Engraving

Engraving

Overview
Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

, or glass
Glass engraving
Glass engraving is a form of decorative glasswork that involves engraving a glass surface or object. It is distinct from glass art in the narrow sense, which refers to moulding and blowing glass....

 are engraved, or may provide an intaglio
Intaglio (printmaking)
Intaglio is a family of printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface, known as the matrix or plate, and the incised line or area holds the ink. Normally, copper or zinc plates are used as a surface, and the incisions are created by etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint or...

 printing plate, of copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 or another metal, for printing images on paper as prints or illustrations; these images are also called engravings.

Engraving was a historically important method of producing images on paper, both in artistic printmaking
Printmaking
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

, and also for commercial reproductions and illustrations for books and magazines.
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Encyclopedia
Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

, or glass
Glass engraving
Glass engraving is a form of decorative glasswork that involves engraving a glass surface or object. It is distinct from glass art in the narrow sense, which refers to moulding and blowing glass....

 are engraved, or may provide an intaglio
Intaglio (printmaking)
Intaglio is a family of printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface, known as the matrix or plate, and the incised line or area holds the ink. Normally, copper or zinc plates are used as a surface, and the incisions are created by etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint or...

 printing plate, of copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 or another metal, for printing images on paper as prints or illustrations; these images are also called engravings.

Engraving was a historically important method of producing images on paper, both in artistic printmaking
Printmaking
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

, and also for commercial reproductions and illustrations for books and magazines. It has long been replaced by various photographic processes in its commercial applications and, partly because of the difficulty of learning the technique, is much less common in printmaking, where it has been largely replaced by etching
Etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...

 and other techniques.

Traditional engraving, by burin or with the use of machines, continues to be practised by goldsmith
Goldsmith
A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Since ancient times the techniques of a goldsmith have evolved very little in order to produce items of jewelry of quality standards. In modern times actual goldsmiths are rare...

s, glass engravers, gunsmiths and others, while modern industrial techniques such as photoengraving
Photoengraving
Photoengraving also known as photo-chemical milling is a process of engraving using photographic processing techniques. The full form of photoengraving is photo mechanical process in the graphic arts, used principally for reproducing illustrations. The subject is photographed, and the image is...

 and laser engraving
Laser engraving
Laser engraving, or laser marking, is the practice of using lasers to engrave or mark an object. The technique does not involve the use of inks, nor does it involve tool bits which contact the engraving surface and wear out...

 have many important applications. Engraved gems were an important art in the ancient world, revived at the Renaissance, although the term traditionally covers relief
Relief
Relief is a sculptural technique. The term relief is from the Latin verb levo, to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is thus to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane...

 as well as intaglio carvings, and is essentially a branch of sculpture rather than engraving, as drills were the usual tools.

Terms


Other terms often used for printed engravings are copper engraving, copper-plate engraving or line engraving
Line engraving
Line engraving is a term for engraved images printed on paper to be used as prints or illustrations. The term is now much less used and when is, it is mainly in connection with 18th or 19th century commercial illustrations for magazines and books, or reproductions of paintings.Steel engraving is...

. Steel engraving
Steel engraving
Steel engraving, is a commercial engraving technique for printing illustrations, based on steel instead of copper. It has been rarely used in artistic printmaking, although was much used for reproductions in the 19th century. Steel engraving was introduced in 1792 by Jacob Perkins , an American...

 is the same technique, on steel or steel-faced plates, and was mostly used for banknotes, illustrations for books, magazines and reproductive prints, letterhead
Letterhead
A letterhead is the heading at the top of a sheet of letter paper . That heading usually consists of a name and an address, and a logo or corporate design, and sometimes a background pattern...

s and similar uses from about 1790 to the early 20th century, when the technique became less popular, except for banknotes and other forms of security printing
Security printing
Security printing is the field of the printing industry that deals with the printing of items such as banknotes, passports, tamper-evident labels, product authentication, stock certificates, postage stamps and identity cards...

. Especially in the past, "engraving" was often used very loosely to cover several printmaking techniques, so that many so-called engravings were in fact produced by totally different techniques, such as etching or mezzotint
Mezzotint
Mezzotint is a printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple...

.

