Mastering the Techniques of Engraving

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Glass and crystal engraving is possible, but the brittle nature of the material makes the process more time consuming. Retail engravers mainly use two different processes. The first and most common 'Diamond Drag' pushes the diamond cutter through the surface of the material and then pulls to create scratches. These direction and depth are controlled by the computer input. The second is 'Spindle Cutter'. This is similar to Diamond Drag, but the engraving head is shaped in a flat V shape, with a small diamond and the base.

Engraving - Wikipedia

The machine uses an electronic spindle to quickly rotate the head as it pushes it into the material, then pulls it along whilst it continues to spin. This creates a much bolder impression than diamond drag. It is used mainly for brass plaques and pet tags. With state-of-the-art machinery it is easy to have a simple, single item complete in under ten minutes.

The engraving process with diamonds is state-of-the-art since the s. Today laser engraving machines are in development but still mechanical cutting has proven its strength in economical terms and quality.

More than 4, engravers make approx. For the printing process, see intaglio printmaking. For the Western art history of engraved prints, see old master print and line engraving. The first evidence for humans engraving patterns is a chiselled shell, dating back between , and , years, from Trinil, in Java, Indonesia, where the first Homo erectus was discovered.

In antiquity , the only engraving on metal that could be carried out is the shallow grooves found in some jewellery after the beginning of the 1st Millennium B. The majority of so-called engraved designs on ancient gold rings or other items were produced by chasing or sometimes a combination of lost-wax casting and chasing. Engraved gem is a term for any carved or engraved semi-precious stone; this was an important small-scale art form in the ancient world, and remained popular until the 19th century.

However the use of glass engraving , usually using a wheel, to cut decorative scenes or figures into glass vessels, in imitation of hardstone carvings , appears as early as the first century AD, [5] continuing into the fourth century CE at urban centers such as Cologne and Rome, [6] and appears to have ceased sometime in the fifth century. Decoration was first based on Greek mythology, before hunting and circus scenes became popular, as well as imagery drawn from the Old and New Testament. As many as twenty separate stylistic workshops have been identified, and it seems likely that the engraver and vessel producer were separate craftsmen.

In the European Middle Ages goldsmiths used engraving to decorate and inscribe metalwork.

Hand Engraving a Sample Plate- Episode 1 Engraving Basics

It is thought that they began to print impressions of their designs to record them. From this grew the engraving of copper printing plates to produce artistic images on paper, known as old master prints , in Germany in the s. Italy soon followed. Many early engravers came from a goldsmithing background.

Thereafter engraving tended to lose ground to etching , which was a much easier technique for the artist to learn. But many prints combined the two techniques: although Rembrandt 's prints are generally all called etchings for convenience, many of them have some burin or drypoint work, and some have nothing else. By the nineteenth century, most engraving was for commercial illustration. Before the advent of photography, engraving was used to reproduce other forms of art, for example paintings.

Engravings continued to be common in newspapers and many books into the early 20th century, as they were cheaper to use in printing than photographic images.

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Many classic postage stamps were engraved, although the practice is now mostly confined to particular countries, or used when a more "elegant" design is desired and a limited color range is acceptable. Modifying the relief designs on coins is a craft dating back to the 18th century and today modified coins are known colloquially as hobo nickels.


In the United States, especially during the Great Depression , coin engraving on the large-faced Indian Head nickel became a way to help make ends meet. The craft continues today, and with modern equipment often produces stunning miniature sculptural artworks and floral scrollwork. During the midth century, a renaissance in hand-engraving began to take place. With the inventions of pneumatic hand-engraving systems that aided hand-engravers, the art and techniques of hand-engraving became more accessible. The first music printed from engraved plates dates from and most printed music was produced through engraving from roughly — From — most printed music was produced through a combination of engraved master plates reproduced through offset lithography.

The technique involved a five-pointed raster to score staff lines, various punches in the shapes of notes and standard musical symbols, and various burins and scorers for lines and slurs. For correction, the plate was held on a bench by callipers, hit with a dot punch on the opposite side, and burnished to remove any signs of the defective work. The process involved intensive pre-planning of the layout, and many manuscript scores with engraver's planning marks survive from the 18th and 19th centuries.

