Thursday, 8 March 2012

Engraving Lesson #1

Something I have been looking forward to for ages - an engraving course that started last night. Basse-taille enamelling uses lots of engraving to make patterns that will show up underneath the enamel. I have tried a little, but you really have to learn this properly, then practice... for years!

We started from the very beginning - learning how to transfer a design (a lion in this case) from paper to metal. It's done the traditional way with acetate and charcoal dust, a bit messy but fun. We were also shown the first steps of how to shape and sharpen tools - which I think is the main and most difficult part of engraving, but we shall see!

I was sitting at the workbench of a master engraver, in a basement workshop in the depths of Clerkenwell, so I couldn't resist taking a picture of his pile of engraving tools...

My homework is to scribe the lion onto the copper plate.

First steps in transferring the image to metal

Burnishing the design onto the metal. Charcoal dust is messy stuff!

Engraver's tools 

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