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Fine Embellishment Everything from hand engraving and scrimshaw to filework and carving. The fine art end of the knifemaker's craft.

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Old 07-22-2002, 03:04 PM
Tim Adlam's Avatar
Tim Adlam Tim Adlam is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Oshkosh, WI USA
Posts: 1,486
Drawing........You can do it!!

There's tons of drawing and design books available to learn the basic as well as the advanced techniques from. The two listed here are ones that I have found that address these techniques best as it pertains to engraving and scrimshaw.

1.) The Technical Pen. Gary Simmons. Watson-Guptill Publications.

2.) Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Betty Edwards. Tarcher.

Engraving and scrimshaw, to put it simply, consists of 90% drawing ability and 10% learning to manipulate the tools.
You can engrave and scrim with minimal draftsman skills but you will have difficulty with composition and perspective.

It's like this...I was a drawing student before I became interrested in engraving. I had a fair knack as a youth. It wasn't until I had teachers at the college level that I really got a grasp on the artform. As a "non-traditional student", I also had the maturity and will to learn then. I paid my "dues" at the drawing board and the painting easel. When I got involved with engraving....I had to pay "dues" again. When I added scrim to the mix...."dues"!!! I have a more than passing interrest in "making" knives...guess what?

So...what I'm trying to say is...identify your weak areas and concentrate on strengthening them to the point that you have confidence in your ability to move on to the next level... no matter what you are attempting to do. I was taught that you bring every "life experience" to bear to the task at hand. I've never found an instance where that wasn't true.

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Old 07-22-2002, 05:01 PM
LHKnives LHKnives is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Zelma, Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 180
So what your saying Tim...

is that a person that wants to do engraving is only going to be able to do it if they have skills as an artist? I am wanting to learn however, unlike Ron I do not have any skills at drawing. I guess I was kind of hoping I could stencil on the image and then use the tool to bring that to life. Do you think I should even bother getting into engraving then?



Think outside the box!
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Old 07-22-2002, 05:57 PM
Tim Adlam's Avatar
Tim Adlam Tim Adlam is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Oshkosh, WI USA
Posts: 1,486
Not at all, Crystal.
What I showed you was the route I took to get to a certain level. I point out learned pit-falls as I have experienced them. I'm trying to instill in all of you the realization that you are artists, for whatever meaning that term has for you. Take your signature line for instance. "Thinking outside the box" has a certain conotation to it...meaning... for one don't approach problems like the mainstream population means you're to a "new" way....willing to explore.
YOU choose your way or approach to what you want to accomplish....I'm just a guide....a springboard....firestarter!!
Take what you need and build from there. If it means using stencils, aids, etc., be it! I'm "saying"...find what works for YOU! Believe me...there is no "one" way!

If this helps clear my intent for you...let me know...otherwise we can elaborate more. It's an interresting question that could get "deep" quick! I would add...consider the motivating reason that inspires you to begin..then build from there.

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Old 07-22-2002, 09:37 PM
george tichbour george tichbour is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Mississauga, Ontario,Canada
Posts: 478
I for one can't draw a straight line to save my soul but I can do scrim, pointillist technique because it doesn't require the ability to draw lines.

I found the book on the technical pen very helpful because it does not stress drawing a figure rather building a figure from a number of smaller elements. From the reading I have done on engraving the same process seems to apply, smaller elements strung together to yield a finished product.

george tichbourne
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Old 07-23-2002, 10:06 PM
ron p. nott ron p. nott is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: sunnerdale pa
Posts: 1,540
hey crystal you do what ever it takes to get the results that you want . do you think that all of the master engravers just draw there images from there minds no i dont think so they will use what ever means that is necersary to get the job done .. i cant draw but i can do figures i use a panograph to transfer my pattern to my work and then go and cut it with my chisels and add in the shadeing . so go for it and do what ever it takes you to get the job dont .. if i can help you just give me a call ron p. nott

ron p. nott
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