David Wade Harris
 
 
Master Engraver
 
 
320 cr 1405 jacksonville texas 75766
 

 

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....Engraved firearm, colt single action army, gun Engraving by dwharris........

www.dwharris.com

817-219-0484.
Watch my recent work
 
 
 

 

 

 

All work is still done by hand. Gun, knife and Firearms engraving with a hammer and chisel. David is one of the few engravers that still engraves the old fashion way

 
 
 
email:
dwh@dwharris.com
 
 

 

     
 

 

 

News Paper Article:

"A pool of light bathes David Wade Harris in his unique workshop. He's a solitary figure steeped in tradition as he uses handmade tools to make elaborate engravings on firearms. Using the same style tools that have been in use for over 300 years, Harris elevates an ordinary firearm into the sphere of fine art.

Harris' engravings include a gambling theme with dice and poker hands, and a Civil War theme with Gen. Lee and the Confederate flag on one side and Abraham Lincoln and the Union flag on the other. Originally, engraved firearms were popular with titled and wealthy gentlemen. Engravers employed by firearms manufacturers became so famous that guns engraved by them held more value.

Harris uses several books filled with photos of their work for research. Harris estimates that about half of his work is engraving duplications of factory engravings, but says it's up to the customer to determine what he or she wants on the gun. Harris uses pictures for ideas and draws his on artwork. " I don't pick up a hammer and chisel and start right in," Harris said. I draw everything first."

As the gun is held tightly in a vice, Harris rubs beeswax on the area he'll be engraving. Then he brushes talcum powder onto the beeswax. The powder sticks, making a slightly whitened area that he draws on. " When I'm satisfied with it, I use a chisel and hammer to work in the design."

Harris learned his craft in the early 1980's from, the late, renowned Fort Worth engraver Weldon Bledsoe. He had to prove he was seriously interested in keeping the legendary engraving style alive before Bledsoe would take him on as a student. Harris takes pride in the traditional method and tools he uses. He knows of only one or two other engravers who still make their own tools. " I try to keep the tradition alive that Weldon taught me," Harris said. " I still do it all by hand with a hammer and chisel.

There are a lot of easier ways of doing it, but easier isn't always better". Harris is well-known for his unique craft. Gun collectors from Alaska to Arizona and New York to California find their way to his rural home in far southeastern Hood County. " The more well-known I get, the more it increases the value of the gun," Harris said. "I sign D.W. Harris on each gun." Harris laughs and adds, "Actually, an artist becomes more famous and his work more valuable after he dies. I guess a lot of my customers are looking forward to that." "Hood County News"

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