The headline was the mantra of my mentor, Raymond F. DaBoll, an old gentleman I met in Batesville, Arkansas, in 1971.  He saw my work in GRIT, a tabloid newspaper published in Pennsylvania.  He wrote to me complimenting my work.  Gail and I drove to Arkansas to spend most of a Saturday with him. Meeting that man changed my life.  One day soon I’ll share more about how he got me on my path of the simple act of hand-lettering, and the method I developed for teaching it with a variety of tools.
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Grand event at NORDSTROM, Dallas Galleria, where I engraved TORY BURCH wrist watches and fragrance bottles on the evening of October 8, 2015.IMG_0061

On this watch, I was able to reach the back without a pin being removed from the bracelet (band) so the watch could lie flat on my engraving pillow.


A new #1 round carbide was used for each name.  I dulled it first with several swipes and stipples across a black SmileStone™.  I did that so the cut on the soft metal watchbacks would not go too deep and uncontrolled.  It was a perfect match of bur sharpness and metal softness.  Always a challenge.

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A sweet young lady from the jewelry department where TORY BURCH watches were being sold, brought this with no fanfare, asking me how I would position these words on the back of this piece. It’s not a watch, but the back of a fancy holder of a Fitbit, a workout gizmo that measures all your body functions.  Well, most of them. I didn’t see the recipient of this little ditty but understand her husband…or boyfriend…felt his lover should be a bit lighter in the loins, thus the message on the back of this $200. piece.


This one was done prior to the event and used as a sample for reselling watches before the event.

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It was a fun evening at NORDSTROM in the Dallas Galleria!

The November Workshop where I teach these skills…and how to get these events…still has seats.  It begins the evening of November 11 for 3 hours, then all day the 12th, 13th, and 14th.  You learn the strokes, how to put them together to make letters, and those together to make words, and then how to string those together, at just the right size and spacing, to make sentences!

You and your skill become in great demand and you collect a nice payment at the end of the day.  Christmas is coming!

-Ken  •  214.250.6958

Photos taken with an iPhone 6S.


  1. Daniel Ropp October 9, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    Great pictures and insight on how you approached the engraving on the soft metal. Thanks for posting these Ken!

    🙂 Looks like the fit bit one has a sense of humour.

  2. KenBrown October 9, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    Thanks, Daniel. Gotta stay loose on these things. Never know what will hit the table in terms of material…AND the messages to be engraved.

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