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Ian Grant
Finest kilt accessories, heraldic & ornamental hand engraving

About Engraving

The Techniques Used by Ian Grant

Ian Grant engraving
"Vitality is introduced by the artist
when engraving by hand."
Everything that comes from the workshop of Ian Grant starts on the drawing board and is then engraved by hand. This is the procedure regardless of whether the design is for a single belt buckle, a series of embossed leather sporrans or the prototype for a new brooch which is to be made by casting.

The techniques applied depend on the project, but all have one thing in common: the work is done entirely by hand. Machine engraving and acid etching have their place, but that place is not in our workshop. These automated processes will accurately reproduce the lines of the original design but not its vitality.

Vitality is introduced by the artist when engraving by hand. The engraver uses a variety of cutting techniques to bring life to his work. Ian varies the depth and style of each cut to give life and character to the finished object. By varying the depth, angle and width of each v-shaped cut he alters the angle and intensity of reflected light from the cut and the intensity of light reflected from the surface. Finely cut parallel lines, for example, will reduce reflection and appear darker than the surrounding area.

The three techniques he uses are:

  • line cutting on a flat surface; the visual effect is created by reflected light,

  • chasing, where the metal is moved rather than removed as in line cutting,

  • die cutting by which a three dimensional model is created; signet (seal) rings, items to be cast or designs to be embossed on leather are modelled in this way.

    Depending on the results he wants to achieve Ian will create a cameo (where the background is cut away and the design is displayed in relief) or an intaglio (the reverse) or a combination of both.

Line engraving.
8 x 4cm
(3 x 1")
Signet Ring with crest
Signet Ring
Intaglio on face,
Cameo on shoulders.
Face is 19 x 16cm
(3 x 1")
Die and impression.
Die Cutting
4 x 4.5cm
(1 x 1")