Process




Engravers use a hardened steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 tool called a burin
Burin
Burin from the French burin meaning "cold chisel" has two specialised meanings for types of tools in English, one meaning a steel cutting tool which is the essential tool of engraving, and the other, in archaeology, meaning a special type of lithic flake with a chisel-like edge which was probably...

 to cut the design into the surface, most traditionally a copper plate. Gravers come in a variety of shapes and sizes that yield different line types. The burin produces a unique and recognizable quality of line that is characterized by its steady, deliberate appearance and clean edges. The angle tint tool has a slightly curved tip that is commonly used in printmaking. Florentine liners are flat-bottomed tools with multiple lines incised into them, used to do fill work on larger areas. Flat gravers are used for doing fill work on letters, as well as most musical instrument engraving work. Round gravers are commonly used on silver to create bright cuts (also called bright-cut engraving), as well as other hard-to-cut metals such as nickel and steel. Burins are either square or elongated diamond-shaped and used for cutting straight lines. Other tools such as mezzotint
Mezzotint
Mezzotint is a printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple...

 rockers, roulets and burnishers are used for texturing effects.

Originally, there was only hand engraving. In that process the burin is held in the hand with the handle in the palm of the hand. The point of a new tool is snapped off to a length just longer than the engraver's fingers, and the point reground. The actual engraving is done by a combination of pressure and manipulating the workpiece. That process is still practiced today, but modern technology has brought various mechanically assisted engraving systems. In essence they are handles which resemble burins, but inside are pneumatic pistons that drive the point much like a jackhammer
Jackhammer
A jackhammer is a pneumatic tool that combines a hammer directly with a chisel that was invented by Charles Brady King. Hand-held jackhammers are typically powered by compressed air, but some use electric motors. Larger jackhammers, such as rig mounted hammers used on construction machinery, are...

, but at speeds up to 15,000 strokes per minute, thereby greatly reducing the effort needed in traditional hand engraving.

In addition, there are engraving machines. They are usually used for lettering, using a pantograph
Pantograph
A pantograph is a mechanical linkage connected in a special manner based on parallelograms so that the movement of one pen, in tracing an image, produces identical movements in a second pen...

ic system. There are versions for the insides of rings and also the outsides of larger pieces. Such machines are commonly used for inscriptions on rings, lockets and presentation pieces.

Non-print engraving


Hand engraving is a term for engraving not used for printing plates, but to personalize or embellish jewelry, firearms, trophies, knives and other fine metal goods. Each graver is different and has its own use. There are round gravers which make round cuts, and V-point gravers which make angled cuts. V-point can be anywhere from 60 to 130 degrees
Degree (angle)
A degree , usually denoted by ° , is a measurement of plane angle, representing 1⁄360 of a full rotation; one degree is equivalent to π/180 radians...

, depending on purpose and effect. These gravers have very small cutting points. Professional engravers engrave with resolution of up to 40 lines per mm in high grade work creating game scenes and scrollwork. Dies
Die (manufacturing)
A die is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut or shape material using a press. Like molds, dies are generally customized to the item they are used to create...

 used in mass production of molded parts are sometimes hand engraved to add special touches or certain information such as part numbers.

Musical instrument engraving on American-made brass instruments flourished in the 1920s and utilizes a specialized engraving technique where a series of different width flat gravers are "walked" across the surface of the instrument to make zig-zag lines and patterns. This technique is necessary due to the unusually large size of musical instruments versus firearms or jewelry.

History and usage


For the printing process, see intaglio (printmaking)
Intaglio (printmaking)
Intaglio is a family of printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface, known as the matrix or plate, and the incised line or area holds the ink. Normally, copper or zinc plates are used as a surface, and the incisions are created by etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint or...

. For the Western art history of engraved prints, see old master print
Old master print
An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition . A date of about 1830 is usually taken as marking the end of the period whose prints are covered by this term. The main techniques concerned are woodcut, engraving and etching, although there are...

 and line engraving
Line engraving
Line engraving is a term for engraved images printed on paper to be used as prints or illustrations. The term is now much less used and when is, it is mainly in connection with 18th or 19th century commercial illustrations for magazines and books, or reproductions of paintings.Steel engraving is...



