Awards & Engraving

September '16

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56 • A&E SEPTEMBER 2016 ETCH MASTERS by Ruth Dobbins Zen and the Art of Abrasive Blasting: Part Two CHOICES Yes, the client chose the latter version. Here I want to repeat my deliberations from the previous article: I had won- dered how I was going to deal with the gold leafing, specifically, how I was going to keep the water size from staining the by-then blasted background. Well, some problems solve themselves. My client, upon seeing various gold- leafed projects, came to ask about the dif- ferences he saw in them: some were shiny and brilliant while others looked more matte. The shinier samples were done in water gilding while the matte examples were done in the matte gilding or oil size gilding process. Upon discussing the dif- ferences, the client decided that he like the matte version better. What a relief! Why? I'll explain a little later so that we don't get out of sequence with the overall project. BLASTING Whenever you work on a project that will involve various techniques, you should always first finish the blasting process in the order of the techniques to be utilized: carving first, surface etching second, and shading last. Only after the blasting is completed do you move to other techniques such as gold leafing and/or painting. For this project, we had created pre- c u t s t e n c i l s f r o m the traced original design. I peeled the main design elements out of the stencil material, which was a 6-mil.-thick white D id I mention that I maneuver myself into trouble at times trying to make a design better without caring what the exact conse- quences for the execution of the piece are? Maybe you remem- ber that I was writing about creating replicas of two old panels for a bar here in Santa Fe (see June issue of A&E, pg. 54). I had created a sample, showing two halves: one with a duplication of previous design copies, and one creating a more interesting variation with a carved design, an outline to the carved design, and then a completely frosted background. Here are both panels side by side in my blast room. The design and the outlines around the letters are deep blasted. ALL IMAGES COURTESY RUTH DOBBINS A close-up showing that the letters were weeded next and blasted.

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