Are you proud of your work?

Pen and Ink illustrator's tag

The spiffy graphic tag

When I was studying botanical illustration, my teacher asked me whether I was proud of my work.  Fearing a trick question, I hesitantly said “Yes”.   And the reply: “Then you should sign it.”  was unexpected.  I was not her star pupil. Traditionally in scientific illustration, simple line drawings call for the artist’s initials. If you were really cool, you’d have a spiffy graphic tag although we didn’t call them tags back then.  After a great many hours and wasted pages, feeling like a kid in grade school,  I finally came up with a mark that I could abide.

Alexa's Touchmark, closeup

The Touchmark

As a blacksmith, I have preferred the anonymity of the folk artist. Let the work speak for itself.  But in the world of fine craft, the artist needs to sign her work.  I’ve been shopping around and Lo! with the advent of computer technology, it’s possible to transfer that quick scrawl to hard, unyielding tool steel.

Thank you Columbia Marking Tools. Thank you Marion Sheehan.   A new era is begun.  From now on, the work will be signed.

Post script: Unfortunately there’s a learning curve.  First lesson: Flatten the top of the punch for stability.  Second lesson: It won’t strike clearly through the finish coatings.

I’ll practice and I promise I’ll get better.

1 comment to Are you proud of your work?

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