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Presentation Tokens

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  • Gocauo
    Well...it appears I am in beyond my skill set at this point. His Highness has requested (if possible) Roman 1st Century BC (around the assassination of
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 1, 2012

      Well...it appears I am in beyond my skill set at this point.

      His Highness has requested (if possible) Roman 1st Century BC (around the assassination of Julius Cesar).

      All of them are engraved busts...well except two, one has an elephant http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/sear5/s1399.html#RSC_0049 (which is also engraved) and the other has a temple (http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/imp/julius_caesar/RSC_0044.2.jpg).

      I am rather certain I cannot pull off an engraved bust or elephant, the temple is just to *generic* and not personal enough in my mind.
      I was thinking of going back and proffering to perhaps have a major element of each of their devices on the obverse...

      thoughts?

       
       Gõcauo  
    • Kristin Johnsen
      Greetings to Lord Gocauo, from Master Raymond. Upon reading your letter I felt obligated to pipe up and offer you some morale support regarding the request
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 1, 2012
        Greetings to Lord Gocauo, from Master Raymond.
         Upon reading your letter I felt obligated to pipe up and offer you some morale support regarding the request made you about engraved coins.
         First off, I should note; engraving- I love it. Most of my coins for the past five years have been engraved, not too surprising as I was learning from the Late, Great, Master Ian, who took wayyyy too much time to teach me the art through e-mail correspondence. Now you are faced with a request that seems to challenge you well beyond your current abilities [as you see them], and the level of artistry involved seems pretty daunting to match.
        I am here to tell you that it's not that bad. [If His Highness wanted ancient Greek, then it might be bad...]
         For engraving busts, the majority of the gravers you would require are the "Round" type that the cutting edge looks like a half circle. These are used for excavating and eventually cutting the surfaces smooth to achieve the clean surfaces of the cheeks, or the dotted/wavy indentations for the hair. Lettering in Roman Republican and early Imperatorial issues were "Square" gravers [which cut on the corner of a square piece of steel] for the lines, and the letter terminals were made by using a small dot punch. The round gravers can actually be made out of a set of "Nail Setting punches", the kind that come in three sized packs, a grinder, and a sharpening stone. My three have ended up being the workhorses for most of my projects over the past few years, and they work like a dream. OTOH, if you already possess gravers, then you are a step closer.
         Republican/Imperatorial issues, along with the Byzantine stuff, are the most forgiving for a new Celator as you have a wide selection to choose from to match your potential skill set. If Caesar's issues seem daunting, take a look at contemporary British Celtic issues, many of which were attempts at copying the Roman coins used in trade. There are also issues from the provinces and territories that, while modeled after Roman issues, don't meet the "standard" level of artistry that the government issued stuff had. Expand your search a little and a whole world of options will present themselves.
         As far as engraving busts or animals/figures: For a bust, I first sketch out the image to as close to the original size as I can. Busts are usually broken down by layers of depth which, of course, reverse to height of relief on the coin. The Hair. The Face. The Neck. Are the three main zones that a bust is initially divided into. There is almost always a crown, wreath, etc. as a border between the hair and the face.
         I first scribe the outline onto the die that is coated in sharpee marker so I can get a good contrast for visibility. Once it is properly placed, I mark where the wreath/crown/whatever separates the cranium from the face, and where the ear is located- a reference point where all three zones meet.
         The face is divided up with the forehead curving around the ocular to create the cheek bone, where it then curves back around the mouth area to form the jaw and chin. The nose is usually a fairly straight line that juts into the face like an "L". Lips are usually just two small line cuts that taper slightly thinner as they enter the face.
         The eyes are the tricky spots. When the face is being excavated, the ocular area appears as an island surrounded the moat of the forehead/cheek with a little trench of the nose. The hard part is cutting the eyes on this small "table", though they are usually just two lines, done in a similar way  to the lips
         During the "excavation" process, the profile will resemble an "Open pit copper mine" with rough layers working their way down to their final depths. Once the image seems to be "right" in the proportions and heights when checked with your clay [I use a kneadable eraser ], then begins the process of smoothing out the ridges and blending the elements together. Remember, if you screw up and make on area too deep, you can always cut the rest of the areas to match- one of the reasons that high profile engraving is forgiving.
         Optics are a necessity for making sure that the surfaces are smooth and the details done right. I use a set of 3.25X reading glasses for general work with a three lens jeweler's loop clamped on for real fiddly stuff that can be ordered from Harbor Freight for about $5.00.
         Critters and objects are done pretty  much the same way. Look at the image, and break it down into the basic components and it will become pretty much obvious on how the Celator did the job, and you can re-create it. Tearing apart a coin with a critical eye is one of the most important skills to develop, as it allows you to discover whether a punch or engraving was used, multiple punches combined to create an image, hub punches, etc.
         The small figures on the reverses were pretty much "dressed stick figures" filled out by fine lines for drapery/robes.
         This was a generalized and brief explanation to try and take some of the intimidation and "mystery" out of engraving. The reality is that engraving isn't really that difficult, BUT it is time consuming so you have to have patience and plan ahead to have enough time to complete the project.
         As far as a first attempt at engraving, if you are tempted to try to meet his Highness's request for a Republican issue, look for something that seems simple enough for a first try and let your patron know that this will be your first attempt and what you are attempting for him. Believe me, getting an engraved bust, even if it's a poor copy by your standards will make him jump with joy. My first attempt at an engraved profile really looked horrid compared to the original it was modeled after- although I had later found period stuff that looked worse. Ian gave me about 5 pages of corrections to improve it, but the King who received them absolutely loved them, as did a few folks I met who received one from him.
         I apologize for the brevity of this letter, but I hope that it provided food for thought on the matter of engraving. If you do decide to take a crack at it, please feel free to send me any and all questions you might have and I'll do my best to help you out so you're not going alone into new territory. My contact is: lowengrab at gmail dot com.
         For everyone else reading, I understand that there might be differences of opinion and thoughts on the matters above- everyone has a different way of doing things, some of which might be better for Senior Gocauo to pursue. So, as always, I stand ready for questions, commentary, and criticism.
         Gocauo, and everyone, I wish you and yours health and happiness in this changing season.
        Raymond von dem Lowengrab OL. Kigdom of An Tir. 
         
