bad news, bro. i took the pvc plate to my local post office. they want 40 us dollars to mail the piece to you. personally, i don't think this is a wise thing to do. it's your call, but i think it would be silly to spend all that cash for such a simple piece of plastic.
let me know what you...
well, the quality of your piece smacks of professionalism. engraving is not a race. with practice, one can learn of techniques and simple time saving tricks that do lessen the time needed to do quality work.
yes. i cut criss cross grooves all over the plate. this not only aids in the glue forming a good anchor, the grooves allow the alcohol to penetrate much faster for a very easy release. send me yer mailing address and dimensions of what you want. i'll send you a piece.
there's really only two choices--- hss or carbide. i know of no other special alloys for cnc or pantograph work. there are diamond points configured to create wider, frosty looking cuts when used in rotary mode rather than just the typical drag or scratch mode.
bear looks way more natural. jb was right. the sky has a too-harsh contrast. even tho it's a background, it is just as revelant to the overall design you're doing. don't be discouraghed. learning this artform in all its facets is not an overnite, done deal.
i'd spend some time with a pencil to create hilite and gradual transitioning to darker shade values. the lines you show on the bear are never going to appear natural. perhaps that was your goal but simply never pushed the drawing that far. it's a very good thing to create with a pencil first...