This photo is showing you the edge of a razor blade at about 400x magnification. Yes, that’s how close you have to get in order to read the motto hand engraved onto the surface by a 64-year-old man named Graham Short.
The engraving in the photograph was preceded by about 150 failed attempts – engravings which were ruined by a shaky slip of the hand. This number of failed attempts may seem large, but you have to consider how insanely difficult it is to engrave something onto the edge of a razor blade. There’s preparation and training involved:
[Short]was only able to work at night, when traffic vibrations are at a minimum, with his right arm bound to the arm of his chair with a luggage strap to minimise unwanted movement. He uses a stethoscope to monitor his heart, attempting a stroke of the letter only between beats, when his body is perfectly still. He swims 10,000 metres a day and can slow his heart rate to 30 beats a minute.
He worked from midnight to 5:30 am most nights of the week, for seven months on his razor blade. On a good night he’d manage three minuscule letters.
Sounds intense, right? I wonder how many of us could have such discipline and patience. [Telegraph]