Engraved Baby Head

I received a request to engrave a Baby Head Cup as an engagement gift. This couple had purchased some cups previously and this particular piece was to be a symbolic addition to their collection. Now I have done a small amount of engraving in the past however nothing quite like this.

The first step was to gain access to an engraving machine and see what sort of cuts I could accomplish. Lucky for me the glass community is very tight and we tend to support each other when we’re not talking trash behind each others back. My good friend Connor Mclellan of Cold Cuts Glass operating out of Grey Barn Studios in Arlington Washington loaned me his table top Merker, which is a smooth and amazing machine. You turn this thing on and it’s silent and true, it hums with a menacing torque kind of like driving a Ferrari (I imagine). With this hot rod engraver and some solid tips from local artist Sarah Gilbert (chap stick is key) I set out to explore the wild world of engraving .

Learning the possibilities and shapes of each wheel was essential before starting my project. One false move and it’s a whole different design.

This was one of my test pieces, I call it Lil Wayne. Just like any craft the more time spent in the “paint” the better the results.

Once my design was completed I experimented with a variety of pigments and finishes as a way to enhance the engraving cuts, however I was unhappy with the look. Ultimately I let the the raw cut glass speak for itself. This piece was extremely difficult to photograph in the studio, yet exquisite to the touch when held in the hand.

A gratuitous SloMo is the best way to appreciate this piece. As the highlights trace around the piece the design reveals it self.