By pewter had replaced copper as a medium, and Berthiaud gives an account with an entire chapter devoted to music Novel manuel complet de l'imprimeur en taille douce , Printing from such plates required a separate inking to be carried out cold, and the printing press used less pressure. Generally, four pages of music were engraved on a single plate. Because music engraving houses trained engravers through years of apprenticeship, very little is known about the practice. Fewer than one dozen sets of tools survive in libraries and museums. Extensive bombing of Leipzig in , the home of most German engraving and printing firms, destroyed roughly half the world's engraved music plates.

Examples of contemporary uses for engraving include creating text on jewellery, such as pendants or on the inside of engagement - and wedding rings to include text such as the name of the partner, or adding a winner's name to a sports trophy. Another application of modern engraving is found in the printing industry.

There, every day thousands of pages are mechanically engraved onto rotogravure cylinders, typically a steel base with a copper layer of about 0. Using this process the image will survive for over a million copies in high speed printing presses. Engraving machines such as GUN BOW one of the leading engraving brands are the best examples of hand engraving tools, although this type of machine is typically not used for fine hand engraving. In traditional engraving, which is a purely linear medium, the impression of half-tones was created by making many very thin parallel lines, a technique called hatching.

When two sets of parallel-line hatchings intersected each other for higher density, the resulting pattern was known as cross-hatching. Patterns of dots were also used in a technique called stippling , first used around by Giulio Campagnola. Claude Mellan was one of many 17th-century engravers with a very well-developed technique of using parallel lines of varying thickness known as the "swelling line" to give subtle effects of tone as was Goltzius — see picture below.

One famous example is his Sudarium of Saint Veronica , an engraving of the face of Jesus made from a single spiraling line that starts at the tip of Jesus's nose. The earliest allusion to engraving in the Bible may be the reference to Judah 's seal ring Ge , followed by Ex Engraving was commonly done with pointed tools of iron or even with diamond points. Jer The holy sign of dedication, the shining gold plate on the high priest's turban, was engraved with the words: "Holiness belongs to Adonai.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The resulting appearance is that the tool path will not actually join or even overlap.


The cuts will have some gap between them but the results will appear shaded. This has several advantages. The amount of chipping of the glass will be reduced, the engraving speed will be improved and based on the direction of the fill, the shading effect will be dramatic. If the diamond must overlap in the tool path, keep it to a minimum.

Remember that you are removing glass and each cut will go deeper. I recommend an s-sweep pattern or hatch fill for best results. The s-sweep keeps the tool in the glass more and reduces the number of cutter ups and downs.

Engraving on Glass

The more times you penetrate the surface, the more slight dimples you may leave in the glass. Fill routines can be used when the text or graphics to be engraved requires a rout-out appearance or bold look. The vectored image is filled with a tool path that allows for a complete clean out of the engraved area.

The operator of the software requires very little knowledge and only basic information must be entered into the software to get the desired results. Usually the information required is confined to the tool size being used the software calculates all of the tool paths and the overlapped of each tool path for good clean up.

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A tool path style is selected base on factors such as the shape of the contour or original image. Several fill routines are available and range from an S-sweep, Line sweep commonly referred to as a "hatch fill" , Island and Spiral. Some programs will allow the operator to select a reverse fill that works from the inside of the object to the outside. This is very beneficial when the nose cone is being used since the nose will always remain on the surface of the material during cutting.

If the nose were to fall down inside a previously engraved area it would cause the object to become scrap. Rinse the finished piece thoroughly before wiping to avoid scratching. If the glass is tempered and especially hard, using a burnishing adapter may result in "skipping" of the burnishing tool across the surface. You may achieve better results by changing to a standard cutter knob or smaller diamond tip to better penetrate the surface.

Some glass is very hard and a small tip may penetrate the surface better than a large tipped diamond. Even if you do not plan on offering engraved glass objects, you may want to be familiar with the techniques so that you are prepared to handle that walk-in sale. Experiment with different diamond tools, letter styles and tool paths if possible. The looks can be dramatic. All Rights Reserved. Online prices generally match our catalogs, but may vary.

Mastering the Techniques of Engraving Mastering the Techniques of Engraving
Mastering the Techniques of Engraving Mastering the Techniques of Engraving
Mastering the Techniques of Engraving Mastering the Techniques of Engraving
Mastering the Techniques of Engraving Mastering the Techniques of Engraving
Mastering the Techniques of Engraving Mastering the Techniques of Engraving
Mastering the Techniques of Engraving Mastering the Techniques of Engraving
Mastering the Techniques of Engraving Mastering the Techniques of Engraving

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