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  #1  
Old 02-11-2010, 05:27 AM
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SikaStag SikaStag is offline
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Hi Guys

Its about time I introduced my self.

I am 47y old, married with no children. I live on a sheep farm way up in the hills in the Scottish Borders.
My main interests are shooting, shooting and then some, mainly deer stalking and fox control. I am so lucky as I can jump on the quad bike and drive to one end of the farm and sit and shoot Sika deer whenever the freezer requires more venison.

I still go stalking with my friend for red deer, to help them reach their cull figures, this is open hill stalking. We were there on Monday, between the two of us we shot 6 hinds, another 8 needed before the season ends on the 15th of this month. My passion for deer, I hope will one day show in my engraving,

I have always been an admirer of engraving for many years. I was a firearms dealer when I crossed paths with William P Sinclair 4 years ago, we became very good friends, our interests were so alike.

I knew Bill for almost a year before he actually let me sit and watch him scratch metal (his words not mine). He always threatened to make up a practise plate for me, unfortunately it was not to be. I so wished that it had and I was able to have him here to turn to when something needed explaining or shown how to be done. However my interest has never subsided.

I will be in the near future buying all of Bill's engraving equipment, his whole set up.
I will set up a corner of my gun room to engrave.
I hope to try to learn the basics of engraving from this site, not someone actually here with me steering me on the right path.
I will post pics of my practise work, for you guys to scrutinise.
I know I am expecting a lot from you in helping me progress, I feel this engraving community is all about giving help and opinions to those that need it.

Bill had bought a palm control from Steve, I think in August of last year. It surely is a work of art, such a tiny little machine. I am looking forward to using it. I have no excuses when it comes to equipment. The weak link in the chain is me and my ability to progress.
I will give 100% to try make it work, being that I will be working with my friends equipment makes me so happy, I only hope I can turn out some work in years to come that would have made him proud of me.

Roger, my apologies for not yet posting pics of Bills work. I have spoke to his wife who is ok with me photocopying some pictures from Bills portfolio. Please bare with me on this, it will happen.

Regards
Ian
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2010, 08:20 AM
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Haraga Haraga is offline
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Default Re: SikaStag

Please tell us more about the farm. Was there more trees on the land at one time?
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2010, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: SikaStag

Ian,

Thanks for the background information on your home, aspirations, and connection to Bill Sinclair.

For many Americans, deer stalking in Scotland is only a dream which will probably be unfulfilled. It sure seems like you are living the dream. That picture looks like my vision of heaven but I suppose it is pretty hard living there in the winter.

From what you wrote, it seems like your desire to become an engraver is deep and sincere. I think you know what you are getting into thanks to your aquaintance with Bill. I'm afraid that many who visit the engraving forums and ask questions only have a passing interest and think they will pick it up like learning to ride a bicycle. After a while you see their tools for sale or never hear from them again. Hand engraving is a life long endeavour which can be very rewarding but is yet a difficult path for all but a few who are specially gifted. I'm not gifted so I know what the average bloke is up against.

I will do what I can to help as you go and there are others here who have helped many. If you have researched this forum you will know that it all starts with the art. You can't engrave what you can't draw. You can work on some scroll designs with pencil and paper and post them here for input while you are waiting to get the tools. That Palm Control will provide you with the finest engraving tool ever conceived (in my opinoin) so your cutting should proceed at a smoother pace than learning hand pushing or H&C but don't expect it to perform miracles. You will have to get the feel of it and build muscle memory like with any manual skill.

Best wishes,

Roger
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: SikaStag

That is a beautiful place you showed in the picture Ian. Very majestic looking. Sort of reminds me of some places in "Lord of the Rings".

Looking forward to seeing some of Bill's work.

Peter
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:48 AM
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SikaStag SikaStag is offline
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Default Re: SikaStag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haraga View Post
Please tell us more about the farm. Was there more trees on the land at one time?
Hi
The Farm has most probably been open hill for a lot of years, the current owner has planted all the trees that can be seen in the picture. This is just one of four farms that he owns, the farm has been in his family for just over 123 years.

My wife & I are the only people living on this farm.