          



        From: Gocauo <gocauo@...>
        To: "sca_moneyer@yahoogroups.com" <sca_moneyer@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sun, July 1, 2012 1:17:10 PM
        Subject: [sca_moneyer] Presentation Tokens

         


        Well...it appears I am in beyond my skill set at this point.

        His Highness has requested (if possible) Roman 1st Century BC (around the assassination of Julius Cesar).

        All of them are engraved busts...well except two, one has an elephant http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/sear5/s1399.html#RSC_0049 (which is also engraved) and the other has a temple (http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/imp/julius_caesar/RSC_0044.2.jpg).

        I am rather certain I cannot pull off an engraved bust or elephant, the temple is just to *generic* and not personal enough in my mind.
        I was thinking of going back and proffering to perhaps have a major element of each of their devices on the obverse...

        thoughts?

         
         Gõcauo  
      • arion12@q.com
        Do what you are comfortable with. That doesn t mean don t stretch yourself to try new things. It does mean don t stretch yourself too far from what you can do
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 1, 2012
          Do what you are comfortable with. That doesn't mean don't stretch yourself to try new things. It does mean don't stretch yourself too far from what you can do to what is the next logical step in you skill development.  

          If I recall you are fairly new at die carving. If this is you second or so, Roman relief busts are a stretch. If they would be happy with a temple, go with it. You can develop skills using round gravers with this project that will increase your comfort level to move on to elephants. Temples are a good thing to start with for higher relief.

          As you work on the project and find you are stuck on something, ask for help on this list or contact me privately.

          Arion the Wanderer


          From: "Gocauo" <gocauo@...>
          To: "sca moneyer" <sca_moneyer@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, July 1, 2012 1:17:05 PM
          Subject: [sca_moneyer] Presentation Tokens

           


          Well...it appears I am in beyond my skill set at this point.

