Smallest engraver not Short of admirers

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The world’s smallest engraver Graham Short is coming to Kelso later this month for an exclusive show at the Art House Gallery.

Earning the tag for his miniature masterpieces, Graham has spent almost 50 years honing his craft, going to physical and mental extremes to produce among the highest-quality engravings in the world.

He appears in Kelso on Sunday, June 30 at 1pm, and Art House Gallery owner Tony Huggins-Haig is delighted with his appearance.

He said: “This is an exclusive exhibition. No other commercial art gallery in Scotland has the rights to exhibit his work.”

Graham was born in Birmingham in 1946, into a family with serious engraving pedigree: an ancestor was Sir Francis Short, the renowned Victorian hand engraver.

After serving a six-year apprenticeship at the country’s premier engraving company Efficiency Tool, under the tutelage of the master engraver Bill Evans, Graham set up as a one-man engraving business in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in 1974.

He soon developed a prestigious client list which has included the Royal Household, the Scottish Parliament, The National Gallery, Rolls Royce, gunmakers James Purdey & Sons, Chanel and Vivienne Westwood.

Graham’s desire to produce an engraving so small as to be illegible to the naked eye led to the making of his masterpiece The Lord’s Prayer.

Engraved on the head of a gold pin, the markings can only be seen properly through a powerful microscope.

After the national media heard about the piece, the demand for his work increased and his first fine art show was a sell-out.

For his next project, Graham produced Cutting Edge, where he engraved ‘Nothing is Impossible’ on the sharp edge of a razor blade.

It took him 150 attempts to get it right and it measured a 10th of a millimetre, making it the world’s smallest engraving. The engraved blade was priced at £47,500 and as a result of the project, Graham’s fame went from national to global.

Two years ago, Graham engraved the nib edge of the antique fountain pen belonging to actor, writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry, with proceeds of its sale going to support the work of English PEN.

He was later the subject of a Discovery Channel documentary, and has been interviewed by the BBC’s One Show and The Times.

Another scheme saw Graham carve the names of all 38 English World Cup scorers on the end of a football stud.

Away from engraving, the 66-year-old is a fitness fanatic, and at one stage was swimming 10km every day.

Anyone wishing more information on Graham Short’s visit to Kelso can phone the Art House Gallery on 01573 228666.