ITEM: Porcelain plate purchased at Tuesday Morning for $14.95 Gold rings already on the plate, otherwise plain.
PURPOSE: Fund-raising raffle
MESSAGE: A poem I composed in 1995 for THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS religion section, KEN BROWN’S THOUGHTFUL MOMENTS.
FEE FOR THE WORK: N/A
TIME TO COMPLETE IT: 45 min. (engraving only)
HOW IT WAS DONE: First, I decided where I wanted the baseline of the lettering to be in relation to the outer gold ring. I wanted the words to be on the centerline of the area between the gold rings. I put a small dot with a marker, a tad off-center, to the right, between the two rings on one side of the plate. Directly opposite that mark, I placed another dot on the other side of the plate, the same distance from the outer ring. I measured the distance between the dots. I then divided that distance in half to determine the center-point of the circle. That gave the radius of the circle that would be the baseline of the letters.
Thanks to the U.S. Post Office, I got a stiff PRIORITY MAIL envelops, trimmed a sliver off each side, then flattened it out. With a circle-making compass, the ‘spread’ was set for the exact radius of the baseline’s circle. I then drew a circle on the inside of the flattened envelope. When done, I carefully cut the circle out of the envelope with scissors.
The round piece of envelope was placed on the plate and moved around until it was clearly, and perfectly, centered on the plate, its edge concentric with the outer gold circle. While pressing down firmly with my left hand to keep it in position, I used an ULTRA FINE SHARPIE marker to draw a thin line around the circle with my right hand.
I used a #4 round carbide bur to hand-engrave the capital B and L; a #3 round carbide engraved the rest. My high-speed hand piece was the NSK PRESTO, the best lab dental drill on the planet! The Calligraphy was filled with Antique Gold Rub ‘N Buff.
When I was finished, the plate was sent to DONNA DEWBERRY, a decorative artist and teacher you’ve probably seen on PBS, QVC, HSN, or other places where she has sold her teaching materials. Donna and I have taught together many times while we both wrote books and taught for PLAID ENTERPRISES from 1999 – 2009.
Donna painted the roses and leaves in the center, and signed her name below. The finished plate was put on display at one of her huge painting conventions in Orlando in 2005 as I recall. It was for a raffle that featured many other creations by other artists. The winning ticket, at a cost of three bucks, got a wonderful piece of artwork by two well-known artists. I’d pay a pretty penny to get it if I knew where it was and who got it!
This verse is one of the projects each student does in each of my Engraving Classes. We do it on a cobalt blue plate and fill the Calligraphy with Silver Leaf Rub ‘N Buff. The results, even with no pretty roses in the center, are always stunning and, often, the favorite piece the students do in the three day session.
Come learn how and discover a whole new world!
-Ken • 214.250.6958 • Class details.
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Thanks, Jim. Being the marketing guru you are, I appreciate the good words!