It was a great treat, last week, to be able to visit Ron Hughes, the quite astonishingly skilled hand engraver who makes so many of our dies. Here he was in his small workshop, engraving a beautiful new bookplate for a client of ours, out of a block of steel. All by hand!!
On his bench were his “cushion” for laying the block of steel upon, his “gravers” with their hardened points for cutting into the steel die, and his telescopic microscope through which he can enlarge the image he is engraving. What INCREDIBLE skill and deftness of hand. But then if you have been engraving bank notes for the Bank of England, there can be no mistakes!
The third picture shows the first “pull” of the die, made on a small Star Press. Already one can see the fine detail and the beauty that this bookplate will display – for always.