The Relief Engraver Workshop – established in 1951 – was specialized in the manufacturing of tools for producing baroque frames. It was fascinating to see how the elaborate process starts with a delicate drawing and fine artistic modeling in plasticine clay and ends in extremly hard physical work of steel engraving and punching. The making of the round steel tool shown in picture 10 took 84 hours. The manufacturing starts with a 1:1 drawing of the frame design. The drawing is modeled in plasticine clay. The design is composed of a variety of ornaments: flowers, leafs, tendrils and more. For each ornament a steel stamp must be engraved by drilling, engraving, punching, filing and polishing. The finished stamps are then punched one by one into a steel block or roller. The crossing of each stamp to the other must be reworked, the background engraved and details refined so that the ornament looks like one mould. These steel tools are used to reproduce the design into gypsum paste. After that the gypsum ornament is cut out and decorated on the blank wooden frame. The finished frame is finally gilded.
Due to the fact that the workshop was closed and sold this year, we are more than happy that we could rescue some of the tools and historic documents for our workshop. We are looking forward making new design with these great old steel stamps. #oldisnew