There is just under a mile of private road leading to the house. The farm sits 9.5 miles at the very end of a valley. nearest neighbour is roughly 2.5 miles away

There is approximately 800 breeding sheep on the farm, they lamb in late April as that is when the grass tends to grow this high up.

Directly behind me from where I took the above picture, there is a large forest plantation of several hundred acres, the farm does not own this but owns the high hill ground at the top of the plantation, the Sika deer come out of the woods to graze on the open hill, once they cross the fence onto the farm they are fair game, the trees from the plantation actually have there branches growing over the fence for about 500 yards, so the deer can appear in the bat of an eyelid.

It has been documented that the farm was presented to a Scottish Knight who accepted the challenge from an English knight (who seems to have been the Mike Tyson of his day), he challenged any Scottish knight to meet him in combat. The challenge was accepted and the Scottish knight was victorious.
The king at the time was so pleased that he granted the Barony of these lands, to the valiant knight.

Ian
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: SikaStag

Hi Roger

Yes it is going to be hard slog for me, I am up for the challenge.

I am not saying I wont be one of the others that takes it up and then takes it no further after a while, only time can answer this.

I am lucky that as a school boy my best subject through out every year was Art, I had one teacher ask me to draw her a horse, which I did, she hung it in her house, I was 11 at the time. Unfortunately I did not keep up my drawing, I now wish that I had done so.

I am also lucky that I have a wife that is an artist, she has drawn in pencil and paints in oil and water colours, she will give me all the support and encouragement, of that I am sure. I am not the best at reducing picture size, they are small KB so like the first picture of the farm a lot of the clarity is lost, the farm picture is over 5mb true size.

You mention starting drawing scrolls Roger, Do I choose some scroll work from this site and free hand it or is there a book that would be of help with scroll patterns to chose from.

I am a complete blank canvas when it comes to engraving. I think reading all the info on here will be better understood when I actually have an engraver to put the theory in to practise.

I have included some of my wife's paintings, The pictures do not do them justice, better viewed for real.


Ian
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2010, 03:13 PM
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Daniel Houwer Daniel Houwer is offline
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Default Re: SikaStag

Hi Ian,
Nice to have you here!
And what a beautiful country side you live in
I love Scottland

Great thing you will have a complete set of tools to start engraving with.
By seeing the astonishing drawing abilyties of your wife, maybe she should join in with engraving. What you can draw, you can engrave I am told
Hope you can get started soon. The Lindsay PC is a treat to engrave with and you'll be able to do some nice work within no time
Greetings from Holland,

Daniel
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: SikaStag

Ian,

Your wife is truly an acomplished wildlife artist

Here is a link to purchase Ron Smith's scroll drawing book. It isn't cheap but it is the bible for learning a wide variety of scroll design:
http://www.fega.com/prodserv/BooksSC.asp?recidparam=251

Everyone who owns this book recommends it. With this book and Lindsay tools I would have been years ahead of where I started.

You will be in a good position when you learn to engrave high quality scroll. Your wife can design the game scenes which you will reduce and transfer to the workpiece. As you cut the game scene your wife can coach you on shading and textures. You should make a good team.

Cheers,

Roger
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:05 AM
gravalance gravalance is offline
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Default Re: SikaStag

Good luck with your endeavour Ian! Looks like the perfect place to have great engraving-atmosphere! (You should have a guest-house, where people from the forum can rent in for holidays!
Indeed it looks like with a wife like that and tools like that you won't have problems long. Good starting!
Hanne
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2010, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: SikaStag

Thank you all for your kind words, Yes there is no disputing who the artist is in our family.
You may find it hard to believe, my wife has only ever painted about 20 paintings in her whole art career (hobby).
My wife has a curvature of her spine which makes sitting doing anything for extended periods very painful, she is a very brave woman. She tries to overcome her disability to lead a normal life.
I am sure the painting of the geese and the Labrador were only her 8th and 9th paintings that she had ever done. Due to her disability she probably takes longer to do a painting as the levels of discomfort are higher the longer she sits.
I had hoped that she would be able to do some engraving as well. Time will tell.

I will order the above mentioned book and and get my drawing skills hopefully back, whilst practising drawing scrolls.

Thank you again
Ian & Elizabeth
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