Awards & Engraving

April '19

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48 • A&E APRIL 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. My questions usually earn a puzzled look on the questioner's face, but I can see the wheels rotating as the individual is trying to come up with answers for me. I am sure that the questioner initially thinks that I am trying to give her/him a hard time, but really, these considerations play an important role in the selection of the paint to be used. Let's cover some of the most common applications of paint to a variety of objects. PAINT RECOMMENDATIONS: GLASS I am quite stunned that there are still glass etchers using Rub-n-Buff for their awards. While it certainly is an easy appli- cation of (usually) metallic colors, it is not a permanent solution. Should the object get cleaned on a regular basis, the colorant will eventually come off, which would not be a good outcome for the client. It is not something I recommend. Let's take a look at the products that get a color application quite often. Beginning with glass objects, we have awards and rec- ognition pieces. If these items are made from clear or jade glass, you want to make sure you choose a color that is opaque enough to show up solidly when light comes through the glass. In this case, you have the most popular choice of using any good-quality spray paint from your hardware store. If you need to match colors for a given logo, you are better off going to an art supply store since they carry spray paints that match the Pantone charts used in the printing industry. This way you can match a printed logo color to your glass item. I t never ceases to amaze me how topics come and go in cycles. Recently, I had several inquiries from clients and students all concerning adding color to various products. That being the case, I thought it a good idea to cover this topic again. Generally, these kinds of conversations begin with the question, which paint should I use to color my etched glass? My first response is usually, tell me what you are going to do and tell me if the item is going to be indoors or outdoors. Is the color going to be on a transparent substrate like glass, or on an opaque one, like stone? Adding Color to Your Products An example of using spray paint on a piece of marble. ALL IMAGES COURTESY RUTH DOBBINS

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