Day 21 – Japanese Crane

06:58 PM

Let the engraving starts! Instead of spending too much time thinking of what to engrave, I decided to engrave the first thing that popped into my mind; a majestic Japanese red-crowned crane.

Went to Google image, and looked through some picture. Found the one which I liked and I sketch it out on a piece of paper. I decided to take this initial start as serious as possible so when it’s time to engrave, I can just focus on following the lines.

With the picture as reference, I drew my crane on a piece of A4 sized paper. Didn’t do much about the copper plate really. I know it’ll be better if I prepare the copper plate by sanding it down smooth and even, but the thought of physically sanding the copper plate with various grid of the sandpaper, puts me off. I will wait for my abrasive discs so I can sand the surface down with my jeweler’s flex shaft.

So I simply used a piece of alcohol swab and cleaned the surface of the copper and transferred the image over. Need to learn how to apply the nail polish as thin as possible. Found myself worrying that I didn’t have enough nail polish on a particular section of the plate that I apply another layer of nail polish on.

I also need a more efficient way to remove the stick tape from the tracing paper. The moment I peeled the tape off, it rolled up onto itself and got stuck. I had to fumble to unroll the sticky tape before the nail polish is too dry. Perhaps I should have the take peeled off first next time. Hmm…

I did the outline of the crane without my graver slipping. Had to keep reminding not to push the graver too hard; let the tool cut by itself with the pneumatic assistance. Once that is done, it was time for shading. I have read that shading makes or breaks the engraving, so needless to say it is an important step.

It is extremely hard for me to get consistent, fine lines. I am too heavy handed with my graver. Practice makes perfect. And I have a lot of time to do that. I would say I am about 70% done at the moment.

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I design fine jewellery for a living.