Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sky demo

click to enlarge!
The bits I use in my flex shaft (the 1/2 diamond discs are the second row)

A caveat before I proceed. Go ahead: make a sky just like me! I’m posting this demo because, although I come up with these methods of representation after experimentation and sometimes much anguish—they aren’t state secrets. However— I wish to share this information in the hopes that you will go further than merely plugging them into your own work but to develop these techniques into your own personal expressions. Even better, that you would develop analogous methods of your own.

Furthermore, I have made many night sky images over the years and every single one of them is a totally different technical solution: no kidding! This is the task I set out for myself and you should not expect less from yourself as an artist.

OK—that said: Here’s goes!

This is really simple. The blue glass is unknown, but any blue flash will do. This is some kind of French, I bet and it has a streak through it—which adds some nice character.

I also don’t know what the violet is—\there was a half sheet of it in my glass rack with no label. The paleness, though, makes me think it’s also a French antique. The main thing is that its a flash on clear.

1. Lightly sandblast the violet. Kind of hard to see in the photo—but the point is that you are not removing color, per se—just lightly abrading the surface. (I am using about a 100-grit aluminum oxide)

2. Engrave a bunch of dots in the blue

3. Put the purple plate on the blue, both flash sides facing OUT (this is because in this case, I want the piece to end up with both flash layers flush to each other) and with a permanent marker make an indication where each star is engraved in the blue.

4. Using a ½ inch diamond disc bit, hold the flex shaft hand piece at about an 80 degree angle to the glass and make the sort of indistinct circle shapes on the violet, which are the glowy halos around the stars.

5. That’s it!

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