Awards & Engraving

January '19

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48 • A&E JANUARY 2019 ETCH MASTERS by Ruth Dobbins With over 40 years in the glass busi- ness, Ruth Dobbins offers experi- ence in all glass-etching techniques as well as in fused and cast glass. Ruth holds a Master's Degree in Art and has been a partner in an art glass wholesale supply and studio company in Europe, which also placed great emphasis on a training program, before joining forces with Norm. You can reach Ruth by email at, or by phone at 505-473-9203. GlassTec is the largest glass show in the world and happens every two years, alter- nating with the NGA show in the U.S. At GlassTec, attendees found nine halls full of glass-related products and machinery; each hall is equivalent to a common con- vention center we are familiar with in the U.S. There were 1,235 exhibitors present, and the show was attended by 43,000 visitors from 121 countries. The awards and recognition industry did not have a large presence there, even though I found a few examples. Amongst all the indus- trial representation there was also a large exhibit of glass art, created by students of the technical schools for the glass industry. It was exhilarating and exhausting to see the displays. Let me show you what most impressed me. AWARDS, ART, AND FUNCTIONALITY The awards products that I was able to take pictures of were mostly custom-made from thick low-iron glass that was cut and shaped by hand. Individual pieces of glass were laminated to create the awards, and sometimes colored glass was added. The pieces are self-explanatory as are the more usual examples of etching on glassware. The pieces with text were created with photo- resist, while the more artistic pieces were either engraved or used a combination of engraving and abrasive blasting. In the case of the wall piece with text on page 49, top ("The Dignity of Man is Untouchable" by F. Frisch), the text was blasted, and on one set was color-filled with black, while the other set was gold- leafed. The glass is attached to the wall with stand-offs. The more interesting pieces were of sculptural nature and created by artists. Several of these pieces employed the lam- ination of glass pieces with UV glue. A couple of the objects were actually com- binations of sculptures and furniture, like the Big Ben in the image on the right. The lower part is a display cabinet, while the upper tower part includes clock movements on all four sides, therefore being functional. This piece was made by Anna Wolff. Then there was the display cabinet (shown on page 49, bottom left) that featured LED lighting in the vertical columns (which were filled with crushed glass frit), and the wooden tabletop with a foosball game on top of it, both made from laminated low-iron glass. Again, UV glue was used to construct the piece. The dimensions of the table were 120 cm by 80 cm by 134 cm; it was created by Gunnar T hose of you who have been following my articles over the years know that every now and then I like to cover glass from a different perspective than what you may be accustomed to. I can't ignore some things I saw at the GlassTec show in Düsseldorf, Germany. At the time of writing this article, I had just returned from the show, which took place at the end of October 2018. A Review of Glass Products Get inspired by unique projects "Big Ben" – laminated low-iron glass and abrasive blasting. The lower part is a display cabinet while the clock movements on all four sides are functional. Made by Anna Wolff. ALL IMAGES COURTESY RUTH DOBBINS

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