How fun it is to try out new things. New programming languages, games, photography tricks and of course new techniques in engraving.
This time I present to you a hobo nickel, my first try on this.
The term ‘hobo’ comes from America where it meant in the beginning of 1900s homeless people. One way for homeless people back then to get some food was to carve, or modify, existing coins and make art out of them and exchange these pieces for food. Most popular coins that were, and still are, carved were Buffalo nickels, which were made in 1913-1938 period. They had large area, lots of metal to transform to new artwork and, last but not least, they were cheap – 5 cents.
The process of carving is relatively simple. You take your host coin, your 2 tools plus sanding paper and off you go. Trim the nose, chin, remove feathers, add hat or hair and so on. But to make a really nice modification it requires lots of time, skill and talent. I think I have 1.3 of 3 requirements (time and little talent).
Here’s how the original Buffalo nickel looks, it’s just a sample, not the one I carved:
And here is my modification, called “The Poet”:
As you can see the backgrounds are not very smooth and I have some holes, which I made during the flattening process with graver. As they say, it can only get better!
This is my source image, as you can see it has some resemblance, but not much. It takes lots of practice to get what I really want…