There’s nothing like wailing out on your sax or hitting those highs on your trumpet when you have a gorgeous showpiece as well; something that’s individual to you and expresses who you are. Robert Majzik (a Hungarian craftsman now residing in Tokyo) has been engraving for over 35 years. He’s working on a (secret) new project that he says will absolutely rock the saxophone world. Stay tuned!
How did you learn to engrave?
I used to be a glass engraver. I started when I was 14 years old.
What was your first project/commission?
My own cheap alto saxophone (from an internet sale), just to try it. And it looked very bad!
What was your most unusual commission?
A Japanese Himeji Castle on a saxophone.
Can you engrave no matter what condition the instrument is in?
Yes, I can remove an old engraving and put a new one over that!
What are the tools you use and are they different for different instruments?
It’s all about the material…silver or brass are the same, but glass is more sensitive.
What does a sax player and a trumpet player need to know about engraving their instruments?
I love to make engravings on new instruments, because players are worried that the sound will change after it.
How long does the process take?
It’s all about the design. From 1 week to 1 month.
How does a musician take care of it to avoid scratching the design?
If there are too many scratches, re-engrave it.
What are the most common designs people ask for?
Simple names or logos.
What do you like about your job?
I love to see a musician play onstage with my designed saxophone and they love it.
What other artwork do you do?
Engraving but on different materials, like glass, leather or wood.
Would you recommend this line of work to other artists? How would they get started?
So many artists ask me about it. I tell them it’s a lot of practice, time and being happy with what you make, no matter how long it takes. Time and practice make a master.
Only one…for engravers: Be yourself and don’t copy anyone else. Be proud of your own talents.
Photos courtesy of the artist.
(c) 2021 Debbie Burke