A north Dallas pharmacy honored its long-time pill-counter with a French crystal, BACCARAT, sailboat and asked me to personalize it. I’ve done lots of Baccarat items before. In fact, if you’ve attended my Ken Brown Professional Engraving Workshop you’ve seen a vase…’vahze’…from that esteemed manufacturer and heard the accompanying story. I’ll show it here sometime since I own it. During that 2003 engraving job, I made a fatal, impossible-to-fix error on the vase and it’s in my Studio as a constant reminder to ‘talk to my hand’ when my drill is making letters on expensive items.
The sailboat was an easy task. I decided where I wanted the last line to be and worked up from there. I used a #3 round carbide and it took about 20 minutes of mind-numbing concentration to do all four lines. They came for it and were thrilled with the job. I charged $275. for my work. On the grand scheme of things, that was probably not enough but it was over 10% of the cost if I had to replace it. That was the reason for the intense concentration when I did it, so I wouldn’t have to make a trip to the crystal store.
Oh yes…the retail price of the boat when I did it was two grand. The current price is $2270. That vase I ruined was a paltry $550. but the store gave me the ’employee discount’ since I did lots of work for customers they referred to me. I had to buy a replacement. To me, it was a not-so-paltry $348.!
Regardless of how careful we all are, mistakes WILL occur. The majority of mistakes I make are on wine bottles engraving at warp speed in the store events. Most average about $16. and when I screw one up, I must buy a replacement and engrave it again. That means I get to drink my mistakes.
Now…if you’re an engraver wannabe, don’t let this frighten you. It will be a while before you’re ready to tackle anything really expensive, so your mistakes should be easy to cover when you muff something.
If you want to learn from my mistakes… and my successes…come to our Worshop; schedule at ken brown.com . If you’ve been here and want to come back for a refresher to sharpen your skills, get back up to speed, and learn some new things, the invitation is out to you as well.
Ken • 214.250.6958 for questions or to enroll in any future session.