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Tom Sterling

Tom Sterling material background image
Tom Sterling material image

Tom's path to engraving was a tortuous one, although to this day, he still think of himself more as a sculptor than engraver.  Strange as it may seem, his engraving career began by flying F-111A fighter bombers in the US Air Force (the “Switchblade Edsel” ). His military career required that he have skills in 4D, which helped set a foundation for his future engraving.
He began by carving contemporary netsuke (tiny highly detailed carvings) for the first nine years of his second career.  In 2002, the market for netsuke took a downturn, so he had to start casting about for new canvasses to engrave/sculpt.  Once he got initiated to metal and the precision tools employed to do the work -  one Lindsay Palm Control Airgraver later and his new infatuation was in full bloom.  Plus, the engraving world has lots of impressive toys to accumulate, stimulating another of his obsessions, to say nothing of his Air Force-influenced preoccupation with new and expensive technology.

Fortunately, he had already mastered the most difficult skills.  Artistic composition and modeling were still directly applicable to the completely new materials and new looks. He now work with a range of materials including titanium, gold and some of the Japanese ‘art metals’ of shibuichi (copper and silver alloys) and shakudo (copper and gold alloys) just to name a few.  And, of course, steel. He fell in love with steel immediately.  It is hard, and holds detail magnificently; colored, it can be silver, brown or black. William Henry is proud to be working with such skills and personality.

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