Engraving is the process of cutting a design onto a hard surface, usually to make a print. It’s one of the oldest and most essential techniques in printmaking. There are numerous engraving techniques employed today to design various material types. Here are some different methods from around the world you should know.
Glass engraving is a type of decorative glasswork that involves incising designs onto glass objects or surfaces. It’s an ancient technique that dates as far back as Roman times, although many regions like the Middle East still use it.
With glass engraving, you place a sharpened wheel over a glass vessel and then manipulate it to produce a detailed image. Many experts widely consider glass engraving to be a dying art form, although many glass engravers continue creating dynamic and aesthetically pleasing works.
Wood engraving is a famous printmaking technique in which the artist works a matrix of images or a single image into a woodblock. Wood engravings typically deteriorate slower than copper-plate ones and possess a unique white-on-black character. It was developed in Great Britain in the latter part of the 18th century by Thomas Berwick, who used an engraver’s burin instead of woodcarving tools like knives.
Wood engraving blocks are usually made from hardwoods like cherry or lemonwood, which are pretty expensive. Lozenge gravers, spitstickers and round and flat scorpers are a few of the specialised tools that expert wood engravers such as The Engraving People use.
Coins are miniature works of art. Their nature makes coin engraving a detailed and long-lasting process that may take almost a year to complete. It requires many years to master the delicate art of coin engraving, and this process is still performed mainly by hand despite modern technology. Perfectly engraved antique coins are rare and valuable, serving as enduring masterpieces of ancient die engravers’ art.
Laser engraving is one of the more modern and sophisticated engraving techniques widely used in today’s world. It involves creating clear images in materials using a targeted laser beam. The beam acts like a chisel, vaporising away localised areas on the materials to develop cavities that reveal clear designs.
Lasers efficiently remove material because laser beams can be designed to deliver energy to the surface in a way that converts the majority of the light energy into heat. This laser beam comes from a laser engraving machine with three parts: the laser, controller, and surface. The intense heat from this machine helps design a wide range of materials, including plastics, metal, wood, and paper.
Engravers employ the rotary engraving method on metals like copper, aluminium, gold, and sterling silver. They use this technique to cut out logos and letters on plates, knives, and trophies. Under rotary engraving, a spindle’s spinning cutter is used to cut through the material to make an engraving. This engraving method is widely popular because you can use it on a wide range of materials.