Class Information

To get signed up for any of these classes contact RayCover .
His address is 121 Garden Lane, Arcadia, MO 63621.
His phone number is 314 808 2508.

Class hours

Unless otherwise stated, classes will run 9am to 5pm each day with a break for lunch. Students have options for lunch.  Some like to go out and eat at one of the local restaurants, others like to bring their lunch (there is a full size refrigerator and microwave in the classroom if you like to bring your lunch), yet others like to go back to their room or cabin for lunch.

There will usually be open studio time in the evenings after the 9-5 class day has ended. During this time the classroom will be open for students to get extra practice in. No instruction or help will be available during open studio time. It’s not required, and students don’t have to do it but it is offered.

Tools and equipment

All tools, supplies, and equipment needed for the class are provided unless otherwise stated in the class description.  There are some of the more specialized classes in which students will need to bring their own object to engrave or own tool of some kind.  If this is the case it will be made clear in the class description.  However, for most classes, the only things students need to bring with them are their own note taking materials. A camera is also a good idea. It is helpful to be able to supplement notes with photos. I do recommend note taking. A lot of information is covered in a class and notes are a valuable tool in remembering everything covered.

In the classroom I have equipment from all three of the major engraving tool companies.  I have GRS equipment, Lindsay Airgravers, and Pulse graver in the classroom for students to use or try out.

Class limits

At this time all classes are limited to eight students.  I am working to expand to ten students during 2023.  There is no longer a minimum of students.  Numbers are not a problem at this point so I removed the minimum student requirement for a class. If a class is on the schedule it is going to happen even if only one student shows up.

Classroom Tour

What to expect

Descriptions Of Classes

Five Day Basic Engraving Class

This is my entry level class designed for novice beginners. This class is also for experienced engravers who want a refresher course or a different point of view from an experienced full time bench engraver.

A copy of my Basic Scroll Manual comes with the class.

In this class I teach:

  • Graver making and sharpening
  • Transfer methods
  • Tool and bench set up
  • Good cutting habits
  • Intro to bright cutting
  • Lettering
  • Basic Scroll cutting
  • Background treatments
  • Line borders and decorative borders
  • Scroll shading

This is an intensive five day course. In this class I cover everything needed for the student to get started cutting basic engraving. Students will cut four engraving plates in this class. A basic skills plate consisting of lines, circles, and spirals; a bright cutting skills plate; a script lettering plate; and a scroll/borders project plate.

This is the engraving class I recommend for first time engravers as this class requires no previous skill set.

Cost: $1,000
$250 deposit required

Intermediate Level Engraving Class (five days)

Once the basic skills are practiced enough to have control of the tools, the student is encouraged to move forward and take an intermediate level class. To be successful in this class, a student must have enough tool control to do the following:

  1. They must be able to cut a line to the desired depth and width cleanly and evenly.
  2. They must be able to cleanly cut scrolls, leaves, and borders.
  3. They must have a basic understanding of scrolls and shading.

In this class I teach:

  • More advanced scroll designs such as intertwined vine scrolls.
  • Wire and sheet inlay
  • Introduction to Flare cutting
  • More advanced shading than used in the basic class

This is an intensive engraving class much like the basic class but at a higher level skill set.

Cost: $1,000

$250 deposit required

Three Day Ring Engraving Class

The ring engraving class is designed to teach students to use a “V” graver and background gravers to cut an engraving pattern around a ring/band.  We will also cover bright cutting engraving around a ring/band. This class would apply to such objects as the hardware on a fly rod reel seat as well as other types of jewelry.

In this class I teach:

  • How to set up and hold a ring for engraving
  • How to divide up the space around a ring into equal parts for a repeating design.
  • How to cut  borders on a ring
  • How to do background treatments on a ring
  • How to do bright cut designs on a ring
  • how to make the gravers/tools for the above processes

Cost: $600

$150 deposit required

Three Day Ring Sculpted Engraving Class

This class is geared toward doing sculpted engraving on a ring.

In this class I teach:

  • How to layout the design
  • How to cut borders on the ring
  • Sculpting techniques
  • Finishing techniques
  • Tool making for the sculpting processes

Cost: $600

$150 deposit required

Incorporating Stone Setting and Engraving in Jewelry Taught by Tira Mitchell

Want to spice up your jewelry design?  Learn engraving techniques to add excitement to your jewelry and stone setting projects.   Make specific gravers to play with reflected light on jewelry. Learn how to stack different engraving cuts to create stunning geometric and organic patterns to frame stones and add next level design to your projects.  Background removal and floral patterns will add dimension to really make your designs “pop”!  Topics will include graver geometry, graver choice, design, layout, holding of rings and other jewelry objects, and different background treatments.

Tira and I talked about this class at length and we have decided this will be an intermediate level class but we want to make it available to as wide a range of skill levels as we can.   For example; if a student is not ready to work in the round the class projects can be done on flat plates.  That being said, there are some skills/experience that a student needs in order to be successful in this class.

