Metal engraving, also known as metal etching, is an art; a style in vogue these days as affordable gift items. The art of metal engraving is time consuming and it’s like drawing a tattoo in metal. Earlier, steel engraving was more popular but now engraving can be done on various other metal products.
These days, it is thought that metals
that are engraved with stylistic designs are more elegant. Methods like using chemicals to corrode certain parts of the metal or the more traditional way of using hammer and chisel are used for metal engraving. In fact, there are artists who only create artwork through metal engraving and that is displayed in popular galleries. These demand high price too. There are musicians who prefer metal engraving and there are normal consumer buyers who like metal artworks adorning their homes.
The History of Metal Engraving
Records of engravings on paper date back to the 15th
century when master engravers like Lucas van Leyden and Durer lived. Between 15th
century, wood engravings became popular and from the 19th
century, steel metal engravings became popular for a short while but it was soon succeeded by other modern methods like photo-mechanical process and metal etching. In the 19th
and early 20th
century, steel metal engraving was mostly used by commercial publishers.
Metal Engraving Methods – Old and New
In the olden times, Burin
was the only tool used for etching. The burin tool had a sharp point and a bar of hardened steel. The tool is then used to etch on the metal plate
to produce thin furrows and discard the irrelevant metal strips. Later, a scraper was used to clean the etching before ink application. Moreover, the metal engraving was always done in the reverse image so that when the ink finally dried off, the natural image can be seen. With steel metal engraving, it can be printed thousand of times without any wear and tear.
In the commercial publishing industry, the steel engraving is hardly used now because the etching has been overtaken by computerized stencil; however, steel engraving is steel used in printing currencies because it ensures currency authenticity.
is a modern tool used for metal engraving on metal products as it is easier to use and works with better precision. The Geometrical Lathe can be used for plate image engraving and then rolled on printing blocks.
is another such modern tool which has a master template that can easily create duplicate images, to be further engraved by the acid method or manually by hand. Many metal engravers use the Engraving Machine because an image can be easily reduced or enlarged without compromising on the design quality.
Metal engraving on metal products is an independent industry these days. Almost all kitchenette goods and decorative materials have some kind of metal engraving done on them. In comparison to the last decade, such engraved metal products are more affordable today, more so because they are not destroyed easily and the design does not fade away as it used to be with other kind of engravings.