The parents just now found someone to engrave the special Christmas gift to their son in 2016. Well it’s about time!
My first words to new customers…”Hi…thanks for coming! How did you learn about my work?” As is often the case, the answer was “We Googled ‘hand-engraving’ and your name came up immediately. We knew we did NOT want the thin, ‘mechanical-looking’ machine engraving. Any way we searched, by location, by skill, by most different listings, and customer comments, KEN BROWN came up.” That was nice to hear!
I showed them some samples of my metal engraving on several small items and the work exactly matched their vision of the way they wanted the watch to look.
I quoted $70. for their message. Told them I’d put it on a slant and make it fit the back. The slant removes any chance, even if perfectly horizontal, for the finished work to appear ‘crooked.’ When slanted this much, it’s obvious it was slanted purposely.
A 3 day turnaround was fine with them. I ‘shot from the hip’ on the project with no drafting or sampling of the lettering on tape or flat glass, as I usually do on larger pieces. I used clear tape to draw the first baseline. I knew Dustin would be a bit larger than the rest if I used an old #2 round carbide. I knew the metal would be soft on this inexpensive watch, so a new bur would be trouble.
The name was done with room to spare. I dropped down and drew the second baseline, then lettered Merry Christmas and all the remaining words with a used #1 round carbide.
The third line was drawn and All our Love was engraved.
The fourth line was eyeballed, drawn, and the Mom & Dad was lettered. The final line for the date was drawn and the 2016 centered below the line above.
Total time for layout and engraving was 12 minutes….1/5th an hour….for $70. This job ended up being at a rate of $350. per hour because the watch would have been far less than the gold H belt buckle in the previous post to replace if I botched it. And, actually, over a month’s worth of similar small jobs…knives, jewelry, urns, toasting flutes, plates, wine & spirits bottles, etc., etc., etc., the rate for the watch is about the average for most of my work. Of course, I NEVER quote jobs as an hourly rate. I leave that to the attorneys who have far less fun and make far more money!
The parents were thrilled with the watch and promised I’d see them often for future gifts.
– Ken 214.250.6958
Call me if you have an interest in learning this highly productive skill. You CAN learn. It’s all a method. A technique. If your handwriting is awful, it doesn’t matter. If you know a bit of Calligraphy, that’s wonderful but NOT essential to learn my method.
Still have 3 seats open for the July session. The last Workshop scheduled this year is mid-September. Christmas is coming and the Sooner you learn the quicker you earn!