Expert engraver explains his pinpoint accuracyClive
Micro-engraver Graham Short, who has a unique talent for engraving on items such as the head of a pin, has described how amazed he was at becoming a global sensation.
Short became a household name in 2016 when he engraved a Jane Austen portrait and famous quotes from some of her books onto four of the new style £5 banknotes. Each note was then ‘spent’ in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, with the lucky finders discovering that each was worth an estimated £50,000.
Short has recently launched a new collection of micro-engravings at an art gallery in the Scottish Borders town of Kelso. The collection, called ‘Faith’, explores the multiculturalism and diversity that challenges society in the UK today. A number of the micro-engravings will also be available for sale to the public for the first time. Short says:
“I have loved the challenge of engraving on tiny items but what I’m trying to do now with this exhibition is share some of the magic I guess.”
Crystal glass engraving has long been considered a fine art, and Short is from a long line of English engravers, but his microscopic work has particularly caught the imagination of the public. The artist has also engraved on a razor blade’s edge, the eye of a sewing needle, several pinheads and a football stud, along with other microscopic items. He only engraves at night between midnight and early morning, around five o’clock, to avoid traffic vibrations, takes beta-blockers to steady his heart beat and has had Botox treatment to reduce his facial movements.