How long did it take? That makes me think of the Picasso napkin story.
In actual working time I have 6 months into it and another 3 to go. This photo is just one side though, keep in mind the action has 4 sides which depict 3 full scenes and a bird portrait on the top side, plus the trigger guard and barrels. So even though it seems like a long time, there is just alot of metal to cover and a lot of detail in every inch of it.
I am interested in your work process. When you indicate that one side is finished do you mean that you went start to finish on this side and the other parts are blank? Conversely, did you cut the scroll outlines all over the gun, then background, then shade then do the inlays, then the scenes, etc so that you now you only have the last steps of the process to do on the other parts of the gun?
It is common on this and other sites to focus on specific techniques but rarely on the entire work process of the top engravers.
Hi Roger, In general I'll do one procedure at a time. I'll inlay first then cut scrollwork and remove background then line shade the scroll and then dot shade the scene. Though a Superposed is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle the way the barrel and fore end lock in, so I jump around a bit. Side two already has the the scrollwork cut and background removed. I have the scroll and scene shading to complete along with some odds and ends at the end like screws some more on the top lever and trigger guard. Also there are times I'll jump onto something different just as a break in routine if I start going numb from doing the same thing for too many days or weeks in a row.
I just cover it with painter tape and flip it over. There is nothing to worry about.
Though I might add, I karat my gold down to increase its hardness. This gets it to cut cleaner and adds the durability necessary to hold detail better and to hold up to the handling it might have to endure at some point in the future. The drawback is the gold is harder and work hardens pretty fast, which can make it more difficult and time consuming to work with.
Your work always amazes me and you are truly a worldwide Master of the engraving art. A question: have you taken any progress pictures along the way and have you thought of documenting some of your projects? I, for one, am very interested in how your work progresses.