The first evidence for humans engraving patterns are hatched banding upon ostrich eggshells used as water containers found in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 in the Diepkloof Rock Shelter
Diepkloof Rock Shelter
Diepkloof Rock Shelter is a rock cave in Western Cape, South Africa in which has been found some of the earliest evidence of the human use of symbols, in the form of patterns engraved upon ostrich eggshell water containers. These date around 60,000 years ago.The symbolic patterns consist of lines...

 and dated to the Middle Stone Age
Middle Stone Age
The Middle Stone Age was a period of African Prehistory between Early Stone Age and Late Stone Age. It is generally considered to have begun around 280,000 years ago and ended around 50-25,000 years ago. The beginnings of particular MSA stone tools have their origins as far back as 550-500,000...

 around 60,000 BP. Engraving on bone and ivory is an important technique for the Art of the Upper Paleolithic
Art of the Upper Paleolithic
The art of the Upper Paleolithic is the oldest undisputed prehistoric art, originating in the Aurignacian archaeological culture of Europe and the Levant some 40,000 years ago, and continues to the Mesolithic about 12,000 years ago...

, and larger engraved petroglyph
Petroglyph
Petroglyphs are pictogram and logogram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as "carving", "engraving", or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images...

s on rocks are found from many prehistoric periods and cultures around the world.

In antiquity
Ancient history
Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of recorded human history to the Early Middle Ages. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, with Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing, from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC...

, the only engraving on metal that could be carried out is the shallow grooves found in some jewellery after the beginning of the 1st Millennium B.C. The majority of so-called engraved designs on ancient gold rings or other items were produced by chasing or sometimes a combination of lost-wax casting and chasing. Engraved gem is a term for any carved or engraved semi-precious stone; this was an important if small-scale art form in the ancient world, and remained popular until the 19th century.

However the use of glass engraving
Glass engraving
Glass engraving is a form of decorative glasswork that involves engraving a glass surface or object. It is distinct from glass art in the narrow sense, which refers to moulding and blowing glass....

, usually using a wheel, to cut decorative scenes or figures into glass vessels, in imitation of hardstone carving
Hardstone carving
Hardstone carving is a general term in art history and archaeology for the carving for artistic purposes of semi-precious stones, also known as gemstones, such as jade, rock crystal , agate, onyx, jasper, serpentine or carnelian, and for an object made in this way. Normally the objects are small,...

s, appears as early as the first century AD, continuing into the fourth century CE at urban centers such as Cologne and Rome, and appears to have ceased sometime in the fifth century. Decoration was first based on Greek mythology, before hunting and circus scenes became popular, as well as imagery drawn from the Old and New Testament. It appears to have been used to mimic the appearance of precious metal wares during the same period, including the application of gold leaf, and could be cut free-hand or with lathes. As many as twenty separate stylistic workshops have been identified, and it seems likely that the engraver and vessel producer were separate craftsmen.

In the European Middle Ages goldsmiths used engraving to decorate and inscribe metalwork. It is thought that they began to print impressions of their designs to record them. From this grew the engraving of copper printing plates to produce artistic images on paper, known as old master print
Old master print
An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition . A date of about 1830 is usually taken as marking the end of the period whose prints are covered by this term. The main techniques concerned are woodcut, engraving and etching, although there are...

s in Germany in the 1430s. Italy soon followed. Many early engravers came from a goldsmithing background. The first and greatest period of the engraving was from about 1470 to 1530, with such masters as Martin Schongauer
Martin Schongauer
Martin Schongauer was a German engraver and painter. He was the most important German printmaker before Albrecht Dürer....

, Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

, and Lucas van Leiden.
Thereafter engraving tended to lose ground to etching
Etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...

, which was a much easier technique for the artist to learn. But many prints combined the two techniques: although Rembrandt's prints are generally all called etchings for convenience, many of them have some burin or drypoint work, and some have nothing else. By the nineteenth century, most engraving was for commercial illustration.

Before the advent of photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

, engraving was used to reproduce other forms of art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, for example painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

s. Engravings continued to be common in newspapers and many books into the early 20th century, as they were cheaper to use in printing than photographic images. Engraving has also always been used as a method of original artistic expression.

