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Blog Post Featured Image

RASHID EL HADI - MASTER ENGRAVER

Rashid in Grange Road factory studio 1999

Rash_Drawing1Drawing for .470 Detachable Lock Rifle

Rashid first worked on a Westley Richards gun in 1994 when he started a commission we called “The Hummingbird Gun” a project originally destined for the Brown Brothers, but withdrawn due to a huge price hike in their work.

For Rash it was a substantial project following on from his work with Holland & Holland on the Swan Gun. Having married an Australian girl, Rash had moved to a beach house outside of Perth from where he worked. Progress was slow, actually very slow and I remember being told lots of stories on the progress but never, ever seeing any photographs! After a year or so I became concerned and asked if everything was OK. It wasn’t, he was on his own in an empty house with no money for food. At my request one of my clients who lived in Perth came to the rescue, picked him up and put him on a plane to London. Rash arrived a few days later with a small bag of engraving tools and the Hummingbird gun hardly started! This was the start of what was to become 16 years of working with Westley Richards.

I have always thought of Rashid as one of the most gifted engravers of our times. He has that rare combination of the superb eye, drawing skills and a huge talent for the engraving’s execution. His skill level encompasses all the various types of work we see today, fine bolino style scenes, 3 dimensional carving, precious metal inlays and all this combined with perfectly formed and shaded scrolls. Watching Rash execute fine scroll is something to be seen to be believed, the speed and detail that he can acheive.

I have always thought that Rash’s designs were unique, some good and some bad. He always had new ideas and it was exciting to discuss new projects. I think the bulk of the problems we faced together during these years, and we faced many  were the execution of the work when he really only wanted to move onto the next project. That or find a way of doing the work faster, which was never possible as his ideas were too complex. During his time here we probably completed 5 pairs of guns and some singles, perhaps 10. Each gun has fond memories for me in a way, the agony of getting the work completed.

During his time at Westley Richards Rash took on an apprentice, Vince Crowley, from the Birmingham Jewellery school and taught him the art of engraving guns. Vince used his time with Rash wisely and learned great skills from the master, he is now producing work of exceptional quality on our guns from his studio in the midlands.

I was always waiting for Rash to clear his head and do a proper large-scale masterpiece, I know he has it in him and all that was required was dedicating the time to the commission, the getting of which was easy, considering the talent.  Alas, we parted company in early 2012 and I hope that wherever and for whomever he is engraving now that the head is clear and the masterpiece is being done.

humming-bird-1A .410/28g Hand Detachable Lock 'The Hummingbird Gun'

detail-humming-bird

rf3223_12g_detach-2One of a set of 3 lightweight 12g Hand Detachable Lock Shotguns

Gold-BirdsA Pair of 20g Hand Detachable Lock Shotguns

Rash_Drawing3Drawing for a .500 NE Detachable Lock Rifle

wr500_DetachableLock_withZebras

wr_410_DetachableLock   A .410 with very fine scroll of Woodcocks

fffIMG_9321Rashid in his Pritchett Street Studio 2011 

15 Comments

  • Douglas Tate on August 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Rashid, where are you? We'd love to hear from you!

  • MAGs! on August 17, 2013 at 3:32 am

    Oh! What a story !! Somebody needs to make a film on Rachid's life intertwined with the history of Westley Richards ....would be extraordinary!! ....what talent!! ....where has he got to? .....retired to the simple life??? Sounds as if he could have done with a team of equally talented engravers working under him to get all the ideas in his head ' out there ' for all of us to see.!!!

  • Rashid El Hadi on August 24, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Thanks for all the kind comments it means alot. I must say its sounds a bit like an obituary!! Fortunately though I am still here and have a very clear mind. As for the masterpiece its in said mind! Ready to be realised in steel, precious metals and stones hmmmm. All the best to everyone.
    x Rash

    • Andy B on October 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Rash is a genius, but like most genius's, he has his demons. I pray he recovers in hospital and wish him a speedy recovery.

  • Mian on January 5, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Corporate USA or any other place has faults nurturing its talent—character has depleted beyond a threshold. Though the story will never tell us the full story or give cure, Rashid Hadi was put up in London, a good noble measure and my guess, his end with Westley Richards surfaces frustration and a more deeper concern, why he failed if we can say that.

    Thank you, Westley Richards, for telling us about Rashid’s talent and giving him an opportunity to share his magnificence with the world to praise.

    Why this comment? We all have responsibility to each other and Rashid has to us! Nice to hear from you that you are doing well—cheers!

  • Niall MacCormick on October 29, 2014 at 4:16 am

    I grew up with Rash and am trying to contact him. Can anyone help me get in touch? Thanks,

    • Simon Clode on October 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      I will let him have your email if I see him again, he stops by occasionally but has no mobile number.

      Simon

  • Pablo on January 20, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I speak with Rashid all the time, he is trying to find his way again after a bad accident

    I'll let him know you want to get in contact with him

    Send me your e-mail address and I will pass it on

  • mo on August 7, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Rash is with me right now he's in a bad way he's living in a hostle I pray that someone somewhere responds that can help him as I can't please someone contact me

    • Keith on August 27, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Mo,
      hopefully you got my reply
      feel free to email me.

    • mousab adham on November 5, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      hi mo i wanna have a contact with my uncle rashid iwant to help him
      he is my last uncle he is on of my family … iam mousab
      adham son of hashim adham and my mom is suhair hassan elhadi (R.i
      p ) huspand of sherliey the england mother of rashied . my
      mother is rashid’s sister …
      i dont know about him alot but i tried every
      thing to contact with him but iam worried about him i called queen
      hospital to know any informations about him but there is no answer …
      please tell him that i want to see him my mom and my ant too and all of
      his family in sudan … sons and doughters and grandsons of hassan
      elhadi … want to see him or just to know about him …
      please can you help me …
      all i want just to hear his sound or just to help him by any way
      please … please tell him that … we love him and thinking about him every
      single day … he is one of family … please help me … please contact with
      me in facebook or whatssap or call me or any thing …
      mousab adham
      khartoum . sudan
      +249 999 799 797
      mousabadham@gmail.com
      facebook . mosab adham
      whatsaap . +249 116 213 285
      realy he is my last uncle … mom is soo weried about him

  • M huda on November 7, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Hi i know mr rashid any one want to know about him email me.

    • Vince Crowley on September 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      I worked and finished my training with Rash and would dearly like to meet up with him again. The last time I saw him he was pretty well out of it. Such a shame for such a talented artist to go this way, I hope he overcomes his difficulties.
      Vince

  • Sue Williams on July 8, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I knew Rash in the 70's when he was working in a college in West London. I was his boss and he was always late for work! Even then he was a talented engraver and I cherish the print I have from possibly the first proper engraving he did.

    • Trigger on July 10, 2018 at 7:52 am

      Dear Sue

      Rash was without question one of the most talented gun engravers, producing some of the finest art to ever grace a gun. Whilst he is no longer engraving, our understanding is that he is still out there! Thank you for your kind words about him.

      Best regards

      Trigger

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