Archive for June, 2010

GRS engraving school

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
            It was a long trip to the GRS engraving school but well worth the time invested.  I live in Wyoming and the GRS facility is in eastern Kansas.  About  850 miles one way.  12 1/2 hours later I arrived in anticipation of the next mornings meet and greet.  The school is run very professionaly and we where met by the entire staff along with D.J. Glasser the owner and C.E.O.  This class was taught by Steve Dunn, a Mastersmith in the American Bladesmith Ass. and a superb engraver and teacher. He put us strait to work.  Learning to sharpen the tools was the first order of business.  We where then given patterns and shown how to transfer them to the practice plate and the cutting began.  Each bench was well equiped with everything needed, no tool spared.
I know it will take away from some of my knifemaking time but my goal is to do more knives with sole authership. I will be able to add more dimention to my knives without having to send them out to be engraved.  There are some new and different types of engraving patterns that I would like to experiment with.  Many hours will have to be spent studing and drawing to perfect the layout. PICT3216This is the class room, it is equiped with 12 stations and each one is loaded with the GRS tooling.  I was suprised and delighted with the verity of interests that the other students had.  There where teachers, knifemakers, lawyers, welders, jewelers, and wives.  Steve told us that by Wed. we would be engravers and he was
right.  It all seemed to come together and things flowed.
This was our first exercise, a scroll pattern. It didn’t look like much until we started shading and removed the background.
practice Nomad bolster

practice Nomad bolster

Friday we worked on a project of our own design and we all picked our favorite.  They where all quite good and of totally different styles. There was a portrait, leaves and berries, and geometric patterns.Above is my final project, a thistle for a Nomad fixed blade bolster. With a few alterations I hope to have one done for the August San Antonio American Bladesmith Show.

IMG_6919This exercise shows the importance of shading. The flower on the right was engraved first and after some practice, I came back and did the left one. I can see this art is going to really take some practice to learn. Art classes would have really helped as I would understanding shading and balance of design. Alas, I’ll have to take a crash course and learn as I go. None the less it was really worth my time to attend the GRS engraving school.

 I’m curious, what do you like, scrolls, flowers, scenes, or leaves and vines?  This is your opportunity to enfluence the direction I follow.