          His Highness has requested (if possible) Roman 1st Century BC (around the assassination of Julius Cesar).

          All of them are engraved busts...well except two, one has an elephant http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/sear5/s1399.html#RSC_0049 (which is also engraved) and the other has a temple (http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/imp/julius_caesar/RSC_0044.2.jpg).

          I am rather certain I cannot pull off an engraved bust or elephant, the temple is just to *generic* and not personal enough in my mind.
          I was thinking of going back and proffering to perhaps have a major element of each of their devices on the obverse...

          thoughts?

           
           Gõcauo  

        • EaldredSCA@aol.com
          Master Raymond, thank you for the detailed explaination. That gives me confidence to start playing with engraving. Especially since our incoming King wants
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 2, 2012
            Master Raymond, thank you for the detailed explaination. That gives me confidence to start playing with engraving. Especially since our incoming King wants "something roman".
             
            Lord Gocauo don't be afraid to let His Highness know your limitations. That said, if I may offer a suggestion, the Temple with Caesar's name looks "relatively" easy.  Perhaps do that one so you have the die done and the pressure is off. Then play around with doing something more complex.
             
            I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
             
            Ealdred of Malmesbury
            Northshield Moneyers
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Kristin Johnsen <vallkyrie@...>
            To: sca_moneyer <sca_moneyer@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sun, Jul 1, 2012 7:51 pm
            Subject: Re: [sca_moneyer] Presentation Tokens

