We had the pleasure of having Graham Short, a micro-engraver from Birmingham, give us a very funny and interesting talk about his life as a ‘Micro-engraver’.
After leaving school at the age of 15 with no qualifications, he had a six-year apprenticeship at a stationery engraving company in Birmingham. He learned the art of copper-plate and steel die engraving for the stationery trade.
At the end of this he started his own one-man business in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter where he spent his career creating stationery for banks, royal palaces, and perfume companies. In 1970 he started to attempt the engraving of The Lord’s Prayer on the head of a pin. This developed into a 40-year project which was finished in 2010.
A self-deprecating, humorous man of great skill, he described the rigours he has to do to prepare himself for work, including taking medication to slow his heart beat. A record setting swimmer, Graham still swims regularly which helps him to control his breathing which, he is sure, helps him have steady hands whilst working.

He works from midnight to 5.00 am to avoid movement from the road to keep his work steady and regularly has botox injections to keep his eyes still.

Now a world-famous artist sought out by celebrities, dignitaries and royalty, including our own Royal Family as well as prestigious companies, Graham has ‘carved’ himself a niche in the art world to be proud of! He has been engraver to the Royal Family for 35 years.

Graham showed photographs of the many tiny examples of his work, only visible by microscope and brought and example with him which we could view through the powerful microscope he brought to the club.

Throughout the talk his Brummie sense of humour was very much in evidence and the talk was a very interesting description of a niche skill honed by a very gifted man.”

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