Posted on 11/18/2013 3:47 PM by Grace Jeffers

In design, sometimes a word takes on a different meaning when we talk about a different material. In ornament, a guilloche is a continuous scroll pattern formed by two or more bands twisted within one another to form a plait. But in metalwork, a guilloché (pronounced gee-oh-SHAY) is a French word that means “engine turning” which describes both the process and the result of inscribing patterns onto a metal surface.


Guilloche "engine-turned pattern" border on a bond document from St. Petersburg, Russia, 1899.  Most currency, including the U.S. dollar, uses guilloche patterns as they are very hard to replicate. Image from leeuwerckspares.blogspot.com

Ornamental turning describes several different kinds of lathe work, combined with various tools and techniques, which create a decorated surface. Popular patterns created by this technique include elliptical, eccentric, rectilinear, swash, and "rose" patterns. Moz Designs has taken traditional engine turning and turned it on its ear!


Antique silver guilloché cigarette cases from Ebay.

Patterns like Pinstripe and Shimmer are traditional favorites but others such as Clouds and Waterslide are redefining the category!


Moz's machine-grained Shimmer finish, shown in a 4' x 8' sheet on the left, application and close up detail on the right.


Moz's hand-grained Clouds finish, shown in a 4' x 8' sheet on the left, application and close up detail on the right.  Each sheet of hand-grained guilloché finish is unique.