             
            Greetings to Lord Gocauo, from Master Raymond.
             Upon reading your letter I felt obligated to pipe up and offer you some morale support regarding the request made you about engraved coins.
             First off, I should note; engraving- I love it. Most of my coins for the past five years have been engraved, not too surprising as I was learning from the Late, Great, Master Ian, who took wayyyy too much time to teach me the art through e-mail correspondence. Now you are faced with a request that seems to challenge you well beyond your current abilities [as you see them], and the level of artistry involved seems pretty daunting to match.
            I am here to tell you that it's not that bad. [If His Highness wanted ancient Greek, then it might be bad...]
             For engraving busts, the majority of the gravers you would require are the "Round" type that the cutting edge looks like a half circle. These are used for excavating and eventually cutting the surfaces smooth to achieve the clean surfaces of the cheeks, or the dotted/wavy indentations for the hair. Lettering in Roman Republican and early Imperatorial issues were "Square" gravers [which cut on the corner of a square piece of steel] for the lines, and the letter terminals were made by using a small dot punch. The round gravers can actually be made out of a set of "Nail Setting punches", the kind that come in three sized packs, a grinder, and a sharpening stone. My three have ended up being the workhorses for most of my projects over the past few years, and they work like a dream. OTOH, if you already possess gravers, then you are a step closer.
             Republican/Imperatorial issues, along with the Byzantine stuff, are the most forgiving for a new Celator as you have a wide selection to choose from to match your potential skill set. If Caesar's issues seem daunting, take a look at contemporary British Celtic issues, many of which were attempts at copying the Roman coins used in trade. There are also issues from the provinces and territories that, while modeled after Roman issues, don't meet the "standard" level of artistry that the government issued stuff had. Expand your search a little and a whole world of options will present themselves.
             As far as engraving busts or animals/figures: For a bust, I first sketch out the image to as close to the original size as I can. Busts are usually broken down by layers of depth which, of course, reverse to height of relief on the coin. The Hair. The Face. The Neck. Are the three main zones that a bust is initially divided into. There is almost always a crown, wreath, etc. as a border between the hair and the face.
             I first scribe the outline onto the die that is coated in sharpee marker so I can get a good contrast for visibility. Once it is properly placed, I mark where the wreath/crown/whatever separates the cranium from the face, and where the ear is located- a reference point where all three zones meet.
             The face is divided up with the forehead curving around the ocular to create the cheek bone, where it then curves back around the mouth area to form the jaw and chin. The nose is usually a fairly straight line that juts into the face like an "L". Lips are usually just two small line cuts that taper slightly thinner as they enter the face.
             The eyes are the tricky spots. When the face is being excavated, the ocular area appears as an island surrounded the moat of the forehead/cheek with a little trench of the nose. The hard part is cutting the eyes on this small "table", though they are usually just two lines, done in a similar way  to the lips
             During the "excavation" process, the profile will resemble an "Open pit copper mine" with rough layers working their way down to their final depths. Once the image seems to be "right" in the proportions and heights when checked with your clay [I use a kneadable eraser ], then begins the process of smoothing out the ridges and blending the elements together. Remember, if you screw up and make on area too deep, you can always cut the rest of the areas to match- one of the reasons that high profile engraving is forgiving.
             Optics are a necessity for making sure that the surfaces are smooth and the details done right. I use a set of 3.25X reading glasses for general work with a three lens jeweler's loop clamped on for real fiddly stuff that can be ordered from Harbor Freight for about $5.00.
             Critters and objects are done pretty  much the same way. Look at the image, and break it down into the basic components and it will become pretty much obvious on how the Celator did the job, and you can re-create it. Tearing apart a coin with a critical eye is one of the most important skills to develop, as it allows you to discover whether a punch or engraving was used, multiple punches combined to create an image, hub punches, etc.
             The small figures on the reverses were pretty much "dressed stick figures" filled out by fine lines for drapery/robes.
             This was a generalized and brief explanation to try and take some of the intimidation and "mystery" out of engraving. The reality is that engraving isn't really that difficult, BUT it is time consuming so you have to have patience and plan ahead to have enough time to complete the project.
             As far as a first attempt at engraving, if you are tempted to try to meet his Highness's request for a Republican issue, look for something that seems simple enough for a first try and let your patron know that this will be your first attempt and what you are attempting for him. Believe me, getting an engraved bust, even if it's a poor copy by your standards will make him jump with joy. My first attempt at an engraved profile really looked horrid compared to the original it was modeled after- although I had later found period stuff that looked worse. Ian gave me about 5 pages of corrections to improve it, but the King who received them absolutely loved them, as did a few folks I met who received one from him.
             I apologize for the brevity of this letter, but I hope that it provided food for thought on the matter of engraving. If you do decide to take a crack at it, please feel free to send me any and all questions you might have and I'll do my best to help you out so you're not going alone into new territory. My contact is: lowengrab at gmail dot com.
             For everyone else reading, I understand that there might be differences of opinion and thoughts on the matters above- everyone has a different way of doing things, some of which might be better for Senior Gocauo to pursue. So, as always, I stand ready for questions, commentary, and criticism.
             Gocauo, and everyone, I wish you and yours health and happiness in this changing season.
            Raymond von dem Lowengrab OL. Kigdom of An Tir. 
             
              



            From: Gocauo <gocauo@...>
            To: "sca_moneyer@yahoogroups.com" <sca_moneyer@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sun, July 1, 2012 1:17:10 PM
            Subject: [sca_moneyer] Presentation Tokens

             

            Well...it appears I am in beyond my skill set at this point.

            His Highness has requested (if possible) Roman 1st Century BC (around the assassination of Julius Cesar).

            All of them are engraved busts...well except two, one has an elephant http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/sear5/s1399.html#RSC_0049 (which is also engraved) and the other has a temple (http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/imp/julius_caesar/RSC_0044.2.jpg).

            I am rather certain I cannot pull off an engraved bust or elephant, the temple is just to *generic* and not personal enough in my mind.
            I was thinking of going back and proffering to perhaps have a major element of each of their devices on the obverse...

            thoughts?

             
             Gõcauo  
          • klessig
            Raymond wrote: The round gravers can actually be made out of a set of Nail Setting punches , the kind that come in three sized packs, a grinder, and a
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 2, 2012
              Raymond wrote:
              "The round gravers can actually
              be made out of a set of "Nail Setting punches", the kind that come in three
              sized packs, a grinder, and a sharpening stone. "


              Be aware however that not all of these nail sets are of the same
              quality. The three to a pack, ones I picked up at one point at
              lowest, Might of as well have been made from play dough. They were
              darn near that soft, and could not be hardened. GOOD nail sets are
              indeed a gem.

