The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts

 

Hand engraving

 

The embellishment of metal, precious stones and semi-precious stones using traditional hand tools.

 

Status Currently viable
Craft category  Precious metals
Historic area of significance  London
Area currently practised  London
Origin in the UK  14th century
Minimum no. of craftspeople required
Current no. of trainees  14
Current no. of skilled craftspeople  150
Current total no. of craftspeople  164

 

History

This section is currently under construction. Please see the website of the Hand Engravers Association of Great Britain.

 

Techniques

This section is currently under construction. Please see the website of the Hand Engravers Association of Great Britain.

There are two types of hand engravers:

  • those who work engrave on other people’s items as a commercial engraver
  • those who engrave on one off objects as an artist/craftsperson

Both are alive and well but are both affected by an ageing workforce and a shortage of trainees.

 

Local forms

 

Sub-crafts

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • The number of people practising the craft is falling, but the demand is not, so those who are practising are doing well. However, an ageing workforce and finding people willing to train for the time required is the major issue in the craft and there are few trainees. And the craft is only taught by the Hand Engravers’ Association.

 

Support organisations

 

Craftspeople currently known

 

Other information

The Hand Engravers Association is running the Paperweight Project, which is designed to create a permanent record of contemporary hand engraving. Participants produce an engraving of their choosing on a 5cm silver square mounted on a cube. Over 50 works have been submitted so far and these are on display at the Clockmakers’ Museum (housed in the Science Museum).

 

References