Tuesday 24 April 2018

I've just remembered: I wrote a book! (sort of)

Well, when I say I've written a book...I wrote this diary of a young boy, a loooong time ago.

And guess what, I've just found the first micro story on my computer!

I guess you want to read it now. Amazingly, here it comes!

"Eldi's dairy:

June 1972: 

Today was a really bad day. Daniel and I had a race in the schoolyard . He pushed me and I broke my glasses. I chipped a tooth and Mrs Cooper, our teacher, gave me some plaster. I tried to mend my tooth with it,but the plaster does not stick to my tooth. 
I wonder what teeth are made of. Daniel says they are made of bones and that the skin on them is so thin, you can see through it. He says he has never  brushed his teeth,  he doesn't want to damage the skin on it. He reckons I'll probably lose mine very soon, as I have been brushing them for such a long time.

He calls me a loser. I don't mind."  

Saturday 21 April 2018

A renaissance (of sort).

Well, hello there.

It's been a while, hasn't it?

My last post was written last year. A lot of things have happened since then. That being said, a lot of things happen all the time, don't they?

So: let me tell you what I am doing. Well, no, let me tell you what I want to talk to you about, because there are a lot of things I'm doing that I really wouldn't like to tell you about. Just because, really.

Here is the thing: you know I am an engraver, right? And I work on commission, etc. Well, I've done that for many, MANY years. But the trouble is: I have never really taken time to engrave stuff for the people that I care about. People that have impacted on my life in one way or another. They know I'm not too bad at engraving, but they don't own anything that I've done. That's wrong. Because they matter to me.

So, I want to change this. BIG TIME! LOOK AT THOSE CAPS, HEY? Oooops, sorry, I got carried away there.

So, these people: I am going to treat them with stuff that I've engraved exclusively for them, because they are good people. Good people deserve good things and you need to show them you appreciate them before you or they are gone. It's that simple.

The first person who'll receive one of my engraved gifts is a guy who wrote a song for me, a while ago. Yep, that is right, he blooming wrote a song for me simply because I asked him to. It's a really good song too. It's about beards. Because you see, I am making a documentary about beards. I want to go to those places where men have beard rallies and I want to understand what makes them tick.

But anyway: this guy, he is a guitar player and I said to him: "dude, your song is awesome, I'd like to thank you by engraving a guitar pick!" He said something like "WOW" and also "O.K, but no rush". So yeah you guessed it, I did not rush things. And time just kept on doing its "time" thing, which is infuriatingly always, always moving forwards. At an alarming speed. Typical.

And so, recently, I've been thinking more and more about this small thing: I'm not immortal. What if I die before I've engraved those gifts? Well, that would be very annoying, we agree on that, don't we?

This is why this morning, I started working on the guitar pick project. I've bought a copper sheet last week and I've made the plectrum. ( I did not write "pick" because I did not want to repeat the word "pick" and also to show you that I know the word "plectrum". Are you impressed yet?)

So, this pick/plectrum is sawn and filed, ready to be adorned.

What do you think about that, hey? Personally, I'm chuffed!

Saturday 1 July 2017

Stop the page massacre, invest in an environmentally friendly hand engraved silver bookmark

Hello you!

Have you noticed a hole in your life? I know, you really missed my blog but it's back. Well, when I say it's back...I don't know for how long and I am not going to make empty promises. I have been on this planet long enough to know that they usually are well hollow. BUT: I am going to try my best at writing stuff on here on a more regular basis. I really am going to do that. Well, at least that is what I am thinking RIGHT NOW! ( I wrote the last sentence in bold characters just to show you how serious I am about this.)

I have a new project that has got something to do with engraving. I'm making bookmarks. Why, I hear you say? Why not, I answer back. Books are great and you really don't need to destroy those beautiful pages by earmarking them. I say: Stop the page massacre, invest in an environmentally friendly hand engraved silver bookmark. Just like this one.

Yes, I did this. And in this blog, I am going to document the making of another bookmark. It's a commission and I'll show you how I'll make it come to life.

