Micro-engraver to give talk about his life and work at local arts festival

A picture of the engraving of Jane Austen on a £5 note. Picture: Graham Short

A picture of the engraving of Jane Austen on a £5 note. Picture: Graham Short - Credit: Archant

Art can be grand, majestic, and large in scale, but sometimes smaller is better.

Graham Short. Picture: Graham Short

Graham Short. Picture: Graham Short - Credit: Archant

That's likely the argument of micro-artist Graham Short who will give a talk at the Southwold Arts Festival later this year.

His talk on Wednesday, June 27, will look at his work and his story as an micro-engraver including his work on five £5 notes, each worth £50,000.

Mr Short left school at the age of fifteen with no qualifications, working as a mouse catcher at a Birmingham printing works before enrolling in a 6 year apprenticeship where he learnt the art of hand engraving.

By the age of 27, he was renting a small room in the jewellery quarter in Birmingham and started his own business providing hand-engraved letterheads, providing stationery for Balmoral, Sandringham, and wedding invitations for the Royal household.

Graham Short specialises in tiny engravings, like the Lord Prayer on a pin head. Picture: Graham Sho

Graham Short specialises in tiny engravings, like the Lord Prayer on a pin head. Picture: Graham Short - Credit: Archant


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His work as an artist and micro-engraver is his real claim to fame, however.

Mr Short has engraved the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin, both in English and in Russian.

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He has also engraved a picture of the Last Supper on the edge of a razor blade, done with the help of a powerful microscrope.

In order to achieve perfection, Mr Short says that he works from midnight till 5am to minimise traffic noise and vibrations, and slowing his heartbeat right down, all helped by a robust swimming regime.

This is an engraving of the Queen on a pinhead. Picture: Graham Short

This is an engraving of the Queen on a pinhead. Picture: Graham Short - Credit: Archant

Most recently, his work has including engraving a tiny image on five £5 notes to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, each worth £50,000 to the lucky finder.

Although the whereabouts of four of the notes are now known, one is still in circulation, last known to be in Melton Mowbray

A spokesman for the festival said: 'Graham's talk in Southwold will have very wide appeal.

'It will be of interest not only to those who will be fascinated by Graham's rare artistic talent, but also to those who will be inspired by the life of a man who had a modest, non-academic start in life and has became an internationally renowned artist with his work displayed in art collections and museums across the world.' Graham Short's talk will take place at 3.00 p.m. on Wednesday 27th June.

Tickets are available now at the Box Office on 01502 722672 or online at www.southwoldartsfestival.co.uk.

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