What is the Grand Masters Program?
Few opportunities in life provide true lasting inspiration and maximize creativity.
Grand Masters Alain Lovenberg and Alexandre Sidorov will share the industries’ most sought-after techniques with two chosen groups of artists. Those accepted into this program will expand their techniques while collaborating with two world-renowned Masters.
The program spans 10 workshop days, with a weekend of collaboration and relaxation for attendees and guests.
Dates: August 14 – 25, 2017
Applications are now closed. Thank you to all applicants.
Growing up near Liège, a city famous for its heritage of engraving and manufacturing rearms, Alain was naturally drawn to such a wonderful art. A specialized engraving school in the heart of Liège allowed him the opportunity to learn from master engraver Jean Dossin. Although he started his professional career with jewelry engraving, he soon turned to the prestigious and creative field of arms engraving. This expanded his career, giving him a thorough skill set. Through patience and perseverance, he has become a highly-respected and renowned engraver, upholding the fine Belgian heritage of hand engraving.
Alexandre’s extensive background in engraving and stone setting results from working in many high-quality environments since a young age. At the beginning of his artistic career, he worked for two years in the military’s bureau of high-precision microstamp engraving. After his time there, Sidorov learned the basics of goldsmithing at a jewelry artist’s studio. In 1994, he went to work in a private shop in Belgium. Four years later, he founded a school where he instructed three-month courses and five-day workshops. He now teaches his techniques at the Alexandre School in Belgium.
Explore meticulous ornamental designs and inspiring Belgian techniques with Alain Lovenberg. This famous style of sculpting and low relief engraving is highly sought after for luxury guns, knives, high-end jewelry, and die making.
Alain will demonstrate how to make tools, prepare metal, and execute these highly specialized methods. He will illustrate how he carves outlines with hammer and chisel, as well as with flat and round gravers, using power-assisted tools. Carvings will be completed with rifflers and specialized punches. Since many of these tools are not readily available for purchase, Lovenberg will demonstrate how to make and use them for this technique.
Alain will show step by step how to use the Belgian technique of relevour to prepare for gold inlay or overlay. Each attendee will receive individual attention and guidance to achieve the best possible result on the final project. Alain will also lead discussions on design theory and composition.
- Preparing the surface material
- Overview of tools used for techniques
- Demonstration of tool creation for use
- Carving and sculpting methods for low relief
- Illustrated use of various lines and cuts
- Applying techniques to final project
- Individual evaluation of progress
- Personalized technical advice
- Hammer and chisel techniques, as well as air-assist
- Discussion on ornamental design and composition
A floor plate, able to fit a Winchester Model 70, will be the final project. The unique design and execution techniques shown in this course will be used by each person to create sculpted, low relief scrollwork, with the option add gold accents. All gold required for the course is provided with course fees and will be applied to the final project, which is the property of the student.
August 14 – 25, 2017
This workshop is a valuable blend of setting techniques lead by Alexandre Sidorov. It includes his innovative single- and multiple-row pavé for round stones 1.1 to 2.0 mm. Alexandre will also reveal various single stone setting techniques for 3 to 5 mm stones. Because many of his techniques depend on special tools, Alexandre will share how to make them and where to get them. In addition, he has planned time for the attendees to choose part of the subject matter. He promises to share any of his techniques, as requested.
Attendees are not expected to be expert setters, but Alexandre requires everyone to use the GraverMach AT provided on their student bench. While Alexandre has many years of experience as a hand setter, the special techniques he will share are developed specifically for use with power-assisted tools.
Each person will have their own bench for all 10 class days, and all tools will be provided.
- Making custom gravers using micro motor and sharpening wheels
- Learning multiple stone setting techniques (pavé, castle, fishtail, channel, snow, imitation filet-pavé, and central stone setting of various shapes)
- Tips on measuring, calculating and drawing layouts
- Setting techniques that are faster, safer, and more appealing
- Secure pavé setting with two beads per stone
- Advanced pavé using more than two beads per stone
- Working on flat, concave, and convex surfaces
- Time-saving ways to use rotary burs
- Bright-cut work with fewer cuts
- Beading tool use, selection and maintenance
- How to price stone setting to clients
- When and how to use carbide burs and gravers
- Setting in tough materials including stainless steel watches
- Troubleshooting and problem solving using custom tools
Attendees will have the choice of 3 projects.
- Fishtail Ring: Single row of stone with deep and accurate cuts
- Central Stone Ring: Three types of setting in one ring, with and without prongs.
- Pavé Ring: Zigzag layout with two and four prong setting on one ring.
August 14 – 25, 2017
Why You Should Apply
Bringing together two Grand Masters and 24 serious artists will create an ideal environment for inspiration, collaboration, and betterment of the arts. This is a true investment in your craft; participation in the Grand Masters workshop will impact the level of skill and technique for each attendee. You DO NOT need to be of master level to apply, just have proficient skills and a strong desire to learn from the best. All submissions are confidential.
The Approval Process
After the closing for receipt of applications, all candidates’ photos will be reviewed to remove any names or other identifying marks. Each application portfolio will then be assigned a number known only to GRS management.
Photos will be sent to Alain and Alexandre, who will select twelve attendees based entirely on the work shown in the photos. Three alternates will also be selected to cover possible cancellations. Applications are kept confidential to ensure selections are unbiased.
How to Apply
If you are an experienced engraver or jeweler and are interested in this exciting event, submit a completed application. Application form will be available online January 1, 2017, or you may request to receive one by calling GRS. Applications will be accepted January 1, 2017, through March 31, 2017. Please apply promptly — applications will not be accepted after the deadline.