I began my career as an engraver in 1988 and since then I have become specialised in engraving and decorating metallic objects. I engrave various sorts of metallic object by hand, ranging from steel, bronze, copper, silver and gold to titanium in my workshop, using burins, hammers and chisels.
There are various types of engraving:
• Flat engraving, manufactured with the help of burins, used for example for the refined hunting scenes on hunting guns.
• Relief engraving , the background is hollowed out using a hammer and chisel, and then glazed with punches.
• Gold inlay, for example in steel etc.
Firstly, choices have to be made concerning the sort of engraving, the object and the style of potential decoration, images and text, according to the sort of object.
Then a design is made. This preparatory drawing is important as it forms the basis for the engraving.
One can choose to have their own design engraved or to commission me to make a design.
The burin technique
Burins are primarily used for flat engravings. Flat engravings are superficial and shallow.
Depending on the object which is to be engraved, it is placed in stucco above a wooden base so that it is easy to hold in the hand. One uses a leather engravers cushion as support.
One can also clamp the object in a swivel vice or an engraver’s ball. This technique is usually carried out sitting down as the engraving asks high concentration from the engraver.
Hammer and chisel technique
This technique is usually used to engrave deeper into the material, such as in relief engraving. Decorations are often engraved with a deep background. In this way the image is emphasised. By glazing the background with punches one achieves a beautiful finish and a strong contrast through the dark, almost black colour which is created. When working with this technique the object is placed either in the swivel vice or in the engraver’s ball. The base of the swivel vice is clamped onto the bench and the upper part rotates around the axis. This technique is usually carried out standing.
The chisel technique is a technique in which no metal is removed and the form is created by ‘chasing’ the metal with metal punches. The parts that remain on the background will be chiselled to highlight the figures on the surface. This gives a graphic effect and often a deep relief which is less fragile than the techniques described above. It is used for utility objects which have to be able to withstand a blow, such as hunting guns. Old fashioned silver work is also made in this way, built up of plated silver and given form by beating and chasing the metal. Beakers, jugs and jars are decorated in this way. This technique is also used by gold smiths, for example when making prototype sand models.
This is an integration technique to prepare metal for being inlayed in wood. A drawing is made onto a metal plate and then sawn out along the contour lines. Once laid into the wooden object, the sawn out piece of metal is engraved and further shaped. This method is used for example for initializing, for family crests and/or inlaying text in the wooden butt of a gun, memorial pieces, and utility items. It is also used for goldsmithing.
Precious metal inlays
Inlay work involves laying a softer metal, for example pure gold and silver, into a harder metal, for example steel or titanium. The inlayed metal can be engraved with the burin or modelled in relief with punches. It gives an exclusive effect. This technique gives a beautiful contrast when using different metals.
Precious Metal Clay
PMC-Precious Metal Clay- is a revolutionary product which will change all attitudes about working with precious metals. In 1990, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation developed a pulverization method for pulverizing precious metals into microscopic parts, (1/20th of a grain of salt). By adding water and an organic binder, a pliable material is formed. Using a process of reshaping, drying and firing in an oven at very high temperatures, the metal particles fuse together to form a whole. PMC feels like Polymer Clay, but is 99.9% pure silver. It contains very fine particles of silver, an organic binder and water. This pliable material can be worked with your finger, put in moulds, modelled, rolled out etc. After firing the water and binder is burnt away, leaving your design in pure silver.
Enamels in general are glassy compositions for coating metal objects at bright red heat. They are produced by fusing various materials at high temperatures. When poured out, the molten mass breaks into coarse glassy pieces. The enamels are applied in powder form which looks like sugar. During the firing process the enamel powder melts, forming a vitreous coat which tightly adheres to the metal surface. That’s why enamelling is named : firing art. Jewellery enamels are used in the sign and badge making industry, for industrial art work and for goldsmiths art. They have gained popularity in many countries for figurative, abstract and landscape compositions on a metal base. Two types of enamel are to be distinguished: the transparent and the opaque. Besides these two main types which are manufactured in a large variety of colours, there are also the so called opaline enamels, which can be described as half transparent and half opaque. They have an opalescent appearance.
In this site I show you some examples of my work and tell you about the different tecniques I use.
If you have questions, want to know more or if you want to receive more detailled pictures….please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
It is possible to organise an engraving course on request, either individually or in a small group. Visit the calendar with the next dates of the workshops.