June '23

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6 6 G R A P H I C S P R O • J U N E 2 0 2 3 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z A T I O N N o matter if you just started your career as an engraving/blasting specialist, there is always room for improvement on every level. ere is no such thing as a "one material fits all applications." And yes, even for those of you who have been doing this for some time, we know how easy it is to get in a rut and stick with materials and procedures exactly the way we learned to do and use in the begin- ning. ere is nothing wrong with that, except that you might be missing out on being able to work smarter and more effi- ciently, which ultimately means you could be earning more money for the time you spend on any given job. In this article I want to focus on an important work com- ponent, which is the mask or stencil mate- rial you are using. From the beginning For a lot of people, the decision on which mask they are going to use is actu- ally done backward. What do I mean by that? Well, for the greater number of those getting started, they usually end up with a masking material they received with the purchase of their blasting or engrav- ing system. e determining factor is usually made by asking a few questions about which products you intend to make. Fair enough, but what is usually ignored is the fact that hardly anyone sticks to the initial prod- ucts they mentioned. In fact, most of us quickly realize that there is a whole world of products out there that can be blasted/engraved, and MASK MASK SELECTION SELECTION How to choose the right mask for the right job BLASTING AND ENGRAVING B Y R U T H D O B B I N S Different colors of photoresists available on the market. All offer high detail imaging and only a couple are exclusively used for half-tones. (Courtesy of IKONICS Imaging) With over 40 years in the glass business, Ruth Dobbins offers experience 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. You can reach Ruth by email at, or by phone at 505-473-9203. © Ruth L Dobbins 2023.

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