Music Engraving



The first music printed from engraved plates dates from 1446 and most printed music was produced through engraving from roughly 1700-1860. From 1860-1990 most printed music was produced through a combination of engraved master plates reproduced through offset lithography.

In music printing, engraving is an intaglio
Intaglio
Intaglio are techniques in art in which an image is created by cutting, carving or engraving into a flat surface and may also refer to objects made using these techniques:* Intaglio , a group of printmaking techniques with an incised image...

 technique. The first comprehensive account is given by Mme Delusse in her article "Gravure en lettres, en géographie et en musique" in Diderot's Encyclopedia. The technique involved a five-pointed raster to score staff lines, various punches in the shapes of notes and standard musical symbols, and various burins and scorers for lines and slurs. For correction, the plate was held on a bench by callipers, hit with a dot punch on the opposite side, and burnished to remove any signs of the defective work. The process involved intensive pre-planning of the layout, and many manuscript scores with engraver's planning marks survive from the 18th and 19th centuries .

By 1837 pewter had replaced copper as a medium, and Berthiaud gives an account with an entire chapter devoted to music (Novel manuel complet de l'imprimeur en taille douce, 1837). Printing from such plates required a separate inking to be carried out cold, and the printing press used less pressure. Generally, four pages of music were engraved on a single plate. Because music engraving houses trained engravers through years of apprenticeship, very little is known about the practice. Fewer than one dozen sets of tools survive in libraries and museums . By 1900 music engravers were established in several hundred cities in the world, but the art of storing plates was usually concentrated with publishers. Extensive bombing of Leipzig in 1944, the home of most German engraving and printing firms, destroyed roughly half the world's engraved music plates.

Modern process


Because of the high level of microscopic detail that can be achieved by a master engraver, counterfeit
Counterfeit
To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product...

ing of engraved designs is well-nigh impossible, and modern banknote
Banknote
A banknote is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. In addition to coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern fiat money...

s are almost always engraved, as are plates for printing money, checks, bonds and other security-sensitive papers. The engraving is so fine that a normal printer cannot recreate the detail of hand engraved images, nor can it be scanned. In the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, more than one hand engraver will work on the same plate, making it nearly impossible for one person to duplicate all the engraving on a particular banknote or document.

Many classic postage stamp
Postage stamp
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...

s were engraved, although the practice is now mostly confined to particular countries, or used when a more "elegant" design is desired and a limited color range is acceptable.
The modern discipline of hand engraving, as it is called in a metalworking
Metalworking
Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large scale structures. The term covers a wide range of work from large ships and bridges to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry. It therefore includes a correspondingly wide range of skills,...

 context, survives largely in a few specialized fields. The highest levels of the art are found on firearms and other metal weaponry, jewelry and musical instruments. In most industrial uses like production of intaglio plates for commercial applications,
Another application of modern engraving is found in the printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

 industry. There, every day thousands of pages are mechanically engraved onto rotogravure
Rotogravure
Rotogravure is a type of intaglio printing process; that is, it involves engraving the image onto an image carrier...

 cylinders, typically a steel base with a copper layer of about 0.1 mm in which the image is transferred. After engraving the image is protected with an approximately 6 µm chrome layer. Using this process the image will survive for over a million copies in high speed printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

es.
Engraving machines such as GUN~BOW (one of the leading engraving brands) are the best examples of hand engraving tools
Nowadays hand engraving has been replaced with milling using CNC engraving or milling machine
Milling machine
A milling machine is a machine tool used to machine solid materials. Milling machines are often classed in two basic forms, horizontal and vertical, which refers to the orientation of the main spindle. Both types range in size from small, bench-mounted devices to room-sized machines...

s. Still there are certain applications where use of hand engraving tools cannot be replaced.


Engraving machines such as the K500 (packaging) or K6 (publication) by Hell Gravure Systems use a diamond stylus to cut cells. Each cell creates one printing dot later in the process. A K6 can have up to 18 engraving heads each cutting 8.000 cells per second to an accuracy of .1 µm and below. They are fully computer-controlled and the whole process of cylinder-making is fully automated.

