Cut in Clerkenwell: Hand Engraving Exhibition and Demonstrations

The HEAGB are putting on an exhibition of members' work at Craft Central (Clerkenwell, London) from 3rd - 14th July. Throughout the exhibition, workshops and demonstrations by the best engravers working today are free to attend - more information here:

I'm a little apprehensive about showing my piece alongside the professionals! (I'm something of a 'weekender' when it comes to engraving. There just isn't time to do everything. )
It's incredibly difficult to photograph engraving, and the work is rarely done justice as the overall effect is dependent on the angle light hits the cuts and therefore there is no substitute for seeing the real thing and experiencing the optical effects.

It took me a long time to work out what I was going to engrave for the paperweight. It had to be a design suitable for my skill level; I'm comfortable making marks, but find shading and accurately repeated patterns problematic as mistakes are more obvious.

In the end I decided on one of my drawings altered with Photoshop as I knew I could replicate it without too many problems. I worked on about fifteen variations before choosing this one. This isn't the first time I've engraved a Photoshopped image- I like the subtle combination of old and new technologies. There is no substitute for hand engraving (especially if one has seen laser engraved metal), and I adore the idiosyncrasies of line it creates and although I will always wish I had greater control of the graver, I am not aiming at perfection (fortunately).

I've been having quite a spidery time recently; I made a tiny spider from silver and buffalo horn a few weeks ago and since then have been finding (real, live) spiders everywhere. There was even an unfamiliar species in the garden - a Long Jawed Orb Weaver - which now I can't find as I want to photograph it.