Art on Metal
By Pete Anderson

O.K., I admit it. As I approached my meeting with Joe DePasquale, who came to Maine from Massachusetts, I had my Maine native chip on my shoulder. I was wrong, very wrong. I sat down with a good guy, who loves hunting and guns. I met his ten- month old English Setter, Ria. She made me feel at ease as she sniffed the lingering smell of my ten- month old Golden, Benson, and then welcomed me by jumping up and furiously wagging her tail.

The reason I was going to see Joe was simple enough. I had a revolver that I wanted engraved and I wanted to talk face- to- face with the engraver, if possible. I searched the internet for gun engravers in Maine and found Joe in Prospect Harbor or Corea, depending on in which part of his house you are sitting. He straddles the line. Joe left Cape Cod to escape the crowding and anti-hunting attitude and his Maine location has neither of those.

Joe is an artist. “If you can’t draw, you can’t engrave,” was how he put it. His early plans were to go to an art school; but, that was not to be. He started making signs when he was 15. In his 30s he ordered an engraving kit from Brownell’s and after getting the tools properly sharpened, started engraving an old .22 his father had given him. “The hardest part was learning how to sharpen and use the tools.” Many old clunkers followed as he learned his trade. Now he receives guns of all types from all over the U.S. Joe proudly says that he has received no complaints about his work. He tries hard to please his customers.

When he says a project will be completed by a certain time, it is.

The Firearms Engravers Guild of America (FEGA) is a group of great people who willingly help each other, according to Joe. He belongs and has attended their annual conventions. At shows, they are usually co-located with Safari Club International and Joe gets work from many SCI members across the country.

I saw some of the work he had done on these guns, including gold and silver inlays. It was of very high quality. I have visited engravers in Germany who are considered to be at the top of their profession and Joe’s work stands up well to theirs.

Mainers have a reputation for getting their money’s worth. I am no exception so I asked about the cost of Joe’s work. He said that his price structure is “below the market.” From what I know about the cost of engraving in other parts of the country, that is true. Don’t let the possible cost scare you. Joe will do small jobs such as a monogram on a trigger guard or he will do a gun a little at a time as his customer can afford it. No, I did not ask for, expect, nor receive, any special break because of this article.

Perhaps the best evidence of how I came to respect Joe’s work, is the fact that I left my revolver with him. I expect to get it back on schedule. I have no fear that I will be disappointed.

If you want to talk to Joe, call him (207) 963-2525 or e mail him at engraver25@gmail.com. Want to see some of his work? Go to www.engravedsportingguns.com. A pleasant surprise awaits you.

Pete Anderson is a retired Army competitive shooter and an avid hunter. He can be reached at petera@roadrunner.com


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