Do you like to barter for things? I sure do (sometimes even in my own household). Last year I hand engraved a set of trammel points that my husband reeeeaaaaalllly wanted. Generally, I'd just hand them over, but instead, I found myself saying, "Find me a book press and you've got a deal." Shortly thereafter, this lovely old book press came into my possession and I decided to give it a little bit of a facelift.
The black, chipped paint showed years of use and the gold toned pinstriping was wearing off. Instead of sand blasting the pieces, or removing all of the old paint, I wanted to keep its aged look by adding a coat of black right over top of the chips and scrapes. Following disassembly of the unit, I scraped away any old paint chips that were significantly loose, cleaned it as well as I could and applied a fresh coat of black paint. There's nothing wrong with a full restoration that takes a piece to bare metal, but I wanted this piece to retain its aged look and unique character. There's a warmth to things that look used, their marks tell a story. I wanted to keep some of that in this piece.
After contemplating whether I should recreate the gold outlines that were on the press when I received it, I decided instead to have it be reflective of my own style. Using a high grade sign paint, I hand painted flourishes on the main components of the press, including the wheel.
In my field of hand engraving, a steady hand is of utmost importance. A slip of the hand can create an unwanted gouge that can sometimes be fixed and sometimes cannot. Calm and steady hands are necessary to execute a clean engraving. They are also a must in the art of pinstriping.
A solidly built tool now has a look that is unique and fresh. Instead of sitting unused on display on an antique store shelf, it is now a focal point in my shop being used for my block printing and hopefully one day a bit of book making.
My name is Jenny. I'm a hand engraver but I also am a creative who has a tough time sitting still. My mind is always swirling with new project ideas. In between engraving, I like to jump in and out of other activities like restoring a vintage camper, redecorating my home, woodworking and print making (just to name a few).