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How do we go about it?

 When you contact me via phone or email, we will discuss the project. I will ask questions about your expectations (a few sample questions are listed below).

  • Do you have a particular scroll style in mind?
  • Animals? Which ones and how many? Do you want them in gold, multi-color, bulino, or sculpted?
  • Do you want gold? How much and where?
  • How much coverage?
  • Who is doing the finish work (bluing, colors, hardening. etc.)
  • Is the firearm metal ready for engraving, and is the firearm disassembled?

I have learned over the years that I do a much better job engraving than disassembly. About the only thing I can do with your incredible piece of wood is put a ding in it. In reality the only parts I really need are the ones that will be engraved.

This is the point where it gets fun. If desired I will make some lightly detailed concept drawings for the client to review, and, based upon those drawings, we can discuss any necessary modifications. Some clients supply reference materials, such as photos of their hunt or favorite companion, which help me develop just the right engraving. The concept drawings can help prevent misunderstandings while giving you the opportunity to have some say in the final outcome.

As the engraving progresses, I will keep you updated with “work in progress” photos. We can chat along the way to ensure that the final product is everything you anticipated.

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Factors affecting price

The cost is determined by time and materials. Gold, silver, platinum, and other precious metals along with precious and semi-precious stones are the main materials that affect cost.

With regard to time, some techniques and styles simply require more time to properly execute. Animals and game scenes require more time. The more involved the scene, the more time required. It is common in a fully developed scene for the landscape to require more than half the engraving time. Scenes with multiple animals can be very time consuming. Relief work and sculpting are significantly more labor intensive than flat work, and the results are often spectacular.

Not all projects need to be museum or exhibition grade. There are many times when “less is more.” To create a tasteful and appropriate piece is the goal. My philosophy is that the only difference between the $1,000 and the $10,000 project is the number of lines, not the quality of the line.

Payment and scheduling

Ten percent of the anticipated final cost will reserve a slot in my schedule and cover the cost of the concept drawings. It is common for me to be scheduled out 6-18 months in the future; however, I am sometimes able to schedule in a smaller project without the same waiting period.  

At the time we begin the engraving, another 40% is required. Upon completion of the project, the final 50% is due. After full payment is received, the engraving project will be shipped.

One of the great unanticipated side benefits to all of this has been the many new friends I’ve made over the years. When on the road I now have numerous places to drop in and visit friends and clients. They are one and the same. I look forward to helping you create your dream art engraving project.