Engraving has a long history. In the past, people engraved to show their wealth, or to honor the gods or the kings. They engraved on stone to make statues and monuments, and they engraved faces in cameo on jewelry. They engraved precious stones to make seals and other ornaments. Animal horns and bones were used to make household objects, and because of the pliability, they could be engraved in lovely, artistic fashion. Firearms, too, were regularly engraved with beautiful scenes. Engraving was done throughout history for the same reason as it is done today - to make everyday objects more beautiful and personal. The difference today is now we use laser engraving instead of doing it by hand.
Hand engraving was certainly a skilled art. The early engravers had to have skills, imagination, a steady hand and a lot of patience. They worked their art on a small canvas, one that was not always of uniform size or thickness, or did not lie conveniently flat. The finished work had to be balanced on the item also, so that it looked nice. Now, the advantages of laser engraving are that it is far more versatile and quick to do.
Before laser engraving, people used a variety of techniques, beginning with hand engraving, or push engraving, to carve out the design and push away the unwanted material. A cutting tool or a chisel was the choice instrument. Cuts had to be smoothed over, burnished and polished after the engraving was completed. Other tools such as vice grips and engravers blocks also had to be employed. The engraver had to hold the block with one hand and push the tool with the other. However after the war era, engraving done in this method started to decline, largely because as the populations began to spread out of the small towns and into cities and suburbs, people became less interested in finding an engraver when there was not one readily available. Fewer people were choosing this as an apprenticeship trade.
Machine engraving became more popular and more readily available. One reason that hand engraving became rarer, was the change in the type of goods produced. Materials changed with mass production. Gold and silver was no longer the metal of choice, replaced with harder metals, alloys and steels. These were not so easy to hand engrave, although they could be machine, or laser engraved.
Laser engraving has made machine engraving even better. It is especially appropriate for jewelry. Lasers and computers can make the engravings so much more precise than other methods. The machinery needed is smaller and can be put into any kind of business. It can also be very specialized, allowing engravings to be put in places where it was once very difficult, such as the inside of a ring, or the back of a watch. Even a mixed curved-flat surface can be engraved quite easily. Jewelry can be designed and decorated using lasers, allowing for a very personal, custom-made piece that the wearer will treasure forever.
This article was written by Nestor Comboy on behalf of MagicHandsJewelry.com, personalized and custom jewelry is our main specialty. Each selection can be custom ordered by choosing the name, initials, lettering type, metal and stones. To know more about custom jewelry visit, wiseGEEK.com