The student will need the following skills/abilities:

  • Needs to understand basic graver sharpening
  • Needs to be able to cut with a graver with control

Cost: $1,000

$250 deposit required

Inlaying Hard Metals (five day class)

This class teaches techniques for inlaying harder metals that just won’t work using the normal traditional inlay techniques.  This class will teach you to inlay materials such as 10K and 14K golds,  iron, brass, steel, titanium, ect.   This class is geared toward inlaying harder metals for sculpting than it is for flush inlays.  However, these techniques are perfectly suited to doing flush inlays.

Cost: $1,500

$300 deposit required

Watch Engraving Class (five day class)

Pretty much like the title says.  This class is going to teach you how to engrave a watch.  My concept for this class is to order a Watch Case, Crystal, Back and Watchband Buckle that the student can engrave in the class.  If the student wants they can order a movement, hands, and dial for the watch and have a watchmaker take their engraved parts from class and assemble a finished watch for them.

Please note:  The watch case, crystal, back, and band buckle are provided as part of the class materials.  The watch movement, dial, band and hands will need to be purchased separately.  I also recommend having a competent watchmaker assemble the watch if you decide to go that route.

In this class I teach:

  • How to disassemble the case, back, and crystal in order engrave the parts
  • How to lay out the engraving design for watch parts
  • How to hold the watch parts for engraving
  • How to engrave the watch
  • How to re-assemble the watch case, crystal, and back
  • What tools you need to disassemble and re-assemble the watch and how to use them

Please note: This is not a basic class. a potential student needs to already know how to sharpen gravers and  be able to use various gravers to cut with control.

Cost: $1,250

$300 deposit required

Rifle Prep for Engraving and Layout taught by Jesse Kaufman

Jesse Kaufman of Black Hills Engraving is coming to The Valley to teach this great course on what to do when you get a rifle for engraving.  While you wont be engraving per se in this class.  You will learn everything else you need to know to prep and layout an engraving design on your bolt action or falling block single shot rifle.  This is a basic level class.

In this class Jesse will teach:

  • How to locate and scribe a top line
  • How to remove the wood
  • How to remove the barrel
  • How to remove the bluing
  • How to blueprint the rifle to create an accurate outline of the engravable areas.
  • How to take that blueprint and put it either in a sketchbook or computer to create a scroll design
  • How to create a scroll design for the rifle

This is one of those classes where each student will need to bring their own rifle.  If you do not wish to drive or fly with your rifle you can ship it here to Fine Art Engraving.  Please contact me for a copy of my FFL if you decide to go that route.

Jesse and I talked about what guns would be acceptable to use for this class.  This class is obviously designed for students who do not already have these skills.  Because of that, an expensive high end custom rifle would not be appropriate.   A cheap rifle that isn’t worth engraving also would be a bad choice.  First and foremost, this needs to be either a blued or stainless rifle (preferably blued).   Rifles with specialty coatings like parkerizing, cerokote, etc. will not work for this class.

Jesse and I came up with the following list of rifles that would be good candidates for this class.   A rifle along the lines of those listed would work well for this class.

K98 Mauser, Rem 700, Winchester model 70, Ruger 77, Ruger #1, Browning A bolt, Browning T bolt.  Savage Axis, Savage 110 classic

Cost: $1,200

$300 deposit required

Three Day Bulino Workshop

The three day bulino workshop is a techniques based class. In this class I cover how to create various textures and effects within engraved imagery.

In this class I teach:

  • How to do fur and animal hair
  • How to do spotted or patterned animal fur/hair
  • How to do feathers
  • How to do various types of water
  • How to do human hair
  • How to do smooth textures such as skin or metalic surfaces

Cost: $600

$150 deposit required

Three Day Inlay Class

This engraving class covers various metal inlay techniques. Sheet inlay, wire inlay, twisted wire inlay, raised line inlay, multi-metal inlay are all covered in this workshop.

To be successful in this class a student must have enough tool control to do the following:

  1. They must be able to cut a line to the desired depth and width cleanly and evenly.
  2. They must be able to cleanly cut scrolls, leaves, and borders.
  3. They must have a basic understanding of scrolls and shading.

Cost: $600
$150 deposit required

Three Day Sculpted Engraving Workshop

This is basically a sculpted scroll workshop. In this class I will cover:

  • Making the gravers, punches, and scrapers needed
  • Background removal
  • Initial carving techniques
  • Punching and forming techniques
  • Finishing techniques

To be successful in this class a student must have enough tool control to do the following:

  1. They must be able to cut a line to the desired depth and width cleanly and evenly.
  2. They must be able to cleanly cut scrolls, leaves, and borders.
  3. They must have a basic understanding of scrolls

Cost: $600
$150 deposit required

Private Instruction

Ray provides private instruction as well as group classes. The advantages of private instruction are that the content can be customer tailored to the students needs. It can also be scheduled for a time that works for both the student and Ray. There are two prices for private instruction.

Cost: $600 per day or $2,500 for a five day block of time

Semi Private Instruction

Semi private instruction is structured the same way as private instruction but it is for two people. This works well for two family members, two co-workers, or two friends who are both interested in engraving.

Cost: $700 per day or $2,750 for a five day block of time