Awards & Engraving

August '19

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60 • A&E AUGUST 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. I fall into the category of "eye-ballers." I received the gift of pretty good eye sight and the ability to judge distances and mea- surements just by looking at things; hence, I eyeball most of my stencil applications, even in production work. There are some instances, though, when even I opt for a more measured way of applying my stencil. Let's take a look at the various possibilities. TAPE-HINGE METHOD When dealing with flat pieces of glass or other substrates, applying the stencil is relatively easy, especially when the glass is a rectangle or square. The method we most often use is the tape-hinge method. We place the stencil onto the surface of the flat glass in exactly the desired posi- tion. We then tape some blue masking tape across a short side of the stencil. It is impor- tant to crease the tape along the edge of the stencil to make sure that there is no slack in the tape, which could cause it to shift when you lift off the stencil along the taped edge and turn it over like a page in a book. Once you do that, you are looking at the back side of the stencil, which allows you to remove the backing paper (silicone release paper) all at once, exposing the adhesive side. Be careful not to let the stencil drop onto the glass as it may adhere in the wrong place. Keep a tight hold on the stencil with one hand while using a squeegee to apply it to the glass. Once you peel off the cover sheet and tape off any exposed glass, you are ready to blast. A s we work on a variety of substrates, it becomes evident that placing the stencil exactly where it needs to go is not always straight forward. The object to be blasted has a lot to do with the method used for stencil application. I thought I would cover a few possibilities that seem to be prevalent. Some of these methods we have used with hundreds of students and they have proven effective. Which ones you will use is often a result of personal preferences. Stencil Placement and Registration Solutions The tape-hinge method. The stencil is taped along a short side to the glass and used like a page in a book: flip it over, remove the backing paper to expose the adhesive, and apply to the glass. ALL IMAGES COURTESY RUTH DOBBINS

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