Micro carving/engraving has 3000 years of history, in the Shang Dynasty in China. The artisans had a strong foundation in calligraphy, excellent control of their hands, worked in total concentration, and possessed unparallel eyesight. The requirements are so demanding that there were only a handful of these experts. Majority of this art were commonly seen on oracle bones, stone, wood, ivory, human hair and requires a microscopic of 100 magnification in order to read them.
Some of the better known micro engravers today who practice this art include Feng Yaozhong (Zhejiang) who carves on sesame seeds with works listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, Li Qiufeng (Shandong Province) who carved the full text of Confucius teachings on porcelain, Shen Weizhong (Suzhou) who engraves poems on pieces of hair only several mm long, and Zhang Yunhu (Shanghai) who reproduced the 300 Tang Poems of over 10,000 characters on a 3cm square piece of ivory.
To the right is a sterling bracelet where I engraved Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee” poem. I would consider my inscriptions as mini engravings since you do not need a microscope to read the text. Yes, it required a lot of practice, breath-holding, and total concentration. This bracelet was purchased by a gentleman for his wife to celebrate a special birthday. I love happy endings. :)