This 750 ml bottle of Louis XIII was done for a previous Ken Brown customer who wanted to honor her son-in-law on achieving the title of Master Sommelier.
The message was first engraved on flat glass to get the precise layout. That showed what words went on which line. When the layout was known, baselines were put on the bottle with rubbing a bead of Rub 'N Buff color along the edge of 3M tape precisely placed for each line.
A new #3 round carbide bur was used for the engraving which was filled with Antique Gold Rub 'N Buff. If I had bartered for the engraving....I would have gotten just a whiffle over 3 shots of the of this world-class cognac. Of course that imaginary barter would have taken place after the engraving was completed!
Depending on where purchased and the connection between the buyer and seller, the retail ranges between $3000. and $4000. for the bottle, packaged as shown at right.
The bottle has 32 shots of a 1.5 ounce pour....just a taste! At a cost of $4000. for the bottle, tax included, that makes it $125. a shot.
This regular Ken Brown 'Wine Groupie' came to a recent MARKET STREET event and purchased this 1.5 liter SEGURA bottle of sparkling wine for her landscape architect's 40th birthday. These are the most elegant bottles on the shelf and always make fabulous gifts when personalized. The retail price was around $50. for the bottle. Of course at these events, the engraving was compliments of the supplier and Market Street. See upcoming events where and when the engraving is free on any wine bottle purchased in the host store.
For a family wedding gift, I chose this crystal wine chiller from a local gift store. I turned it upside down on a smooth table for the baseline of the lettering. I positioned a Sharpie Ultra-Fine permanent marker in my hand, resting on the table top, and held the marker tightly in my fist in the precise position where I wanted the line to be. When my and and pen were 'locked' in place, I merely spun the piece up against the marker point and got a perfectly level line for the engraving.
This bottle of Spanish sparkling wine is beautiful and pretty good bubbly to tickle your tonsils. I've probably engraved more of this bottle than any other in all my years of what I do. The silver crest in the center of the bottle, and the metal band around the bottom make it a sophisticated and classy choice for special gifts. In addition to its handsome appearance, it's cheap. I've never seen it over $25. and often it is under $22.
These three wedding gifts for one customer were all done with a #6 round carbide; lettering filled with Silver Leaf Rub 'N Buff.
The Dallas office of a national accounting firm called recently wanting three bottles of Johnny Walker Blue for new retirees. They had been given my name by a recipient of a wine bottle gift. These bottles of premium Scotch whisky retail for pennies under $200. each. My contact knew exactly what message was needed on each; she asked for a mock-up to see positioning and appearance. Their original message had three additional words; it was too much information to go on the front of the bottle so my mock-up was done on the side.
In proofing the mock-up, they discovered a repeated word, so they eliminated the part of the message with the redundancy. That allowed me to redo the mock-up with all the information on the front of the bottle, much better for display on the bar or a shelf where these bottles will surely be kept as mementos long after the Scotch has been savored.
HOW IT WAS DONE
Because of the angle of the labels on the front of the bottle, it was necessary to align the base lines of the name, company, and years of service with the top label. I chose a brand new #3 round carbide bur and did the three lines on flat glass to get the exact line length of each. Using the flat glass lengths, I engraved each line. Centering is never perfect but this gets the job done pretty close. The same steps were used for the bottom three lines but I had to do it only once since they were all the same.
MEDIEVAL TIMES is a cool place in Dallas and other cities where you're seated in view of a huge arena where men are dressed, as the name of the places suggests, in the medieval costumes of knights on horses, also adorned with festive dress. They have ceremonial activities and they joust. It's a live performance diners enjoy as they have a great meal.
In their gift shop various beautiful swords are for sale as mementos of an evening of unique entertainment. Occasionally, the front office of the place will honor a group or special individual guest with an engraved sword. The pieces are gorgeous, and moreso when personalized.