Right, I'll get on with my life now and if you are happy to read my sentences, let me know by leaving a comment. A positive one. The negative one(s) will be taken down OR if they are witty enough, laminated and framed. Actually, scratch that, this would encourage bad behaviour on your part and I know that deep down, you are a good person and you love me. Thanks.

Saturday 5 April 2014

Wolf howling at the moon

This was an interesting engraving to do. I decided to engrave one of my favourite animals, the wolf, on a William Henry knife. The original photograph depicted this wolf surrounded by snow.
At the very beginning, I actually wanted to depict the snow. But then I thought that incorporating the moon in the design would be... cool. ( I am trying to think about another word, but just cannot find one at this moment in time.) I was rather happy with my decision but then something rather obvious struck me:
moon=night scene. And dear reader, engraving a night scene is not that straightforward. I was confronted with a few challenges. What technique would I use to depict " The Dark?"
Ha, hang on a second, I will tell you all about it in a few hours. I need to go for a walk in the sunshine  before it disappears!

Thursday 16 January 2014

Engraving of a partridge in flight.

This is probably one of the most exciting engravings I have ever done!
Well, simply because I was able to reproduce a drawing of a partridge by Jonathan Pointer, a fantastic wildlife artist. 
And then, after I completed the engraving, I showed him the end result. 
Dear reader, let me tell you that it was one of the most nerve wracking hours or so of my life!! 
Waiting to hear from him and see if I had done justice to his beautiful work...that was the ultimate challenge!
What of he hated it?? Would I have to leave the country and work on an oil platform with my friend Chris?
But let us all calm down. None of those scenari happened, though I kind of think that the oil platform gig sounds rather exciting. 
Indeed, I am glad to say that Jonathan was delighted with the result. I had fulfilled my mission: staying faithful to the original material of the artist. And that, ladies and gentleman, is what engraving ultimately is all about.

PS: I am not sure engraving is all about that. But it sounds really good, saying that, a bit like in a Jerry Springer end of show moment. 

Sunday 28 April 2013

Engravers Inc.

I feel terribly guilty. I had promised in my last entry that I would show you what sort of wax I use. I am not talking about the kind of wax that some of us ladies use in our very brave battle against rogue hair. Instead, setters wax was (ha, wax was!), so yes it was going to be analysed and debated. But that will not happen today. Indeed, what I want to let you know is...( drum rolls please!):

 that I have just become a member of the Hand Engravers Association of Great Britain!

Have a look at their site http://www.handengravers.co.uk

I think that this association is trying to do something highly important. Hand engraving is slowly disappearing here in the UK( actually not that slowly come to think of it). We MUST do something to bring in new people into this highly skilled craft. If we don't, well frankly, we're doomed. ( I sound alarmist a bit. But shock tactics are said to work the most.)
 Reader, YOU could become an engraver. Yes, you could. Just have a look at the website I have  showed you. There is a section about engraving courses in London. Why not go there and have a go? And if in 20 years or so, you have become a notorious hand engraver, well please mention the big influence I had in you deciding to turn your life around. (and do send me 50% of your earnings. After all, you will be rich and famous because of me. Ok, that is a joke. I meant 40%.)

But seriously, I still wonder why it took me so long to become a member. Already the activities lined up for this year sound amazing. Like the opportunity to spend 3 days in Malcolm Appleby's presence. Yes, MALCOLM APPLEBY! He of the Raven Gun. How amazing is that?  
See this link all about the Raven Gun which you can see in the flesh at the Royal Armouries, in the Tower Of London.

So yes, I am looking forwards to taking advantages of the opportunities that the Association is creating for us. Like the paperweight project for example, where you can submit 2 engraved metal paperweights showcasing your abilities. I understand that at the moment, they are exhibited at the watchmakers museum in London. How utterly exciting!

So, I am going to leave you now, with some very wise words from the Association.

"The aim of the Association is to raise the profile of hand engraving amongst potential collectors, retailers and the public. We want to create greater awareness of the craft throughout the United Kingdom with exhibitions, articles in the general media and specialist press, and through our website".



PS: here is a bit of some engraving I am doing at the moment. I cannot tell you what it is. It is a secret.