At Engravers Guild of London, we like to think that we can engrave almost anything – whatever artwork, design or pattern.
However, that is perhaps not entirely accurate.
If, for example, we were asked to engrave a message on the thin edge of a razor blade (as in, the sharp tip of a razor blade)… then we would probably say it could not be done. We may even say that it would be impossible.
But that wouldn’t be the whole truth.
For, Graham Short, an engraver from Birmingham, has done just that.
He is a specialist micro engraver, who we have actually written about before. He created a series of engravings on the new £5 notes with the Jane Austen design.
A handful of these were put in to general circulation and were sold for tens of thousands of pounds by people with good enough eyesight to spot the tiny impressions.
Before then, though, Mr Short honed his skills in making engravings that were smaller and smaller and smaller, with the prized inscription being on the edge of a Wilkinson’s Sword razor blade.
The letters were so small that they could not be read with the naked eye, and only with a medical microscope of 400 times magnification. The whole area is less than a tenth of a millimetre.
The message that was engraved was very apt: “Nothing Is Impossible“.
But that is not to say that “Everything Is Easy”. Certainly not. Personalising something that small takes incredible application, resolve and focus.
Graham Short took 150 attempts to complete the piece over the course of seven months.
The precision of the work meant that he could only operate between the hours of 12-5am when vibrations in the ground are at their lowest.
Before each session he has to meditate for 90 minutes to bring his body to total stillness, and then would listen to his heart through a stethoscope during so that he could make each engraving stroke between beats.
So unique is the ability that he has to engrave at this size, the standard razor blade is now valued at about £50,000.
If your budget does not stretch that far, but you still want a beautifully engraved item, then perhaps think instead of our personalised pocket watches and other gifts.