Awards & Engraving

November '17

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42 • A&E NOVEMBER 2017 S andcarving does it all. From depth, shapes, art glass, unpolished surfaces, polished surfaces, crystal, glass, paint-fill, and much more, sand- carving can get it done. You are only limited by your creativity when it comes to sandcarving. In most cases, if you can put a photoresist stencil on the sur- face, you can sandcarve it. DON'T RESIST THE RESIST Sandcarving with photoresist film allows you to mark many different types of materials quickly. The great benefit of photoresist film and sandcarving is the etcher controls the depth in the piece, and photoresist film provides detailed images. Photoresist film is the perfect com- panion to sandcarving. It is available in sev- eral different sand resist (mil thickness) strengths to fit your project requirements. Photoresist film is durable and can hold detail in images. It also provides the option for a paint-fill application. It is important to choose the best pho- toresist mil thickness for your projects. In many cases, the artwork image will deter- mine the max mil thickness. The 3mil thickness is designed for detailed artwork and half-tone images; 3mil is also designed for a surface etch. 4mil is perfect for those projects that require a detailed image and a moderate depth etch. 5mil is ideal for carving into glass or sandcarving stone, rock, or bricks. The 5mil can hold some detailed images, but it cannot capture the same detail that a 3mil and 4mil can. There are some projects that a self-stick film will not work on without extra adhesive such as unpolished surfaces. GLASS, CRYSTAL, AND CERAMIC, OH MY! Sandcarving is the most common embellishing method for glass and crystal. Whether you choose barware, fused glass, vases, bowls, or optic crystal awards, photo- resist film can be used for all glass etching. You have the option of using a self-stick resist for glass and crystal. Self-stick film is flexible for the curved surfaces, reposition- able, easy to remove after sandcarving, and provides a paint-fill option. A deeper etch on optic crystal looks beautiful, especially with a back etch on the back of the glass. The etched area becomes magnified when viewed through the front of the glass. Etched crystal or glass has a higher perceived value when sandcarved because of the depth. Ceramic material yields great results when sandcarved. Sandcarving removes the glaze and reveals the ceramic underneath. Since the ceramic material is white, it often provides a contrast of the art image without adding a paint-fill. However, colored paint can be easily added, or you can spray a clear coat; simply leave the photoresist stencil on after sandcarving and this becomes your painting stencil. Ceramic requires a 4mil or 5mil self-stick photoresist film. I personally like to use 5mil when sandcarving ceramics because I can raise my blasting pressure between 40 to 50 psi with 150 grit aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. This allows me to etch quicker at higher pressure. If the art image is a 4mil design, then the ideal blasting pressure is 30 to 40 psi with 150 grit using SR3000 self-stick film, for example. SET IN STONE Natural stone substrates include river rock and monuments. Sandcarving allows depth into natural stone and provides the option for paint-fill. There are many subjects of stone such as personalized rocks, pet memorials, memorial stone, tile, pavers, bricks, boulders, and more. I like to divide the stone into two categories for photoresist application. One category has unpolished, irregular, or uneven surfaces. The category of unpol- ished irregular stone requires attention to SANDCARVING DOES IT ALL A few considerations when sandcarving different substrates By Liz Haas

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