ll be able to step back from the lines and dots to discover you’ve created a complicated composition of your own! What techniques do you use when creating a new engraving? How do you choose which techniques to use? Send your photos to featured@grstools.com and your work could be featured here.

Sneak Peek: 2014 Learn Plate

The faceted metal teases the eyes in so many ways — are you curious yet just what this is?

Over the last several years, we have asked an engraving artist to create a plate with one simple word: learn. This is the focus of the GRS Training Center, and the plate it always as unique as the artist. Since we will be releasing the 2014 Course Schedule in a few short weeks, this year’s “Learn” plate is making a sneak peek appearance.

Cut and set in fantastic fashion by Todd Daniels, this year’s piece features a new technique for background treatment. The effect is quite stunning, with spacing so mechanical it is hard to believe human hands could be so precise!

Stay tuned December 3rd to see the reveal of the 2014 Learn plate, complete with details on how it was created.

If you’d like to share your work, send your photos to featured@grstools.com and your work could be featured here.

Blinking Lights and Circuitry

Blip. Blip. Blip. Tiny colored stones adorn every surface, catching the light momentarily and then blinking out.

Streamlined forms, gridded lines, and settings of tourmaline, white and blue sapphires, and kornerupine come together in this pendant created by Max Weinstein. The pendant evokes images of flying saucers, giant futuristic computers, and forbidden planets; it should come as no surprise that Max cites 1950s science fiction as one of his sources for inspiration.

Weinstein fabricated the basic form of the pendant using sterling silver and then inlaid 14 karat yellow gold. He then engraved and set the stones using bead and bright cut, as well as micro-pavé. He used a GraverMach AT, 901 Handpiece, and various graver geometries to create this piece.

Max has been working as a metalsmith for 6 years, and has been engraving for 3 years, but he doesn’t want to stop there. “My goal is to continue pushing my capabilities into infinite ascension,” he says.

Want to see more of Max’s work? Check him out on Facebook or Instagram to see other examples of his work. Thanks for sharing, Max!

Where does your inspiration come from? Send your photos to featured@grstools.com and your work could be featured here.

A Dramatic Finish

The final GRS Training Center course of 2013, Advanced Inlay and Overlay with Rick Eaton, ends today. And wow, what a dramatic finish to the projects!

Eaton, a full-time knifemaker and engraver for over 20 years, instructed the students in the finer points of soft metal inlay. Students learned techniques for both wire and sheet inlay, as well as sculpted raised inlays. Each worked on stainless steel tags featuring leaves, scrolls, and vines inlaid with brass, copper, and fine silver.

The addition of different colored metals and sculpted inlay creates dramatic color and depth. Gerry Beathard, a returning GRSTC student, plans to use the new techniques he has learned on his next project, an engraved pistol.

Do you have any work that uses inlay or overlay to create drama? Send your photos to featured@grstools.com and your work could be featured here.