So I finally found a hand-engraver. Most of you don’t know that I’ve been looking for one, but remember this vintage signet ring that I got for Christmas in 2009? Well I’ve been wearing it everyday for two years, blank, until this week! I decided it was time to complete this incomplete ring. The difference between hand and machine engraving is quite significant, in my opinion. Machine engraving has absolutely no grace to it- the lines are too heavy, too perfect, and you are limited to a few boring styles. I’d worked with hand engravers at a previous job with a designer, and there I developed a real admiration and appreciation for their precise art. I have such a love and respect for this old-world craft, which to me, is still relevant. Hopefully it doesn’t fade into oblivion like so many other skilled trades.
I found a fellow who is a very sweet, talented, older gentleman who’s been in the same location for 31 years, and has lovely old hand-engraving booklets that must date back to at least the 1920’s. He also has a case full of more complex pieces that he has made for people in the past and is very proud of- wax impressions of super complex carved signet images, carvings and cut-outs of faces, and much more.
Most monograms are too florid for me, and the square signet called for something more delicate and simple, especially because of all the subtle exisiting engraved filigree. I found a deco style that seemed to suit the era of the ring, was not too masculine or feminine, and had a small amount of shading. I am very pleased with the outcome.