Friday, May 15, 2009

What's The Difference Between Hand and Regular Engraving?

For centuries hand engraving has been combined with etching to create beautiful designs for print.

Engraving is accomplished with a very sharp knife-like blade called a burin or graver, it cuts lines and or dots into metal forming letters or art. When ink is rubbed into the cuts and the surface wiped clean the ink stays within the cuts, a piece of paper is then placed on top and pressure (about 2 tons) applied forcing the paper into the inked places. When the paper is pulled away the ink is transferred onto it. Because of this extreme pressure the ink is raised so you can feel it.

In etching, acid is used to perform the "cut", the method for inking and printing is the same but it takes years and years of apprenticeship to master engraving while etching is easier to achieve. So, over the years, most commercial "engraving" has—and is—primarily etched.