Weapons engraver talks "nerve-wracking" jobs

01st November 2011 - Fine Cut

A specialist weapons engraver has described how it can be "nerve-wracking" to work on more detailed designs.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Rolande Baptiste explained that he counts himself lucky to have a steady hand, since some of the precision engraving jobs he has done have been very elaborate and one slip of his hand means starting over again.

He said that he has worked with gold, silver and diamond in some designs, with some of the most complex designs taking months to carry out.

"I engrave guns and knives for wealthy customers who want their weapons to be as beautiful as they are deadly," remarked Mr Baptiste. "Most of my customers ask for pictures of the animals they hunt to be carved out on their weapons so I draw a lot of boars and geese."

His weapons work is extremely niche within the engraving industry, since a significant proportion of the sector is involved in creating mementos and memorials of events, so that their memory can live on in the hands of others.

An example of this came last month when BBC News reported the unveiling of an engraved Comedy Carpet in Blackpool, where the names and catchphrases of more than 1,000 comedians have been compiled.

Each of the 160,000 letters was individually cut, recognising comedic talents such as Frankie Howerd, Tommy Cooper and Les Dawson.

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