Kelly McRae

I am a western bright cut engraver from Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada. I started engraving in 1996 with the guidance of my dad, Jim Hyde, who was just learning himself. There were very few engravers in Canada at that time and I was one of the first women engravers in Canada.

My parents were horse trainers and through our involvement in the horse industry I developed a great appreciation and love for silver and I was quite anxious to learn, however, in my early years as an engraver there was very limited learning avenues available. This was a deeply guarded discipline at the time and there was no internet. I blundered along for the first 9 or 10 years and then in 2005, with the encouragement of my family, I hesitantly applied for a scholarship that was being offered by the TCAA, I received it and thus began a new chapter in my engraving journey.

I went and worked with Scott Hardy on that scholarship and realized that there had been a lot of pieces missing from my engraving puzzle. It was so exciting and the desire to learn more drove me to partake in more educational opportunities that were starting to become available. I travelled to Oklahoma ,Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Texas and Arizona where I got to work with or take workshops from some of the best including Mark Drain, Dave Alderson and Shawn Didyoung. I started partaking in engraving events that were being presented including The Great Western Silver Exhibition , The Sheridan Silver Show, The Pendleton Cattle Barons and the Emerging Artist Competition put on my the TCAA, all of these events pushed my engraving and silversmithing limits which taught me more and introduced me to so many incredible engravers from Canada, the USA and Australia. I admire any and everyone who has ever picked up a graver and feel there is something to be learnt from them all.

About 10 years ago I had people start to approach me about teaching, I didn't feel qualified to do so as I was still learning so much myself, but did agree to work with a couple of people and found I enjoyed teaching. Over the past 5 years the requests have gotten greater and I recognized that there was a need in Canada for a place for people to go to learn some basic engraving skills. Remembering how hard it was for me to get help in the beginning,I decided it was time for me to give back. In the fall of 2020 I offered my first 3 day classes for up to 3 students to come and try their hand at western bright cut engraving and see what it is all about. Some folks come for a fun weekend and some continue to buy their equipment and then return for a follow up class. My goal is to give my students a good foundation so that they can go on and attend other workshops and be able to get as much as they can from them because they have good basics.

I like to use my social media platform as an educational tool for new engravers and to educate the general public about western bright cut.

Learn to engrave Western Bright Cut

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