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Hand Engraving Glossary - by Roger Bleile -  Sponsored by Steve Lindsay  -  Leave Feedback

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American Engravers
The 21st Century

C. Roger Bleile

INC.- Italian engravers use the suffix “Inc.” after their name when signing their engravings as an abbreviation for Incisore, meaning in English “Engraver.”
INCISIONE – Italian: Engraving.
INCISORE – Italian: Engraver
INCISORI – Italian: Engravers.
INCRUSTATION – French: Inlay.
INGLESINA – Italian: English scroll or fine scroll.

Pictured is Inglesina covering the frame of a box lock Ferlib shotgun, made in Italy.
INLAY – In arms decoration an inlay is usually done with precious metal, such as gold, silver, or platinum, though sometimes-soft iron is used to raise the height of the surface for high relief modeling. In all cases a softer metal is inlaid into a harder metal. For line inlay (such as for border lines) a channel is cut with a graver then the channel is undercut or punched in a dovetail manner. Wire is then placed in the channel then struck with a setting punch (usually brass) to seat the wire in the channel and cause it to flow into the dovetail undercut.

When figures are to be inlaid, the outline of the figure is engraved and the perimeter undercut then the center area is hatched with rows of undercuts that form “teeth.” Once the inlay area is prepared, the engraver either inlays wire in parallel strips or cuts out the figure from sheet stock and punches it into place. After setting, the inlay is trimmed then shaded or modeled.

Inlays fall into one of the following four general categories: 1. Raised figure – the inlay is slightly higher than the steel into which it is inlaid, and is usually modeled or sculpted. 2. Flush figure – the inlay is flush with the steel and is usually detailed like a bank note or line engraving. 3. Raised line inlay – the inlaying of precious metal wire to form border lines or spirals; the wire is left slightly higher than the surrounding steel. Raised lines are rarely used except on exhibition pieces, because they are more easily damaged or worn down. 4. Flush line inlay – The same as raised line inlay except that the lines are finished flush with the steel.

Pictured are various types of inlay.
INTAGLIO – 1. Incised engraving, as opposed to carving in relief. 2. Ornamentation with a figure or design sunk below the surface. 3. A gem, seal, piece of jewelry, or the like, cut with an incised or sunken design. 4. An incised or countersunk die. 5. A process in which a design, text, etc., is engraved into the surface of a plate so that when ink is applied and the excess is wiped off, ink remains in the grooves and is transferred to paper in printing, as in engraving or etching or an impression or printing from such a design, engraving, etc.
INSIDE WORK – In reference to scrollwork, the “inside work” is the leaves engraved inside the spirals of the scrolls.

Pictured is English scrollwork on the floorplate of a Roland Watson shotgun made in Birmingham, England. The arrows indicate the "inside work."

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