Retail engraving machines tend to be focused around ease of use for the operator and the ability to do a wide variety of items including flat metal plates, jewelry of different shapes and sizes, as well as cylindrical items such as mugs and champagne flutes. They will typically be able to do a variety of surfaces including metal, crystal, plastic or glass. With state-of-the-art machinery it's easy to have a simple, single item complete in under ten minutes.

The engraving process with diamonds is state-of-the-art since the 1960s.

Today laser engraving machines are in development but still mechanical cutting has proven its strength in economical terms and quality. More than 4,000 engravers make approx. 8 Mio printing cylinders worldwide per year.

Creating tone





In traditional engraving, which is a purely linear medium, the impression of half-tones was created by making many very thin parallel lines, a technique called hatching
Hatching
Hatching is an artistic technique used to create tonal or shading effects by drawing closely spaced parallel lines...

. When two sets of parallel-line hatchings intersected each other for higher density, the resulting pattern was known as cross-hatching. Patterns of dots were also used in a technique called stippling
Stippling
Stippling is the creation of a pattern simulating varying degrees of solidity or shading by using small dots. Such a pattern may occur in nature and these effects are frequently emulated by artists.-Art:...

, first used around 1505 by Giulio Campagnola
Giulio Campagnola
Giulio Campagnola was an Italian engraver and painter, whose few, rare, prints translated the rich Venetian Renaissance style of oil paintings of Giorgione and the early Titian into the medium of engraving; to further his exercises in gradations of tone, he also invented the stipple technique...

. Claude Mellan
Claude Mellan
Claude Mellan was a French engraver and painter.Mellan was born in Abbeville. Among the leading engravers of his time, he is best known for his numerous portraits as well as for his engraving technique of using parallel lines of varying thickness, rather than the more traditional technique of...

 was one of many 17th-century engravers with a very well-developed technique of using parallel lines of varying thickness (known as the "swelling line") to give subtle effects of tone (as was Goltzius - see picture below). One famous example is his Sudarium of Saint Veronica
Veil of Veronica
The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium , often called simply "The Veronica" and known in Italian as the Volto Santo or Holy Face is a Catholic relic, which, according to legend, bears the likeness of the Face of Jesus not made by human hand The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium (Latin for sweat-cloth),...

 (1649), an engraving of the face of Jesus made from a single spiraling line that starts at the tip of Jesus's nose.

Biblical references


The earliest allusion to engraving in the Bible may be the reference to Judah
Judah (Biblical figure)
Judah was, according to the Book of Genesis, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Judah. Biblical scholars, such as J. A...

's seal ring (Ge 38:18), followed by (Ex 39.30). Engraving was commonly done with pointed tools of iron or even with diamond points. (Jer 17:1).

Each of the two onyx stones on the shoulder-pieces of the high priest’s ephod
Ephod
An ephod was an article of clothing, and a worship object, in ancient Israelite culture, and was closely connected with oracular practices....

 was engraved with the names of six different tribes of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, and each of the 12 precious stones that adorned his breastpiece was engraved with the name of one of the tribes. The holy sign of dedication, the shining gold plate on the high priest's turban, was engraved with the words: "Holiness belongs to Adonai." Bezalel
Bezalel
In Exodus 31:1-6, Bezalel |transcribed]] as Betzalel and most accurately as Beẓal'el), is the chief artisan of the Tabernacle. Elsewhere in the Bible the name occurs only in the genealogical lists of the Book of Chronicles, but according to cuneiform inscriptions a variant form of the same,...

, along with Oholiab, was qualified to do this specialized engraving work as well as to train others.—Ex 35:30-35; 28:9-12; 39:6-14, 30.

Noted engravers


Prints:
  • Paul Gustave Doré (1832–1883)
  • Jacopo de' Barbari
    Jacopo de' Barbari
    Jacopo de' Barbari, sometimes known or referred to as de'Barbari, de Barberi, de Barbari, Barbaro, Barberino, Barbarigo or Barberigo , was an Italian painter and printmaker with a highly individual style. He moved from Venice to Germany in 1500, thus becoming the first Italian Renaissance artist...

     (active 1500-1515)
  • Theodore de Bry (1528–1598)
  • William Blake
    William Blake
    William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age...

