Friday, October 15, 2010

Patience, Grasshopper.

Well, one of the perks of the medical environment are single use, disposable scalpels. I borrowed one to see if it would work; this one came loaded with an #11 blade--a long pointed blade slightly beveled on both edges. The point is very tiny and very flexible and with a pair of 3X drugstore reading glasses and a LOT of patience to flip or clear the little bits around the letters I managed to finish all the letters last night. Fruit of a late night espresso.

Proofed today. All the letters are legible. Now to whip out the color blocks.


  1. That scalpel looks like a very nice tool indeed! Hmmm borrowed so you'l be bringing it back?

  2. Oh, delightful... I just purchased some of those on eBay but found my Xacto holder not quite suitable because the scalpel blade sticks out too far and is quite bendable. I'll have to find one like yours where I can pull the blade in to make it shorter.

  3. This is very thin tool--and very sharp so very little pressure is used and my cuts were almost scratches with the tip.
    It is very flexible--too flexible--but that can be controlled a bit by bevelling the cuts and cutting very shallowly. For the little e's and s's
    I would work the outside curve first in tangential, curving slices angling outwards on the outside edge of the curve. This would give me an oval shape from which I could now place the very tip inside and pull outside to cut the inside curves of the s or e. The tiny holes were almost impossible to really see or control but using just the tip and "thinking" about what I wanted to do and almost no movement I managed to cut out the little half-cookie shapes of the e and a's.
    I'm not really sure how but the only loss was a bit of the larger, lower-case "e" visible below the small type--and this was lost in clearing.
    The tiny letters are cut pretty shallowly and the hardest part was clearing. I was using the same blade to back cut and a tiny needle to try and pop out the small pieces but that is what took all the work.
    I did break off the very tip of the blade at some point but I had another replacement blade to finish up.
    Mostly it was the thinness of the blade that seemed to help me work this small.
    PS. It seems small but the letters are still pretty good sized-1/4" in height for the capitals--and the overall effect is definitely
    more "Bread and Puppet" theater and less "Caligraphic Poetry".

  4. Excellent job, and sounds a lot like working with an X-Acto blade for carving text: not very deep cuts and the blade almost too flexible. Never tried a scalpel!