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The first cut is the deepest: Adding the personal touch with hand engraving

By Llyn L. Strelau

Hand engraving is one of the most effective ways to personalize a piece of jewellery. While it can be used simply as a decorative technique to accent a design, it can also provide a high degree of personalization to suit any client.

These days, an artist who is proficient in the art of hand engraving is not easy to find. Many of the old masters no longer work and few craftsmen have the technical and artistic ability, as well as the patience, required for this painstaking task. That said, it is possible in some applications for a good wax worker to carve low relief or intaglio motifs that are then cast. Even CAD has its place in the creative toolbox, while machine or laser engraving is adequate for some purposes.

However, the fluidity, finesse, crisp detail, and accuracy achieved by the hand of a master wielding a sharp polished piece of hardened steel can be quite astonishing.

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