Friday, May 18, 2012
Starting the signet
I'm doing the inverted seeblatt/krin from my heraldry. It's perfect as it is such a simple shape. Intaglio are basically the opposites of cameos with the gem being engraved. They're perfect for signets used for sealing as they leave a raised symbol in the wax. Gems from ancient Rome were re-used very commonly for signet rings, and signets didn't always have the heraldry of their owner, but I figured I'd give it a try. I haven't quite got it carved deep enough to leave a good impression yet, but it is getting there. I've been using a combination of new and old techniques. I mixed up a slurry of emery (I scraped it off some sandpaper) and used files which is the old way. I've also attacked it a bit with my Dremel. I actually like how the files and grit work to be honest.
To see someone that actually knows what they are doing, check out this video posted by the Getty Museum on gem carving. The artist is doing a reproduction of a Roman gem with a scarab on one side and an intaglio of a man adjusting his sandal on the other. It's gorgeous.
I'm just hoping to not break this and get something sorta heart looking if you squint really hard.