Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hen Scratchings

Do you want to take up an arcane and demanding art? Try hand engraving. The tools must fit your hand ergonomically; you must have a super-expensive swiveling vise, googobs of patience, gimlet focus, and absolute mindfulness. Of course I have none of those. Just a roll of masking tape, a block of wood, some tools from school that I never learned to use properly, and I am too timid to sharpen them or shorten them, for fear of ruining the temper of the steel. But! I am trying anyway, since it occurred to me that plain sheet metal settings could be a bit more interesting with some patterns on them. Here are some of my scratchings, on a copper setting of a very interesting little object: a maquette for a chocolate mold from an out of business chocolate shop somewhere in Wyoming. Yup, it's a "papoose" that came in a set with a war bonneted chief, a horse and covered wagon. Very American -- wipe everything out and turn its vestiges into souvenirs. Mow down the trees and call it Walnut Hill, pave paradise, etc.  Then go out of business.

1 comment:

  1. That's adorable despite our dark history. The mold is adorable and the way you said it is a even more adorable. The engraving looks light and airy almost effortless. Fantastic idea.