HOW IT WAS DONE
The recipient was a software company celebrating a 15th anniversary at Medieval Times. As a gift to commemorate the milestone, MT gave them this sword. The assignment was to engrave their logo so I carefully, hand-engraved the style of letters from their company logo.
The rest was the typical script I use on most everything. I used clear tape in position for a baseline only, using a bead of Rub 'N Buff along the edge. Then, with a brand new #3 round carbide, I did the rest of the lettering. Obviously, this job had to be hand-engraved on the sword since it wouldn't fit in the jeweler's machine and Things Remembered called security when the secretary came in the door with the sword in her hand.
Around 2005, I attended a Donna Dewberry gathering of OneStroke™ painters she had trained over the years. It was held in Orlando, Florida, and attended by several hundred people. I was there to teach my Calligraphy method to her decorative art students, using flat brushes. A month before the opening of her convention, Donna and I disucssed creating a piece together, to be used as a silent auction item with the proceeds going to one of her favorite charities.
I visited my local Tuesday Morning store and found a beautiful porcelain plate for $14.95. It was plain, except for the gold ring around the outer edge and another at the edge of the depression in the place.
I engraved one of my original poems that was done for a booklet Gail and I produced called THOUGHTFUL MOMENTS. Since I had engraved the verse many times on inexpensive glass plates, I knew it would fit perfectly on the new porcelain plate. I used a #6 round carbide bur for the first letter of each verse...a B and an L. The other letters were done with a #4 round carbide. When I was finished, I rubbed a thick coating of Antique Gold™ Rub 'N Buff into the lettering, then buffed off the excess. The plate was shipped to Donna. She'll have to tell you about the specifics of her beautiful art in the center.
Much to my surprise, the finished plate was not in a silent auction, but included in a batch of items for which people could purchase a raffle ticket. I got a copy of the photo of Donna, the winner, and me, but I have no record of who the lucky lady was. Wish I did. For three bucks she got a real prize and for considerably more than that, I'd love to buy it back from her!
Ken helps Cheri from north Texas with her wine glass project in the Professional Engraving Workshop. Cheri returned for a refresher about 4 years after her initial class. Several interruptions caused her to be away from her engraving so the refresher helped get her back up to speed quickly. Cheri has a small business where engraving is a great tool for personalizing some of her items for gifts.
When asked to engrave a 3 liter bottle of Champagne, I decided to shoot a time-lapse video of the process. This is a 90 second view of what took about 80 minutes actual time to complete. As you see, there are many steps and motions, but each can be learned by my proven technique for engraving a simple script with a dental drill. It's all a METHOD! A technique. Muscle memory! You need NO artistic talent...I HAVE NONE!...and your handwriting doesn't matter. Simply put, it's just a shade above paint-by-number but the results are a thousand times better!
Several years ago a customer brought this vase and asked if I could engrave Hebrew. My answer was yes, if I had a large copy of each letter for reference. I used an INVERTED CONE bur for the Hebrew and a round carbide #2 and 3 for the rest of the numbers and letters.
Although this is not engraving, it's a favorite example of where the art and Calligraphy collaboration began with Gail and me. In 1972 we started publishing parchment prints of our work, for sale in arts and crafts shops all across the U.S. By 1983 we had sold large quantities of the prints....sepia ink of her drawings and my lettering. American Handicrafts, Leewards, Frank's Nursery, and countless distributors and dealers of arts and crafts materials were our customers.
In early 1983, we connected with HOME INTERIORS & GIFTS in Dallas, Texas. This piece above was done around 1994 and was one of the most successful ones in the line. The inspiration for it came from THE FOOTPRINTS OF GOD that we had done for HI in 1984. It was the top-seller of all time for our work and was in their catalog about 30 months. From that we created GOD'S HANDPRINT. As with the Footprints piece, I wrote the poem and Gail illustrated it with tiny brushes, countless hours, and a lot of love. It, too, became a well-received in their line and remains one of our favorites.