Awards & Engraving

October '16

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54 • A&E OCTOBER 2016 ETCH MASTERS Sandcarving the flat with a blue marker and then was able to place the resist without a problem. BLASTING Before beginning to blast this object, it was advisable to calm down from the usual Adrenalin rush that overcomes me, when I know there is no fixing any problem and no replacement in the event of a mishap. A few minutes of meditation worked won- ders before I picked up the nozzle and began the blasting process. It would be interesting to find out how hard or soft this particular crystal would turn out to be and therefore, how quickly or slowly the desired depth was going to be accom- plished. Invoking our old battle cry (no guts, no glory), it was time to get blasting. As soon as the abrasive hit the glass surface, I could tell that the crystal was very soft and would blast rather quickly. As I continued, it became evident that the letter "S" in the monogram was not as deep as the other two, since it began disappearing before the other letters. This also meant I had to watch the overall depth of my blasting in order to not end up with depth variations. All in all, it took about two and a half minutes to eradicate the ini- tials before I could begin blasting the new dedication on the other end of the gavel. I blasted using brand new 180 grit silicon carbide at about 30 pounds of pressure. Right after blasting this "special" gavel, I also blasted the other one, which only took seconds. CLEAN UP The clean up is always the same: sub- merge in warm water with a dash of dish soap and almost all will float off. The cling wrap I had to unwind from the handle. As usual, the preparations and deliberations about how to proceed always outweigh the time it takes to blast; that's my only gripe about our work. The customers were more than happy to have been able to put the Tiffany gavel to good use after all and were quite pleased about the personalization of the other. I like it when customers are happy with our work; seeing them happy is an add-on reward for us—the first reward is successfully finishing a project. © Ruth L Dobbins 2016 With over 35 years in the glass business, Ruth Dobbins offers experience in fused and cast glass, as well as in glass-etching techniques. Ruth holds a Master's Degree in Printmaking and Art History and has been a partner in a stained and fused glass wholesale supply company in Europe, which also placed great emphasis on a training program. For 20 years, she collaborated with her husband Norm Dob- bins in commission work, writing books and creating videotapes on how-to techniques for glass etching. Norm & Ruth taught these tech- niques for 30 years in the U.S. and other coun- tries. Ruth continues these venues by offering a complete training program at Aliento School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and by teaching at various trade shows. One-on-one training and consulting services are also offered. You can reach Ruth by email at, by phone at 505-473-9203. A&E The blasted new name. The finished blasted name. The cleaned off gavel. The second crystal gavel. The stencil applied to the handle of the second gavel. The gavel wrapped and ready for blasting. The finished object.

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