     (1757–1827)
  • Giulio Campagnola
    Giulio Campagnola
    Giulio Campagnola was an Italian engraver and painter, whose few, rare, prints translated the rich Venetian Renaissance style of oil paintings of Giorgione and the early Titian into the medium of engraving; to further his exercises in gradations of tone, he also invented the stipple technique...

     (active c.1505-1515)
  • Albrecht Dürer
    Albrecht Dürer
    Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

     (1471–1528)
  • Master ES (active c.1450-1470)
  • Maso Finiguerra
    Maso Finiguerra
    Maso Tommasoii Finiguerra was an Italian goldsmith, draftsman, and engraver working in Florence, whose name is distinguished in the history of art and craftsmanship for reasons which are partly mythical....

     (1426–1464)
  • Hendrick Goltzius (c.1558-1617)
  • Francisco de Goya (1746–1828)
  • Stanley William Hayter
    Stanley William Hayter
    Stanley William Hayter , CBE was a British painter and printmaker associated in the 1930s with Surrealism and from 1940 onward with Abstract Expressionism. Regarded as one of the most significant printmakers of the 20th century, in 1927 Hayter founded the legendary Atelier 17 studio in Paris...

     (1901–1988)
  • William Hogarth
    William Hogarth
    William Hogarth was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects"...

     (1697–1764)
  • Lucas van Leyden
    Lucas van Leyden
    Lucas van Leyden , also named either Lucas Hugensz or Lucas Jacobsz, was a Dutch engraver and painter, born and mainly active in Leiden...

     (1494–1533)
  • Andrea Mantegna
    Andrea Mantegna
    Andrea Mantegna was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son in law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g., by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality...

     (c.1431-1506)
  • Claude Mellan
    Claude Mellan
    Claude Mellan was a French engraver and painter.Mellan was born in Abbeville. Among the leading engravers of his time, he is best known for his numerous portraits as well as for his engraving technique of using parallel lines of varying thickness, rather than the more traditional technique of...

     (1598–1688)
  • Israhel van Meckenem
    Israhel van Meckenem
    Israhel van Meckenem , also known as Israhel van Meckenem the Younger, was a German printmaker and goldsmith.He was the most prolific engraver of the fifteenth century and an important figure in the early history of old master prints. He was active from 1465 until his death.-Life:His birth date is...

     (c.1445-1501)
  • Matthäus Merian
    Matthäus Merian
    Matthäus Merian der Ältere was a Swiss-born engraver who worked in Frankfurt for most of his career, where he also ran a publishing house.-Early life and marriage:...

     (1593–1650)
  • Alardo de Popma
    Alardo de Popma
    Alardo de Popma was a Flemish engraver, who worked in Madrid in the early seventeenth century, according to the earliest references to his works. His copperplate engravings include title-pages, frontispieces and portraits...

    , (1617-1641)
  • José Guadalupe Posada
    José Guadalupe Posada
    Jose Guadalupe Posada: was a Mexican cartoonist illustrator and artist whose work has influenced many Latin American artists and cartoonists because of its satirical acuteness and political engagement....

     (1852–1913)
  • Jan Saenredam
    Jan Saenredam
    Jan Pieterszoon Saenredam , was a Dutch Northern Mannerist painter, printmaker in engraving, and cartographer, and father of the painter of church interiors, Pieter Jansz Saenredam...

     (1565–1607)
  • Martin Schöngauer
    Martin Schongauer
    Martin Schongauer was a German engraver and painter. He was the most important German printmaker before Albrecht Dürer....

     (c.1450-1491)
  • Maerten de Vos (1532–1603)
  • Anthonie Wierix (1552–1624)
  • Hieronymus Wierix
    Hieronymus Wierix
    Hieronymus Wierix , was a Flemish engraver and member of the Antwerp Wierix family who made engravings after well known artists, including Albrecht Durer.-Biography:...

     (1553–1619)


Of gem
Gemstone
A gemstone or gem is a piece of mineral, which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments...

s:
  • Theodorus of Samos, Polycrates
    Polycrates
    Polycrates , son of Aeaces, was the tyrant of Samos from c. 538 BC to 522 BC.He took power during a festival of Hera with his brothers Pantagnotus and Syloson, but soon had Pantagnotus killed and exiled Syloson to take full control for himself. He then allied with Amasis II, pharaoh of Egypt, as...

