Arabic Japanese
Chinese Korean
French Portuguese
German Russian
Italian Spanish

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

HOME  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

American Engravers
The 21st Century

C. Roger Bleile

KELTISH GRAVUR – German: Celtic engraving. See CELTIC ORNAMENT.
KERN - A cut of minimum width and depth in script lettering, executed with a finely pointed graver that connects letters. Also known as a “hairline.”
KNIFE GRAVER – A type of traditional graver having a very narrow profile as viewed from the face. So named because it resembles the blade of a knife. Primarily used for undercutting inlays. Knife gravers can be found in size from #0 to #7.

KNIFE ENGRAVING – Edged tools and weapons have been found to be some of the earliest metal artifacts to have been engraved. A dagger from the Minoan culture in the museum of Athens said to be 3,500 years old is decorated with gold and silver inlays and depicts men with spears and bows fighting a lion. As such, the engraving of knives is nothing new, however hand engraved knives as an art form in the Western world have only reappeared in the last 30 years after centuries of dormancy.

Today there is a significant world wide collecting fraternity who place a high value on hand wrought knives decorated with the most exquisite and artful expressions of the engraver’s art. A cadre of specialist knife engravers has stepped in to fill this demand. 30 years ago, most of the custom made knives were engraved by gun engravers but over time some of those gun engravers have transitioned to knives alone and newer talents have begun their engraving careers on knives. Many knife makers have also learned the art of engraving themselves and take pride in “sole authorship.”

The skills of a knife engraver are the same as those of a gun engraver without the annoyances of dealing with the convoluted surfaces of a gun or the necessity of having a federal firearms license to engrave professionally. Knife engraving is also less bound to the traditions of gun engraving.

Basically, engraved art knives fall into two categories: fixed blade and folders with folders being the more complex to make and generally the more expensive to buy. There also are a number of makers who occasionally make swords, battle-axes, and other less common edged weapons that also are the subjects of decorative engraving.

Shown here are three knives engraved by Carl Bleile, a Bowie, hunter, and small "gentleman's" knife. The next two are "high art" folders made, engraved and inlayed by Steve Lindsay.

HOME  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z