Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Engraving Weekend

Last weekend I went on an engraving course at the wonderful West Dean College. In case you've never heard of West Dean College before it's a pretty amazing place, it was set up by Edward James in his family mansion on the South Downs as a centre for the study of conservation, arts, crafts, writing, gardening and music. They put on lots of short courses, as well as some full time ones, every year including specialised jewellery and silversmithing ones.The house itself is so interesting to explore as Edward James was a surrealist art collector who was friends with Salvador Dali, the college has one of the famous lobster telephones and a Mae West Lips sofa in one of the hallways which they collaborated on together. There's art and extravagant taxidermy down every corridor.


The engraving course was taught by Wayne Parrott who is an excellent teacher and so knowledgable and helpful, if you're interested in learning about engraving I would highly recommend taking a course with him. Here's some examples that Wayne brought in to show us:

We were shown how to transfer designs onto metal, told all about the different tools and equipment you can use, including being shown how to make our own gravers and punches, and taught the basics of how to get started with engraving.

I learnt so much over the three days but it's a skill that takes a lot of practise. I'm going to carry on doing it now I'm home and hopefully be able to include it in my work in the future. Here's one of my finished pieces:

You can find out more about West Dean College and the courses available HERE

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