Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Art of Engraving a Sword


To properly engrave a sword, you need to use sharp steel tools. This art’s not limited to steel tools alone. Copper and silver tools can be used as well. Goldsmiths started developing the art of engraving swords about a thousand years ago. From then on, this art has been perfected from generation to generation. Animal and human figures are the most common engraved features on swords. However, valuable sentences are also incised, but in ancient languages. The art of engraving swords was invented to decorate them before they were handed over as gifts.

Originally, engraving was used to display images on paper. It was also used as a lucrative art for the experts. However, advanced technology and photography has replaced this display of pictures on paper. The art of engraving a sword is complex and requires time, creativity and patience. Other experts who practiced this art were gunsmiths and glass engravers. A nice engraved sword is one that has a certain pattern on the handle. In the ancient times, engraving a sword was believed to be a sign of adding integrity to the sword as well as its owner.

The engraving technique of swords can be performed differently. Some use reminiscent lines that are thin or thick to perform the brushwork. The inscriptions are carefully done on the metal or stone handles on the swords. Thereafter, these inscriptions are filled with fine Sulphur powder which’s later heated to its melting point. The metal’s then left to cool; then properly polished to design an ideally engraved sword. Other detailed engraving techniques implement the use of niello. The inscriptions are made using an assortment of fine gold and silver.

Every art of engraving differs from the rest. The main reason being, the experts have different creative thinking and diverse ideas on how to engrave swords. Traditionally, sword owners had specifications on how they wanted their swords engraved. The most common and efficient metal tool used to engrave swords is the burin. It’s used to cut the inscriptions and design on the swords. Nowadays, there has been the invention of machines that require less manpower and human finesse to engrave images and figures on swords. These burin tools come in different makes. However, a high quality burin is one that’s stable and has sharp clean edges. This tool guarantees exquisite results while engraving a sword.

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