              OTOH, REAL gravers are not all that expensive.

              Chandra
            • Gõcauo
              Thank you Master Raymond for that information! I am much more comfortable with watching and then trying to do something myself but your instructions were very
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 3, 2012
                Thank you Master Raymond for that information! I am much more comfortable with watching and then trying to do something myself but your instructions were very good. Like Ealdred, I am a little more confident in attempting the issue His Highness has requested.

                Thank you Ealdred and Arion for your words and offer of assitance.

                I have gravers (round and flat but I forget the size)...I have until the end of August to play around and if all else fails I have the temple as a fall back option.


                Gõcauo  
              • Kristin Johnsen
                To Lord Gocauo, Lord Ealdred, [and everyone else on the board...] greetings from Master Raymond. If you Gentlemen are interested.... I am currently doing a
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 4, 2012
                  To Lord Gocauo,  Lord Ealdred, [and everyone else on the board...] greetings from Master Raymond.
                   If you Gentlemen are interested.... I am currently doing a gift commission for my Lady's house in Gleann Abhann to give to their royals. It's style is Ancient Greek [my choice- I'm feeling masochistic....] with the obverse containing an attempt at doing a "double portraiture" where I will actually attempt to make a passable portrate of two living humans who will be receiving said coins. I can post photos and descripters of the process for observation and commentary if you Gentlemen [or anyone else] wants to see what I go through.
                  Let me know your thoughts.
                  All The Best !
                  Raymond von dem Lowengrab, OL. [Aquaterra, An Tir]


                  From: Gõcauo <gocauo@...>
                  To: sca_moneyer@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Tue, July 3, 2012 6:20:08 AM
                  Subject: [sca_moneyer] Re: Presentation Tokens

                   


                  Thank you Master Raymond for that information! I am much more comfortable with watching and then trying to do something myself but your instructions were very good. Like Ealdred, I am a little more confident in attempting the issue His Highness has requested.

                  Thank you Ealdred and Arion for your words and offer of assitance.

                  I have gravers (round and flat but I forget the size)...I have until the end of August to play around and if all else fails I have the temple as a fall back option.

                  Gõcauo  


                • EaldredSCA@aol.com
                  I would be interested in see it as you go along. That is an ambitious project and I wish you well. Ealdred ... From: Kristin Johnsen
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 4, 2012
                    I would be interested in see it as you go along.  That is an ambitious project and I wish you well.
                     
                    Ealdred
                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Kristin Johnsen <vallkyrie@...>
                    To: sca_moneyer <sca_moneyer@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Wed, Jul 4, 2012 2:48 am
                    Subject: Re: [sca_moneyer] Re: Presentation Tokens

                     
                    To Lord Gocauo,  Lord Ealdred, [and everyone else on the board...] greetings from Master Raymond.
                     If you Gentlemen are interested.... I am currently doing a gift commission for my Lady's house in Gleann Abhann to give to their royals. It's style is Ancient Greek [my choice- I'm feeling masochistic....] with the obverse containing an attempt at doing a "double portraiture" where I will actually attempt to make a passable portrate of two living humans who will be receiving said coins. I can post photos and descripters of the process for observation and commentary if you Gentlemen [or anyone else] wants to see what I go through.
                    Let me know your thoughts.
                    All The Best !
                    Raymond von dem Lowengrab, OL. [Aquaterra, An Tir]


                    From: Gõcauo <gocauo@...>
                    To: sca_moneyer@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Tue, July 3, 2012 6:20:08 AM
                    Subject: [sca_moneyer] Re: Presentation Tokens

                     

                    Thank you Master Raymond for that information! I am much more comfortable with watching and then trying to do something myself but your instructions were very good. Like Ealdred, I am a little more confident in attempting the issue His Highness has requested.

                    Thank you Ealdred and Arion for your words and offer of assitance.

                    I have gravers (round and flat but I forget the size)...I have until the end of August to play around and if all else fails I have the temple as a fall back option.

                    Gõcauo  


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