Drawing the shading on my Fn Browning Renaissance

Arnaud Van Tilburgh

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My Fn Browning I already partly engraved the “Renaissance designâ€￾. The gun is over 100 years so the little marks I tried to put them in the background I removed.
A smoke print says the engraving takes 16 hours, and yes the factory engraving doesn’t look so nicely cut.
I could not make a transfer that worked, so I drew on the metal copying a bit the design from the smoke print.
Later by now I learned that those Master gun engravers mostly draw on the gun.
I still have to shade so I’m drawing on the photo to find out how to shade these. The smoke print only shows cuts by a liner, and that is not what I want.
Anyway, by drawing the shading first, I have more chance to finish this project at my best.
Thanks for looking and reading my epistle.

 

John B.

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Hello Arnaud,
Your Renaissance Browning looks great and I really like the single point shading you have drawn in.
The originals with the liner shading looked good but I think yours will be superior.
I also have some of the old original Browning photo prints that the working engravers had to follow with the signature of the Master who created the design and the estimated working time. They sure were fast and that's where the liner shading came into play.
Looking forward to seeing your completed gun. Looks wonderful so far.
Best regards.
 

John B.

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Arnaud. Many of the FN engravers transferred to the guns using a dry parchment paper copy.
The copy was made using damp paper and burnishing over the original oiled engraving.
The paper was then sprayed with oil and hung to thoroughly dry.
A new gun was coated with transfer wax and dusted with powder.
the paper pattern was placed on it and lightly burnished, leaving an image.
Some engravers chose to draw the pattern but many used these transfers.
I have some of these original transfers somewhere among my junk.
 

Arnaud Van Tilburgh

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Arnaud. Many of the FN engravers transferred to the guns using a dry parchment paper copy.
The copy was made using damp paper and burnishing over the original oiled engraving.
The paper was then sprayed with oil and hung to thoroughly dry.
A new gun was coated with transfer wax and dusted with powder.
the paper pattern was placed on it and lightly burnished, leaving an image.
Some engravers chose to draw the pattern but many used these transfers.
I have some of these original transfers somewhere among my junk.
Thank you John for explaining , we all know time is money and at first sight the renaissance factory engraving doesn’t look bad, and a lot of people nowadays wouldn’t see the difference. That is a bit frustrating when we try to finish a job for the best.
So I’m quite happy I don’t have to work for a boss who is pointing at his watch all the time.
 

John B.

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Yes Arnaud, a lot of the old FN methods were to save time.
But we must also remember that they needed many engravers to faithfully reproduce exact copies of the many engraved guns that were shown in their catalogs around the world.
The customer bought and expected what they saw in the catalogs, magazines or shops.
As you say Arnaud, we independent engravers are very lucky and don't have to follow such strictly controlled guidelines.
 
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