Awards & Engraving

December '17

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A&E DECEMBER 2017 • a-e-mag.com 53 Sandcarving was a very organic design without straight lines and such, it was pretty easy for me to do just that. I started with one section of the design and began to apply it to the glass. If you have worked with photoresist before, you know that the cover sheet is quite stiff and really does not want to conform to irregular curves at all. In order to make the stencil con- form, it is necessary to adhere the stencil only along one edge and then begin to remove the cover sheet bit by bit while at the same time pressing the stencil onto the glass without it folding over on itself or being distorted by being stretched. This can be pretty exciting at times because with one hand, I am holding one part of the sticky stencil off the glass, while the other hand is partially lifting the cover sheet and smoothing the stencil down at the same time. This requires concentration and also causes me to invent new words… I won't elaborate. It was a bit of relief to have the first sec- tion down; I could then choose other parts to apply to the glass in a pleasing fashion. Piecing the design together makes for many gaps between the stencil's portions, which cre- ates more problems when it comes to sealing off these gaps. And so the taping began. The big gaps were not so bad, but the smaller ones were, as they often are. Cut- ting individual pieces of tape is important to make sure that none of the design elements get covered by it. This means, of course, that I usually cannot use the standard width of the masking tape available, but often take a piece of tape, tape it to my work surface, and then take my x-acto knife and cut the shapes I need to tape off a gap. This is a bit tedious and I have to remind myself not to get in a hurry, lest I forget a gap and end up with an etched mark that is not wanted. After I thought I was done with all the taping, I carefully inspected the glass shape for any missed tiny gaps. Only when I was sure I got them all covered could I begin the blasting process. As always, the preparations take way longer than the blasting itself, which is accomplished in just a few minutes. FINISHING THE PROJECT The bell jar was cleaned off after the blasting and was ready to be reunited with its wooden base. Following the image of the story, we needed a small hole in the center of the wooden base to be able to insert the rose. That was pretty easily accomplished and we placed the stem of the rose into the hole. The rose was, of course, an imitation rose from the hobby store. In order to re-create the needed look, we had to get a couple of other ones as well so that we could take the petals off and place them at the base of the main rose. Last but not least, we added a small strand of tiny LED lights that circled the rose. We were almost done, but the customer did not like the plain knob-like handle of the bell jar. She had found a couple of glass pieces at the hobby store and wondered if we could add those to the top of the jar. Using UV- glue, that was an easy task, and she was delighted with the finished piece, as was her daughter (as she related to us later). It is always rewarding to see a customer happy with what they receive from us; it reminds us why we do our job. © Ruth L Dobbins 2017 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 Dobbins in commission work, writing books and creating videotapes on how-to tech- niques for glass etching. Norm & Ruth taught these techniques for 30 years in the U.S. and other countries. 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 ruth@ etchmaster.com, by phone at 505-473-9203. All design portions are applied; the gaps are evident. The bell jar is completely blasted and checked before cleaning off. The cleaned-off glass bell. The finished piece. A&E

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