First completed practice plate (Phil Coggan design)

James Ashley

Jun 22, 2015
Tasmania, Australia
Hi guys this is my first ever practice plate I have completed except for cutting straight, curved and shade lines over and over. This design was taken from a thread a few years ago from Phil Coggan who posted a design for people to use as a practice plate. Phil is my fav engraver so naturally I wanted to do this :eek:

The design is 50mm high or roughly 2 inches as was discussed in the thread and was a fantastic exercise.

So in the interest of self critique I am going to list some of my issues but feel free to expand on them or list anymore I miss :thumbsup:

Backbones to main scrolls not perfect in fact some are shockers! :eek:

I think I cut too deep (probably from stone setting where lots of deeper plunge cuts etc are used to carve the settings out).

From 17 yrs as a jeweller I managed to forget a golden rule that your finish is only as good as your surface prep! Mine was bad on this as I didn't realise it would show up as much as it did later on.:no:

I changed graver geometry while shading as I was not getting fine enough lines ( you can probably see where). Managed to fix it by changing to a heel free graver which worked much better for me when shading.

When elements crossed one another I think I cut way too deep and rolled my graver on inside elements not just outside lines.

Obviously I also need to work on my shade line tapers and also placement when shading elements but I tried to do it myself and only fell back on Phils picture when I was completely stumped on what to do.

Cheers for looking :biggrin:


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Nov 16, 2018
I've only been at it for 4 months now and I think it looks really good, I'm going to be Jazzed when my work is turning out that well, Luckily, I'm retired and practice every day, I'm getting a lot of what I like to call AHH ! , HAA ! Moments lately and it's a great feeling to overcome something thats been giving me issues all along and than it comes to you in a flash, you test and retest the theory and discover that it works and you now have that problem taken care of, Keep it up, Remember WAX ON, WAX OFF . lol

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