About Chris Welch

At the drawing board: unique art by Chris Welch

To begin with, I have been drawing for most of my life. As I get older, the urgency to draw and paint and create increases. There is a lot to learn, decisions to make, problems to solve.

I have been engraving on stone material since 2005. This began as I entered the family business. Through the years I engraved tens of thousands of bricks and pavers for organizations’ fundraising campaigns.

It all starts with a drawing.

The image below is the first drawing I engraved onto stone. I made this drawing as I sat beside Lake Charlotte in Long Prairie, Minnesota. It was one of those spontaneous and loose drawings that I often strive to produce. I liked it and thought it might work as an engraved image.

The process involves tracing the image to create a vector drawing. I trace the drawing on my tablet and adjust it to fit the new surface material, as well as a different scale, and then cut it up to create the individual engraving files. This image was engraved on 8 12″ x 12″ white marble tiles. I had to cut each line in the original drawing at the border of the tiles to make 8 separate files. Finally, they are engraved and pieced together at the end to make the finished image.

Sketchbook drawing of a lakeside scene.

The result: If you look closely, you can see the outlines of the tiles. You will also notice that I took a lot of creative license with this image, particularly adding the foreground vegetation to define the space better. The sky is much wilder than the sky in the drawing, and I learned that the engraving process does not allow for subtleties like a pencil on paper does.

All in all, I considered this to be a success and planned and carried out several larger scale images afterward.

Engraving: Lake Charlotte

Going Forward

Last year, my wife and I decided to make a business out of my engraved art. Welchworks Studio was born. We create hand made home accessories, wall art, outdoor art. My ultimate goal is to design and produce large scale installations of engraved pavers or tiles for public spaces. But whatever we create, it all starts with a drawing.

Bookends made with engraved and painted red bricks and wood.
Bookends made with engraved and painted red bricks and wood.
Trivet made out of engraved quarry tile.
Honey comb and bee engraved on quarry tile to make a unique trivet.

Georgia State University, BFA