Awards & Engraving

June '19

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62 • A&E JUNE 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. PROJECT STEPS In this case, I worked on a black 12-by- 12-inch granite tile that I got from our local building supply store. These tiles are easy to work on in comparison to many mon- uments, which are made from flagstone/ sandstone. Since the surface is polished, the stencil adheres smoothly to it, and I do not have to worry about indentations below the stencil and air pockets. I cleaned the tile well before applying the stencil. I used a pre-cut stencil in 11 mil soft vinyl knowing that I had to blast two separate stages. You could use a thicker pho- toresist, but since I taped off some areas that I then uncovered again (and hoped to have the stencil underneath be in good shape), I used the pre-cut for this project. After the stencil application, I removed all text and areas to be blasted deeply in the first stage. Then I blasted those exposed areas with about 65 pounds of pressure while holding the nozzle about 5 inches away to get maximum depth in the shortest amount of time. As I blasted, I counted the passes I made over the first letters to achieve the depth I wanted, and then proceeded to blast the rest of the text accordingly. By this time, I stopped counting as my body had gained the experience of time needed to blast to the required depth. After finishing the first stage, I removed the tile from the cabinet, cleaned it off, and checked it under good lighting for even depth. This gave me a chance to correct any areas that weren't deep enough; luckily I did not find any. It was time to blast the second stage — the zigzag line around the rectangle that bears the recipient's name in its center field. I know that some of the projects I talk about seem a bit repetitive at times, but lately I was working on a polished stone tile that had to be painted that offered a little challenge. Normally we have stone tiles that have clearly defined areas that need to get color- filled after blasting. All that needs to be done is taping the separate areas off while spraying each individual color. With the tile that I am talking about here, it was a little different: there was one area that needed to be a separate color to an adjacent area that was carved to a different depth. As this is a bit more challenging, I wanted to take you through that process step by step. Stone Plaque with Color Application How To: Here you can see the 11 mil soft vinyl stencil applied. ALL IMAGES COURTESY RUTH DOBBINS

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