... Who has never carved his name on a tree trunk, a school desk or, worse, on an historical building ? This peculiar disposition, cultivated for thousands of years and refined by generations of craftsmen is perpetuated by the modern Engraver. The exacting art of engraving requires the mastery of both material and form together with a natural disposition for line drawing. It may take ten years to become fully proficient, needing the rare combination of determination, patience and industriousness to develop the gift. Very few acquire the ability to work at the highest level. Notwithstanding, these heirs of ancestral and time-honoured methods must also be able to evolve new tools and embrace new techniques. In Liège, gun-smithing has been practised since the 16th century and the little town has produced numerous engravers, masters like Varin, de Bry, Demarteau and Duvivier, whose talents have been appreciated far outside its borders. The Liège technique of gun engraving was exported to France ( St-Etienne ) and Italy ( Brescia ) by master engravers at the end of the 19 th century. The later establishment of the Liège Engraving and Gun Smithing School enabled pupils from all over the world to learn and adopt the Liège techniques of engraving. I was born in 1950, in a small Belgian Ardennes village of Durbuy, at the gates of Liege, and it seemed quite natural that I too, should become an engraver. I have practised my craft in the same village since 1972.
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