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  #1  
Old 05-31-2006, 04:54 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
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Default John Barraclough practice plate

Hi everyone

When I first joined another forum a few months ago I was very lucky to befriend John Barraclough. He is also my “engraving mentor” and we talk to each other by e-mail regularly about all sorts of things, including engraving. His support and kind words have been invaluable to me and a real inspiration.

Anyway, about four months ago we were talking about gold wire inlay and a couple of weeks later a small box arrives in the mail from John. It contained all sorts of goodies. Amongst them were some gold inlay hand tools and silver and gold wire to practice with (they are pictured in the first photo) (not the airgraver) I was simply overwhelmed by his generosity and kindness. So I thought that it was only fitting that he should have my first gold wire inlay job as a present and it was also my way of thanking him for all his support and generosity.

John was a steeple chase jockey when he was a very young man living in England during the war years. The photos on this post are what I did the engravings from. They were taken not long after world war two when he was a sprightly 17 year old.

It was a fun project to do with plenty to learn and mistakes to make. All of which goes into the mix for the next project. The circle around the portrait is copper with the borders being 24K gold. The plate is 75mm square (3inches)

This is the true power of these forums. Not which tools you use or method of sharpening or techniques you employ in your engraving, but the power of friendship, kind words, tactful advise and unqualified encouragement.

As usual your comments are always welcome. That’s how I learn.

Best regards
Andrew Biggs

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  #2  
Old 05-31-2006, 05:54 PM
ghost ghost is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

what transfer method was used for this plate
jay
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2006, 06:01 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Hi Jay

First I blew the pictures up to full A4 size then I traced the main outlines of the pictures with a fine .25 rotoring pen. Scanned the outline tracings into CorelDraw and then vectorised them using CorelTrace. It was then a matter of scaling them down to the size I needed etc etc. All the shading was done by eye. The actual transfer was a transparancey using Tom Whites Transfer Magic solution.

Best regards
Andrew
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  #4  
Old 05-31-2006, 07:24 PM
Allan Allan is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Wow, just a great piece of work. I especially love the jump over a scroll hedge which I think is very inventive. The other thing that grabbed me was the shading on the face. Its really natural and smooth looking for such a large area. Its really great to see.

Not doing inlay work I was wondering if you could explain the use of the different tools in the photograph. From reading the post I take it that the red wire is silver, but why is it red? And what kind of airgraver is that? Don't think I've seen one of those before and since it doesn't have the usual airgraver engraving or a focus ring I guess its kind of old. How long have you had it.?

Oh, and what kind of printer did you use with the transfer magic solution?

Congratulations on such a fine piece of work.

Allan
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2006, 10:46 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Hi Allan

Thanks for your nice words. To answer a few of your questions.

1. The air graver is indeed a early SL Classic airgraver. I brought it a few months ago from a very talented man by the name of Andy Shinosky. It's an older model but still works perfectley.

2. The tools..........The left hand one is a handle with a very fine carbolt round stock in it. It's ground to shape sort of like a mini screwdriver and is used for under cutting the channel where the gold goes.

The second tool with the brass handle is what looks like a screwdriver at one end for setting the gold in the chanel and cutting ends off. The other end is to press it down initially.

The third tool next to the air graver is a handle with a brass rod in it. That's for holding over the wire and tapped with a hammer to set the gold in place. The brass rods are replacable.

What makes them really special are that they were hand made by John Barraclough whom I did the plate for.

There are different ways to acheive gold wire inlay work (and they all sound good) but this is the only method I have personally tried.

Best regards
Andrew Biggs
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2006, 11:24 PM
ghost ghost is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

what type of metal is the practice plate
jay
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2006, 11:32 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Hi Jay

It is mild steel. Quite soft to work on. Most of the shading in the horses and portrait were done useing the 60 degree graver by hand with no power.

Sorry I missed the other question. Which printer?............A cheap HP inkjet.

Cheers
Andrew
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2006, 06:14 AM
Peter Peter is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Beautiful work Andrew.

Peter
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2006, 08:00 AM
ghost ghost is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

where did you get the metal and did you prep the metal before engraving
thanks jay
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2006, 10:46 AM
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Steve Lindsay Steve Lindsay is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Andrew,

This is amazing. You're very talented with the layout art and cutting. How long ago did you start engraving? I thought it was when you received the ACG Air Graver from Andy only a little over a year ago. This work looks like you started years before that. When I was trying to get started Buster Warenski was encouraging me and I engraved him a plate. I have some pictures of it that I could post sometime but it is no way as good as what you have done with this.

John must be overjoyed with what you have done with your work.

