Engraving as a printmaking process has been in existence for centuries. The earliest known engraving was in 1446 indicating that the technique has been in existence for over 560 years. Engraving is to carve a pattern in a printing plate. The printmaking process derived from Goldsmith engraving techniques during the Northern Renaissance where German printers engaged in the process (Caron, 47). Experts may argue that engraving is the finest and most distinct three-dimensional raised printing in the history of man. Engraving can convey unspoken, message of distinction and timelessness and has some warmth and elegance of its own. Therefore, engraving is the best printmaking process ever utilized by man.
Engraving involves the incision of design into a metal surface usually used is copper by making grooves by the use of steel tools. By the use of instruments such as burin that has diamond shaped or square end and other tools such as rockers, routlets, and burnishers, the engraver can create additional texture effects that cannot be achieved d by other printmaking processes (Caron, 48). Running one’s fingers over a piece of engraved stationery or other materials reveals the high-quality textures that are unique for engraving. It also shows the fine details, raised letters with slight indentations on the other side of the paper offering an individual an experience that truly has no substitute (Gamble, 76). It is this that makes engraving stand out from all the other printmaking processes utilized in the past and also in the present.
Engraving is also unique due to its historical richness that has seen it advance over the centuries. Engraving today pays its homage to the craftsmen of the past but just adding a modern twist of technology that further makes the print process efficient and effective. Engraving being an art that is as old as man, it has evolved and improved over the centuries with its elements preserved and put into practice even by today’s craftsmen (Gamble, 76). Traditionally, engraving was used for communication purposes especially during the Renaissance. The engravers further cut patterns into woodblocks that were used for making prints on clothes and also used by Egyptians to engrave on pottery and architecture. With the arrival of paper in Europe in the 1300’s engravers began production of devotional art (Gamble, 76). By the 1970s, the art of engraving began embracing the use of computers and acid baths. It is the technological advancement that further elevated the relevance and prominence of engraving.
Engraving is also utilized for a variety of reasons and purposes that make it ideal for most individuals. One significant advantage of the process is that it is simple but at the same time enhances the look and the feel of virtually any product that it is used on (Saunders). Engraving further boosts the tactile experience and the emotional experience of the client and also any individual that comes into contact with an engraved product. Engraving is, therefore, a classic way to ensure authenticity and security in businesses that take it up. It can make wedding cards, stationery, letterheads, business cards and even corporate stationery so as to connote prestige and distinction among competitors. Engraving products such as fine stationery and wedding invitations offers a refined, detailed and unmatched representation to the recipients of such items providing a memorable and personalized experience o such individuals (Saunders). It can also be sued to engrave sensitive documents, passports, postage stamps and even corporate checks that ensure security and minimizes the chances of counterfeiting of such items. Therefore, the advantages and uses of engraving are more than meets the eye making it even more unique and fantastic process in this era of print.
In conclusion, contrary to the common believe that other print processes have overtaken engraving, it has retained its shine and relevance to date. More individuals today prefer engraved jewelry such as pendants, wedding rings for couples engraved with their partner’s names and dates of the wedding and even adding names of winners of trophies and medals. Engraving is a print process that is very much preferable for personalized and unique items and remains the first choice method among the majority of individuals. Therefore, engraving remains the best printmaking process ever utilized by mankind.
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