The Importance of Hand Engraving and the Reason We Employ It

Our signet rings feature hand engravings executed in the classical 'seal engraved' fashion. This distinct form of hand engraving involves deeply etching the image and text in reverse. This ancient method ensures that when the ring is stamped onto soft wax to create the seal (the original function of a signet or seal ring), the resulting mark reveals the image accurately.

The practice of ornamenting objects through carving can be traced back to the neolithic era, as evidenced by shells and bones found with etched patterns. However, the engraved signet ring as we recognize today originated with the Ancient Romans and Egyptians. Examples of such rings are displayed in numerous museums, including the British Museum.

What is Hand Engraving?

Hand engraving, also known as seal engraving, represents the most ancient and classic approach to metal engraving. This intricate technique demands a master craftsman who employs various handheld implements, often constructed from hardened steel, to meticulously inscribe a design onto a surface. This process involves the strategic removal of metal sections to leave behind the desired text or pattern. There exists a wide array of these engraving tools, referred to as burins or gravers, each yielding unique styles and finishes. Although they differ in shape, thickness, and edge type, these tools share a common trait: the ability to create sharp, deliberate lines that appear well-thought-out and refined.

After finalizing the design for a ring, an engraver will typically outline it on the surface using a fine marker or pointed tool before proceeding to engrave along these lines. While some exceptionally skilled craftsmen can execute this task without pre-drawing the design, this practice is less frequently observed.

Hand Engraving

Why Do We Employ the Method of Hand Engraving?

Here at Katway, hand engraving isn't just a technique; it's a commitment to our core values, embracing exceptional craftsmanship, the pinnacle of handmade creations, and a profound appreciation for the expertise and time that goes into crafting something truly beautiful and long-lasting.

Hand engraving stands as a beacon of artistic liberty and creativity, offering the engraver a canvas that machines could never emulate. But with great power comes great responsibility. The technique, while rewarding, is fraught with risk—a single misstep with the cutting tool could spell disaster for an entire piece.

Yet, it's this very human element, the subtle imperfections and the individual flair that each engraver brings to their work, that makes hand engraving so special. These slight inconsistencies aren't mistakes; they're signatures, telling a story of a piece crafted not by a cold, unfeeling machine, but by human hands.

Furthermore, the depth of the carvings achieved with this method is unparalleled. It's not just about aesthetics—though the almost three-dimensional effect is indeed striking—it's about the sense of weight and quality it imparts to the metal. For items like rings, which undergo a lifetime of wear, this depth ensures the longevity of the engraving.

Becoming an adept engraver is no overnight feat. It requires years of meticulous practice, a laborious journey fueled by passion and love for the art. This inevitably makes hand engraving the pricier option. However, as the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for." At Katway, we never compromise on quality; we insist on offering nothing but the best to our customers.