Tons of work.
This picture shows, albeit somewhat out of focus, the blade of the engraver I'm using. Ninety percent of my engraving is done with this one graver, a size 37. It's a lot like tooling leather, where one beveller does ninety percent of the job. I still have to strop and polish the end practically non-stop. Metal dulls an edge so much faster than leather.
We are actually making progress on this beast of a breastcollar!! I'm sticking the finished conchos onto a fresh piece of tape.
This next picture shows, possibly for the first time, the most important aspect of my tack shop. It's my tack notebook. I've kept them since I first started making tack back in 1979. There are about ten of them by now, all in this small format. Kept in longhand, they try to document, from my own point of view, HOW I DID IT: what steps were taken with what, how and when. They are peppered with small drawings, this page unusually so: I was working out the design for the central plate of the breastcollar.
This is how my engraving starts: with rocker-edging around the border and around the central star. And then I draw on the surface, with a blunt awl, where I want the lines, or tooling, to be.
This is a good place to remind everyone I will be traveling for the next 6 weeks. Email is available but not, I don't think, blogging. Wish me luck, and hope I get more work done on this set! See you at NAN...!