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fitzo

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I've been lurking awhile, and thought I should introduce myself, since I posted fotos! :)

 

My name is Mike Fitzgerald. I'm a retired pharmaceutical research science and have been making knives since 1981 as a "serious hobby". I make fixed blade knives via the stock removal and forging methods, and make my own "damascus"/pattern welded steel.

 

Nowadays I am interested in making a few knives that incorprate carving and engraving. (Health has slowed me down a lot, so the hammering and such has to be infrequent.) I've been "practicing" engraving on and off for years and it is so bad I've never comitted to a knife. LOL Hopefully someday I will have that moment of artistic epiphany!

 

I have recently begun practicing the rudiments of carving in wood and some metal, and am eager to learn. I am very inspired by what I see on this forum; it's debut was something very timely in my growth. I thank you all for sharing your knowledge and talent. It is staggering.

 

Best regards to all. I'll attach a poor scan (apologies!) of a knife I made some time back. Twisted damascus, nickel silver, and oosic.

 

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It is nice to meet you Mike. Thanks for the picture of the knife.

 

You may never need to begin engraving until and unless you have the desire and the ideas to do so. The form of the blade and the handle is enough for the knife we see above. It is complete. The subtleties in the steel and the oosik would be lost with engraving. It takes fortitude and good judgement to not overwhelm quiet strengths.

 

Thanks for introducing yourself.

 

Janel

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Thank you for the nice compliment, Doug. That's one of my favorites and was always a "keeper"!

 

While oosic is not very light, that is the "business end" and very porous at the butt which was rich in blood vessels. Soaked with super-glue to fill in the webbing, it is nowhere near as dense in the back as by the ricasso. Thus, it turns out the balance is on the index finger. Lucked out on that one, I did!

 

Thanks, too, Janel. I agree, that one was finished as is. More than engraving, what I would like to learn is carving/sculpting. The work you folks show here is astounding to me. If I can ever do one piece as nice, I can die happy. There is a European knifemaker named Arpad Bojtos whose work simply enthralls me.

 

Thanks, again, for the kind words.

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Mike, a tip that might help you take a step.

 

When I was carving shallow relief with porcelain years ago, I would draw the outline of the design on tracing paper with a normal or medium softness, mechanical pencil. To alter or change the lines I used a white eraser, which is more gentle to the paper than the usual pink abrasive erasers. Cutting a point on the eraser would help focus the corrective action.

 

On the reverse side of the tracing paper, I shaded the areas that would be deeper in the carving with a softer mechanical pencil. I then used a smudging tool to soften the shaded area, which also would indicate the degree of depth from lighter to darker. Using the two sides of the paper would help preserve one side while an area on the other side is erased and reworked.

 

The celadon or blue glaze would pool on the porcelain and would make a gently darker color in the deeper areas of the carving. With relief carving in wood or other materials the tracing paper drawing technique would be the same, a useful tool for imagining and later directing the carving activity.

 

Oh, I would transfer the outline drawing to the damp porcelain, which took on a little of the pencil line. That outline would show up as a reverse of the outline drawing. Also, back the tracing paper with a piece of white drawing paper, so you are fully aware of your drawing progress.

 

This is the simplified version, FWIW.

 

Janel

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