Ken Hunt thread - engraving and artwork

sam

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"damascening - the size is small look at the pencil lead , you may see the marks around the horse & rings that is the hatching burnished away , this is a crude test demo piece for testing"

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"dividers a close up view using a loupe over the iPad lens as Sam advised, we can all learn a bit of useful tips from one another , even old dogs like me .
You can see how wires laid out and tapped down creat interesting patterns .I used .006" wire"

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"here is a bone handled knife I etched in the same method as I do on steel ,drawing with resist with a pen ,when dry I use a cotton bud dipped into silver nitrate that I make by dissolving silver in nitric acid . Day light causes it to turn black or dark brown according how strong a mix , I have done it on ivory on rifles but have mislaid the photos . It would be good on guitars !"

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"Showing how a thin sheet of gold can be damascened over an engraved design . This is just a demo not a finished piece 2000inch thick gold ,a hairs width or can be a bit thinner"

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"Winston Churchill#I cut the die for this by hand 1966 , it was cut in reverse as done before pantograph machines , very deep"

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" I put my friends name on it for he was the maker Battle of Britain 1940"
 

sam

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"This was engraved by Lynton McKenzie while working in London in the 1960s.
He was mentor to Sam Alfano after emigrating to America . He was born in Sydney Australia , came to live in Teddington Middlesex England . Picked up tips from me , becoming friends ,we made friends with the guys who worked at the Tower Of London repairing antiques , guns & Armour .With copying original engraving on repairs gave us lots of experience in how the styles vary"

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"1948. here is an article I have had for years . Battered , but it was the inspiration to all the carving etc I have done overtime .as a young lad ,there wasn't any pictures TV , magazines ,too give any knowledge that this trade existed "
 

sam

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"I painted the big 5 , for my own pleasure , makes a change from engraving & carving them & easier"

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" I never outlined my inlays ,scrollwork ,animals etc , I made sure all my edges were clean , not ragged , I took pride in this because I wanted to emulate the works of the past masters I had seen ; if they could do it so could I !

Just look at those holes I had to design around ,tricky at times ,got in the way of small piece like a cannonball hitting an animal .later guns illuminated these .

Not being sexist , but I always made my work to be appreciated by the none shooting person who when seeing a weapon could wonder at the artistry of the decoration on a beautiful crafted gun"
 

sam

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"Warren engraved this . He was an inshop worker at South Audley Street ,Mayfair he worked about 1890/1920 ?

While a renovation was done at Purdey the builders found bottle with a gold sovereign inside with a note from Warren saying" have a drink on me Lads ."
 

JJ Roberts

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Ken knows how to place his design around those pin and screw holes,Abbiatico & Salvinelli made there lock without any holes just for the engravers.You'll find the information about the locks on page 216 in Modern Firearms Engraving by Mario Abbiatico. Forgot to mention Ken Hunt is in the book.J.J.
 
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sam

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"The client always hunted wearing a sweatband , that's him ."

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"Showing how I etched down with acid the background & did the customers house , in my own self taught technique #craftsman #calligraphy #
This gun was carved ,using punches to do the modeling .on the scroll etc I don't leave the Matt punch finish like some other carvers , but finish smooth surfaces ."

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"1inch size earring made of steel & damascened by me in 1960 for Sheila . They were charcoal blued like trigger guards on guns .the magnification shows the crosshatching all over the steel , near the silver star ,again years of wear & with other things put dents in the pure gold ."

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"Niello is a black compound of sulphur & silver, lead,or copper used to fill the incised engraving on a metal surface . As usual I experimented and made some ;here is Sheila's wedding ring I made of pure 24 carat gold , being pure 54 years of scrubbing etc has taken its toll , wearing away the engraving .But inside the inscription is still visible ,reading , " Love this man who made this ring of gold , tis he who loves you when you are old" .the edge worn down in Roman numerals wedding date in niello"

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" Done using a loupe on the birds & scene but not on the scroll .a bit late for me now to us the microscope as used today, I wonder how much different my work would progress to!"

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"The background scenery was done in the way the Austrian engravers work . Dark between the trees like scroll , not natural like Italian ."

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"This was the first of a pair of guns I carved using acid to etch it down , all self taught & experimenting .the ladder of progress ; scrollwork was done in fine leaf work which was my style during the early period of my carving .
It was fast ,I was expected to get the guns out fast in those days ,I won't tell you how long it took ,but I didn't get much pay for it .I treated all work then as a learning process ,trying to improve with every gun . I was mainly self taught in this technique."

