Practice plate: how would you shade this pattern?;

MKlahn

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Aug 3, 2022
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Hi, first time posting here and also generally new to engraving, so I hope I don’t make any egregious errors. I’m a goldsmith with ~6 years of practice at the bench, mostly in hand fabrication. I’ve taken 2 GRS classes for stone setting, and the second was taught by Todd Daniels, which incorporated some decorative engraving into the settings. We also learned some basic borders. At any rate, though my main goal is to get strong graver control skills for stone setting, I figured that practicing engraving some practice plates would also be a good way to practice making consistent cuts with the hand piece in a different way than I’m used to, which might also make practice fun & interesting.

In that spirit, I cut my first large pattern (a practice transfer from the GRS class handouts) today using a 105° carbide graver, and I think the outline is ok (though I’d love feedback on that as well), but when it came time to shade it, I realized everything I’ve seen about shading was for scrollwork and not really this kind of flower pattern. So, how would you shade this? I’m also not certain that I was meant to point the tips of the small lobes on the lleaves/petals, but I wasn’t confident about doing that tight turn around the tip all in one stroke, but then I thought: would you break that into two rounded strokes or would it in fact be best to do the whole rounded tip in one cut? Finally, where the leaves join the central “button”, would you make one cut up to the tip and join in a second for the next leaf over like I did, or would you do two full cuts up to each leaf’s side?

if anyone has a shaded & finished version of this pattern or something near to it, could you share a pic so I can see how you interpret this type of design?

Thanks for looking, and I do appreciate all feedback & constructive criticism!
 

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monk

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welcome to the forum. as to the tips-- i would do 2 cuts. kind of crazy imho to co around the point in one continuous cut. i think it would be more pleasing to the eye using 2. most of your cuts appear to be the same width. practice rolling the graver over a bit then back. this gives a more graceful look to the design. check the shading tutorial done by sam. he is the master of shading. good shading will make a design pop.
 

MKlahn

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welcome to the forum. as to the tips-- i would do 2 cuts. kind of crazy imho to co around the point in one continuous cut. i think it would be more pleasing to the eye using 2. most of your cuts appear to be the same width. practice rolling the graver over a bit then back. this gives a more graceful look to the design. check the shading tutorial done by sam. he is the master of shading. good shading will make a design pop.
Thanks! I’ll definitely do this pattern again and try to roll the graver as Sam says on his iGraver tips page: to the inside of the design. Also I looked at his roster engraving tips, and will use this piece to practice the shading and the do it again. Appreciate the feedback!
 

AllenClapp

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Monk has a good suggestion. The video that Sam Alfano did on shading is a great piece of instruction. It is well worth viewing twice to begin with and then again at intervals. Some of the tips may not sink in fully when you first start serious shading, but they will seem like bright lights at the end of the tunnel as you progress in your art. Monk's point about leaning the graver for part of the cut is spot on. Sam has great explanations of when and where to use a wide bevel. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT SAM
HAS A 20% DISCOUNT SALE ON THIS WEEKEND. You can get a DVD or a "download". The download is actually access to an online library; it does not go on your computer.
 

Pellegrino

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Hello Mklahn,
I assume that by now you will have shaded your sample plate (nicely cut I think by the way!).
But I engraved one of my first practice plates with a similar pattern and simply tried different things in each petal. The whole flower was relatively large; for comparison the matchstick.
And the circle around it is alternating pure copper and silver. On the third picture you can see a brass pendant also with a flower.
So I hope this is a little inspiration.

IMG_0785.JPG IMG_0787.JPG 20220830_181621.jpg
 

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