    ' gem-engraver
  • Pyrgoteles, Alexander's gem-engraver


Of guns:
  • Sam Alfano
  • Malcolm Appleby
    Malcolm Appleby
    Malcolm Appleby , is a prominent English engraver. His public and private commissions include: a 500th anniversary silver cup for the London Assay Office ; a raven gun for the Royal Armouries ; a cruet set for 10 Downing Street, commissioned by The Silver Trust ; a sculptural tablepiece for Bute...

  • A. B. Bradshaw
  • Thierry Duguet
  • Geoffroy Gournet
    Geoffroy Gournet
    Geoffroy Gournet is a European-trained master engraver. He was born in France and moved the United States in 1985. In 1987 he became the official and sole engraver at Parker Reproductions, engraving the A1 Special.-Training:...

  • Ken Hunt
  • Harry Kell
  • Harry Morris (sometimes Henry Morris)
  • Jack Sumner


Of coins:
  • Thomas Hugh Paget
  • William Wyon
    William Wyon
    William Wyon, RA , was official chief engraver at the Royal Mint from 1828 until his death. He was influenced by the master of relief sculpture, John Flaxman. Wyon was a highly visible proponent of the Neoclassicist vogue, and was elected to the Royal Academy in 1838.Wyon was born in Birmingham,...

  • Leonard Charles Wyon
    Leonard Charles Wyon
    Leonard Charles Wyon was a British engraver of the Victorian era most notable for his work on the gold and silver coinage struck for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 and the bronze coinage of 1860 with the second head portrait, in use from 1860 to 1894.-Career:The eldest son of chief...



Of postage stamps:
  • Czesław Słania
  • William Wyon
    William Wyon
    William Wyon, RA , was official chief engraver at the Royal Mint from 1828 until his death. He was influenced by the master of relief sculpture, John Flaxman. Wyon was a highly visible proponent of the Neoclassicist vogue, and was elected to the Royal Academy in 1838.Wyon was born in Birmingham,...

  • Leonard Charles Wyon
    Leonard Charles Wyon
    Leonard Charles Wyon was a British engraver of the Victorian era most notable for his work on the gold and silver coinage struck for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 and the bronze coinage of 1860 with the second head portrait, in use from 1860 to 1894.-Career:The eldest son of chief...



Of pins:
  • Godfrey Lundberg
    Godfrey Lundberg
    Godfrey Emanuel Lundberg was an accomplished engraver during the early part of the 20th century. He is most noted for his hand engraving of the Lord's Prayer on the tiny head of a gold pin that was displayed at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco and won a gold medal in engraving...

     (1879–1933)

See also

  • Drypoint
    Drypoint
    Drypoint is a printmaking technique of the intaglio family, in which an image is incised into a plate with a hard-pointed "needle" of sharp metal or diamond point. Traditionally the plate was copper, but now acetate, zinc, or plexiglas are also commonly used...

  • Laser engraving
    Laser engraving
    Laser engraving, or laser marking, is the practice of using lasers to engrave or mark an object. The technique does not involve the use of inks, nor does it involve tool bits which contact the engraving surface and wear out...

  • Music engraving
    Music engraving
    Music engraving is the art of drawing music notation at high quality for the purpose of mechanical reproduction. The term music copying is almost equivalent, though music engraving implies a higher degree of skill and quality, usually for publication. Plate engraving, the process the term...

  • Photogravure
    Photogravure
    Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking or photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a...

  • Toreutics
    Toreutics
    Toreutics is a term, relatively rare in English, for artistic metalworking, by hammering gold or silver , engraving, Repoussé and chasing to form minute detailed reliefs or small engraved patterns. Toreutics can include metal-engraving - forward-pressure linear metal removal with a...

  • Wood engraving
    Wood engraving
    Wood engraving is a technique in printmaking where the "matrix" worked by the artist is a block of wood. It is a variety of woodcut and so a relief printing technique, where ink is applied to the face of the block and printed by using relatively low pressure. A normal engraving, like an etching,...


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