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"The ghost map "# a book published a few years ago author Steven Johnson ,wrote about the Broad Street pump and the cause of an outbreak of cholera which killed 100,s of people .In 1950 I was apprenticed in a small layback alley as on this address card ;It was renamed after the plague died down . In that place was Eley still in business ,cartridge & cap makers to the gun trade ,mostly going to the army in the Crimea War .It was a family firm ,the mother old, went to live in Hampstead , but was partial to the pumps water & had it delivered to her , contaminated , she died ,so did 14 of the cap makers .The brewery in Marshall St ,no deaths because they only drank the beer . #Soho#London#a truly fascinating book on how Dr John Snow using his theory by detecting the cause . You can see it on Utube .also of interest just over the road when I was there was the house William Blake the poet & engraver was born ,alas now demolished ,but his name is on the new building ."
 

sam

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"with resist ready for putting in acid. Nitric acid 4 parts water 1part acid.

Keep an eye on newly made up acid it bites ferociously , for very deep bite allow more width to the lines drawn with the resist because it underbites .cover all unwanted areas with wax , Ive seen some demos showing" nail varnish " as resist , don't recommend . It should be a wax resist , more flexible , but experiment .

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"this Mountain quail is less than 1 inch long .I put on the closeup magnification so you can see the minute detail in the bushes inlaid in green gold . I alloyed the golds to get different colours . There is absolutely no soldering in this work , all cold inlaid . Wish I had modern camera & photos ,I just took these photos the old fashion way !"

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" I drew these two ,they were unaware , Boy ! Did they fidget ,sorting out pastels , chatting ,'twas like drawing a hopping bird trying to get details of its eye!"

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sam

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"his is one I did inThe 1960's , Drew it with a pen , resist , nitric acid .then graver work on the detail , shading . This work withstands the rust of time ."

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"Note how all the edges are protected .beeswax goes dark brown when heated to a high temperature"

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"Shame it's a poor photo ,by the time your pictures came back years ago , if they were under exposed the gun was gone so couldn't reshoot."

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"This 150 year old piece Victorian . As stated before look hard to see how he cut fine lines and heavier ones giving interest , you just want to search for more ;

see how the center " cup s " fit into where the scrolls leave a V shape. A bit of thought into design pas dividends ."

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"Here is a close up view of the lockplate on my gun #acid etched to a deep clean finish , then engraved after with a graver ."

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" Inlaid in color golds . Border & scroll English ,the discrete quality of this style scroll doesn't over power , a feminine light scroll that fits any space well ,."
 

sam

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"What a joy to have an impact on an enthusiast . This is my idea of what communication is about"

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"This is how I roughly lay out the thought lines in pencil . No preconceived ideas , they come as I work through .finishing it later while watching T V."

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"Just to show how it looks in upside down mode , it can look right or wrong ?!!"



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"Based on the letter S."
 

sam

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"Letting the mind drift , relaxing , colours dreamland .

As engravers all was monotone black & grey ,so I longed for colour , escapism ."
 

sam

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"Innate,I think ,a pencil & paper doesn't cost much ,and to translate stories in the mind are your own to give even to others who can't understand your native language .Its lives long like the cave drawings,wonderful animals etc by just inspiration of what is around one . Only boring people get bored "
 

sam

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"I was 16 years old designed & engraved this .1 year into apprenticeship in Soho ,London#startedwork October 1950 this done in December 1951"

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"I designed this ,always trying to complicate the scrolls !"

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"March 1952, 16 years old"

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"my first attempts at scroll engraving . Practicing borders and screws # these are 65 years old now , I was taught to cut to last ,take to battering of time ; although bulino is beautiful and exquisitely executed , it will not stand aging
The steel will tarnish and lose the contrast produce when new the brights will go and the fine stippling disappear .Look at how the old Victorian engraving mellowed with time ."

"A couple of months into learning . I had to file out my very first attempts because we didn't have many piece of steel to practice on , a blunted file some used again emery cloth ,erase! These are some I was left with . Postwar austerity make do with what you have , because you can't get much. I was over the moon when Mr Kell gave me two new gravers for Xmas ,lovely man !"
 

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