Etchings and Engravings: The History of a Relevant Art Form

In a world where inking and printing is the norm, custom engravings have become a luxury, that’s highly sought after. From engraved plaques and furniture to etched wine glasses and bottles, people pay a pretty penny for these specialty items that are not found everywhere.

Etched and engraved items are a nod to an old form of craftmanship. But in the field of plaques and awards, this craft is our bread and butter because we strive to bring you the best items on the market.

We use a variety of techniques to make your dream award come to life. These techniques tip their hat to the hammer and chisel gods because there’s a long history to this craft that shouldn’t be forgotten, which we’d like to share with you.

The Stone Age and the Prehistoric Era

We’ve all seen those cartoonish pictures of caveman hammering away at a boulder making an image, well, that’s about as accurate as you can get.

This form of engraving in called Petroglyph, which are images created on rocks by chiseling or picking away at them. Although different from crystal awards, petroglyph was used as a means of mapping, storytelling, and symbolic communication in primitive societies.

Most of the prehistoric petroglyphs have been found in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. These images were the first instances of communication and art, but this is still far from the elegant craftmanship that etching and custom engraving is known for today.

The Middle Ages

As the centuries rolled on by, civilization developed a taste for engraved metal art pieces. This art form became a staple, used on everything from household objects and jewelry to combat armor.

The methods and instruments used to give these art pieces life changed dramatically, making engravings more detailed and precise. One of these innovations in engraving tools is the Burin, which made engravings measurements and cuts easier.

Eventually, the popularity of custom engraving metal plates spread throughout Europe, and each country put their own spin on this craft. This is especially so in Italy. Here painters hung up their brushes and started engraving away, making famous pieces of art that are displayed in museums today. Some Italian artists even replicated famous paintings into metal engravings.

In the following centuries, engraving techniques continued to evolve, but dwindled, until they once again reemerged in the early 20th century as a specialty craft.

The Present

Here we are today. Though there are many new forms of art and communication, etching and engraving have been able to find a home in the present era.

Engravings have found their way to the field of plaques and awards. Not only do engravings cement the recipients and their achievements, but they add an elegant touch to the award piece. The methods and tools used to make this come about today are far more advanced and made to mass produce, which isn’t a bad thing.

With the use of a laser engraver or sandblaster, more eye-catching and precise etchings can be made. The materials on which engravings are made have now changed as well. Though wooden plaque awards are the most popular piece on the market, glass, crystal, resin, and acrylic can also be engraved using newer techniques and instruments.

The sandblasting technique gives the award’s engravings depth and detail, while the laser etching gives the awards flair with custom designs that can’t be replicated. With modern innovation, we can crank out many shipments of awards in a short amount of time.

Old art forms have been revamped in order to fit into our fast-paced world. The practice of custom engraving plaques and awards is something that spans the history man, believe it or not. Engravings today, mean something more than looking good or luxury; it’s a sign of excellence and pride, especially when etched onto an award.