One more spoon

Different things have taken up my time lately, so not much has been going on related to engraving and knife making. But the other day I engraved a spoon. It was again sort of experiment – I did not prepare the design beforehand, but made it up as I started the engraving.

Also, this was the first spoon I found, or actually any other kitchenware, that wasn’t made of terribly hard metal and was easily engrave-able.

Engraved spoon

Spoon engraving close-up


Engrave-In 2008 video

In 2008 I participated in engravers get together called Engrave-In at Scott Pilkington’s place. This is annual even held after Blade Show.

Joe Rundell made a workshop about gunstock carving and gold overlay, Paul Hamler showed how lost wax casting is done and Jim Hall demoed fast draw shooting, which was very cool indeed.

Here’s a little video of what happened there. To watch in high-res just click on the video.


Engraved Zippo

Don’t you just love it when you get something done? Past few weeks I’ve been working on a Zippo engraving for a customer. My first idea was to make it rather simple design, but that sort of didn’t work out. This is first of the ‘replicated pattern’ type of engraving I’ve done, at least on this level. One I made a mirrored design engraving, but I think this one is an improvement over the old one.

Anyways, that engraving is now completed. Here are few photos of engraving in progress.

Zippo engraving in progress

Zippo engraving in progress, half of the contours done.

In this stage the lower right corner is completely finished (I just wanted to see how the final result will look like, impatient as I am), all the shading is done and some of the background is removed (the more shiny spots).

Zippo engraving half finished

Zippo engraving half finished.

And here it is, completely finished.

Completed Zippo engraving

Completed Zippo engraving.

Design took about 8 hours (I’m still very slow at it) and engraving 13 hours.

So, what do y’all think about it?


Learning drawing

Whenever you ask any engraver what is the most important thing in engraving, or in learning to engrave, they’ll say right away “Drawing and design!”. Good design executed badly looks better than bad design executed perfectly. And “If you can’t draw it, you can’t engrave it”.

So my goal for year 2009 is to learn drawing, design and related art stuff as much as possible. I went to portrait drawing course and started to study design in university. This will be an interesting and very busy year.

Here are my first feeble attempts in drawing ‘stuff’. I have had very little practice and it shows. Mainly I post for the record – would be nice to come back in a year or two and see how much I’ve progressed.

This is my model for learning human figure.

Naked model

And here’s my first go at it.

Wooden model drawing

And here is yours truly.

Self portrait in pencil

As you can see, I still need ‘some’ practice :). But at least learning is fun when you can see the results.


Engraved guitar pickup cover

When the word goes around, all kinds of strange things are wanted to be engraved. Knives, spoons, Zippos are now quite regular. And them comes someone who asks whether I could engrave something I’ve never heard about before.

This time it was electric guitar pickup cover. OK, I knew what electric guitar was, begin Queen fan myself, but I had really no idea what that cover was and what it’s used for. A change to learn and widen horizons. Now I know where it goes and additionally also how electric guitars actually work.

Anyway, here’s the engraving I came up with.

Engraved pickup cover

Close-up of the engraving.

Pickup cover engraving close-up

This engraving posed quite a challenge. As the detail was nickel plated, it meant “no mistakes allowed”, because when I’d slip during engraving, there’s no way to fix the mirror finish. With non-plated metal, there’s always a chance to sand or burnish down the mistake, but that’s not possible on plated detail.

I think it came out OK.


Engraved memory sticks

Here are two quick engravings on memory sticks. The engraving style is called ‘piddling’, or if I want to sound expensive, then ‘double bevel’ engraving.

As these memory sticks are made from extremely soft metal, this is the only style that can be done decently on them. Can’t do any fine lines/detail on them. I drew the design on as I started to engrave, so not much preparing was needed.

Engraved memory stick

Engraved memory stick


Learning English scroll

There’s a scroll style called English scroll. Probably the earliest type of scrolls of them all. I wanted to learn it the other day, but it’s a real trial and error when you don’t know how to make the cuts or what are the principal rules of it.

But here are my tries.The first one has some kind of similarity to English scroll, but not really.

Engraved English scroll

The second one is already more like it, but still not quite there yet.

English scroll practice

Second one with ruler – in real life it’s actually quite small.

Hand engraved English scroll


Memory stick winner

The memory stick winner is known now. I used rand function from ruby shell to determine the winner and my darling wife was looking over me so I couldn’t cheat:

[21:54:47] comp:~ irb
>> rand(24) + 1
=> 8

The winner is commenter number 8, who is Uthay. I will contact you and send out the memory stick as soon as I get your address.

Thank you all for participating! Watch this space to see the next competition (might be a good idea to subscribe to feed or email updates).

Next time I’m back with more delicious prize.