Thank you for sharing Andrew!
Steve
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  #11  
Old 06-01-2006, 05:01 PM
Allan Allan is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

" When I was trying to get started Buster Warenski was encouraging me and I engraved him a plate. I have some pictures of it that I could post sometime but it is no way as good as what you have done with this. "



This I really want to see. It would be interesting to see some of your early work.

Its great to remember the people who inspire you. I have some tools that my first teacher gave me. I never use them since getting my classic but they are still irreplaceable.

Allan
one day I will figure out how to use the quote button
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  #12  
Old 06-01-2006, 10:21 PM
G. Dee Milligan G. Dee Milligan is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Andrew, I second everyones opinions. And I have a few ?s.
1. Do you use a microscope?
2. Is the background removed from around Johns portrait, horses ect.?
3. What degree V-graver did you use?

I have more ?s so be ready for another round if you got time and don't mind.
Thanks,
GDee
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  #13  
Old 06-02-2006, 11:50 PM
Tom White Tom White is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Andrew,

I must agree with all of the comments and knowing you have not been at this very long at all your work is amazing I am happy to hear you are using the solution and all is going well. I do have one more question how much time on average do you spend engraving? I ask this because your talents have increased so rapidly.

Tom White
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2006, 07:45 PM
John Barraclough John Barraclough is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Andrew.
Thank you very much for the wonderful plate and all the hours you must have dedicated to its creation. I will treasure it always.
Your gift came as a complete surprise and is a testament to your innate skill.
You have a very rare and exceptional talent that is a joy to see.
For someone in such an early development stage of their engraving career, it is even more remarkable. Keep up the great work.
To all.
In order to not forget anyone, I will not mention names.
Please accept my thanks for all your kind and generous comment and for your helpful suggestions, encouragement and questions to Andrew.
He has a very real and rare talent. Any help and encouraging direction will be appreciated.
Andrew will be visiting the USA in 2007. He has agreed to do a seminar at the FEGA show in Reno towards the end of January '07. It's based on using Corel and other programs to help develop designs and layouts for engraving. This should be a barn burner.
If you can't be there you might consider getting a tape or disc copy. It's got to help some of the tech. challenged folks like me!
Best regards to all and a big "thank you" to Andrew for this wonderful and unexpected gift.
John.
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  #15  
Old 06-05-2006, 02:37 AM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Hi Everyone

Thanks for all your really nice comments. They're much appreciated. Sorry it's taken a while to get back to you as I've been away for a few days. Now to answer some of your questions............

The only metal prep on the plate was with 400 grit wet and dry. A tedious task!! I just got a local metal guy to cut a few plates in different shapes.

I've been engraving for 11 months now. I started with a Foredom engraver and sharpener/honer. When Andy offered his old SL classic airgraver for sale I jumped at it. The Foredom was good to start with but I think it could be outgrown pretty quickly and fine work would be near impossible (that's only my personal opinion and I could be wrong there) I still use the Foredom sharpener/honer and it seems pretty good.

Yes I use a microscope. I have to, as my eyes are not as good as they used to be. I'm 48 and have to wear reading glasses. I tried optivisors etc but they didn't suit me personnaly. The background is removed with small flats and then stippled and I also like useing small textured punches for backgrounds. The gravers used were 120, 90 & 60 degree. 120 for the main scroll cuts. 90 for scroll shading. 60 for all picture work.

I try to get 3-4 hours in a night and some day time in on the weekends when I'm home. I'm really lucky as I have a wonderful wife that is really supportive and she sits with me in my "engraving room" doing her university work and studies. We just chat away while we're working.

Tom whites transfer magic is fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Steve..........I'd like to see that plate as well!!!!!

John B...........The pleasure was all mine mate.

Best regards
Andrew Biggs
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  #16  
Old 06-07-2006, 09:07 PM
StanEngland StanEngland is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Andrew,
What a beautiful engraving and composition of pictures for the forum. It was especially thrilling to see the subject. John is such a special mentor and has been a pleasure to know so it was a thrill to see this collection.

I remember hearing John's stories of his jockey days and this really is a touching tribute.

You've done a special thing for a special man.
Thank you.
Stan
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  #17  
Old 06-07-2006, 09:27 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

Hi Stan

Thank you very much for those kind words

Best regards
Andrew Biggs
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  #18  
Old 06-08-2006, 08:54 PM
John Barraclough John Barraclough is offline
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Default Re: John Barraclough practice plate

To Stan England.
It's good to see you joining us here.
You too have a great talent for someone who has not been at it very long.
I hope you will visit here often and post some pictures of your fine work.
There are a lot of good and helpful people with great skill on this forum and I know will make you welcome.
I notice a different address on your post. Did you move?
Best wishes, Stan.
John.
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