The Hand Engravers Association is dedicated to all practitioners of this craft on metal and precious and semi-precious stones. We believe there is a lack of awareness and appreciation for what they do. The aim of the Association is to reverse this and to reignite an interest and understanding of this rich and diverse skill. This is a four-fold task:
Raise the Profile of Hand Engraving
By informing the general public about this wonderful traditional craft, we hope to increase demand to ensure it survives. We do this through exhibitions, seminars, workshops, the general press, our own newsletter, and our website. We also rely on jewellery and silverware manufacturers and retailers to educate their customers about the craft. Not only is it a unique selling point, but it makes the purchase of an item much more personal and memorable. British hand engravers are some of the best in the world, and it is crucial that we preserve this part of our heritage.
Education and Training
With full time craft training courses disappearing from colleges and universities, and diminishing apprenticeship opportunities across the UK, we have a long way to go to ensure the survival of Britain’s heritage crafts. To combat this decline, we ask educational institutions to do more and better training for school leavers, we encourage established craftsmen to pass on their skill to young, aspiring engravers, and we are continually liaising with government, QUANGO and funding bodies to make sure that the craft receives the support it needs in the right areas. We will also be introducing our own apprenticeship scheme in partnership with the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, and we already run short engraving courses for all skill levels (see Education and Training for more information).
Stimulation and New Ideas
We also feel it is important to keep the craft vital by encouraging engravers with different specialisms and backgrounds to share their skills and experience. The Association provides a platform for this with meetings, workshops, and social events for practitioners (see News, Events, and Courses), and with our regular newsletter (register here if you would like to join our mailing list). Eventually, we would like to expand the website to include a trade forum where members can exchange ideas and information, and address queries to a wide and knowledgeable range of people.
Representation for Hand Engravers
The Association aims to establish best practice on our membership’s behalf for a constructive, fair and profitable relationship with the retail trade for the benefit of both parties. We will do our best to represent the interests of hand engravers to government departments and other public bodies, as well as with other craft groupings in the UK and abroad and seek exchanges of ideas, skills and knowledge.