Monday, March 29, 2010

great news!

Once again available at His Glassworks! 1/2 Inch diamond discs!! Great for making tones fast on sandblasted flash glass or getting rid of color in an area you decided need getting rid of but the sandblaster was too far away. Just a great thing to have and have fun with.... (I silicone the disc to the mandrel).
Buy them and experiment!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Color demo--for UArts

This image demonstrates how to get different colors using two layers--one red on clear and one blue on clear. The third, on the far right, is both of the two pieces of glass together. With the addition of yellow paint, or silver stain, one can get red, blue, yellow, white, dark purple (or near black), orange, green and lighter hues. The principle is pretty simple but can be confusing to think about. Wherever you want blue, green, yellow, or white: sandblast the red all the way off. Wherever you want red, orange, yellow or white, sandblast the blue off.
A color image such as this above can be made with the following steps. I find its best to work one plate all the way through so as not to get an incapacitating brain freeze trying to orchestrate the color relationships. So start with red and follow these steps. Remember, these aren't the laws of God inscribed on tablets and delivered to us mortals by Moses. These are just the way I do it. Sometimes. (Click the images to enlarge)
First three steps of the red plate. Stage sandblasting and flex shaft engraving.
Second three steps to completion.
First three steps of blue plate.
Last two.

Let me know if you have questions!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Demo for Uarts class!

Sandblast the clear glass with a silhouette of the image you are painting.

Use the 80 grit available in the classroom.


No kidding. This is IT for GRIT.

DO NOT leave it in the blaster and leave the sandblasting room for ANY length of time.

Take the glass up to the classroom and rinse it off and dry it. Trace the major lines in your image onto the sandblasted area with a razor point sharpie pen or other permanent marker as seen above.

Wipe the image with black glass paint and wipe it off so the paint only sticks to the sandblasted area. You want a very light gray tone like in this picture. You should be able to easily see the pen lines.

Use a LINER BRUSH to paint the lines on top of the pen lines. You can clean up clumsy lines with and xacto knife.

That’s it—its ready to fire.

Upper image: When the glass is out of the kiln, engrave the hard edge highlights with the flex shaft engraver

File around the hard edge engraving lines to make the tones nice and smooth (that’s what’s making her look slightly freckly—the file on the paint gives a pointillist effect)

Below: Paint in the next level of darker gray shadows using a #2, 4, 6, and/or 8 natural bristle brush modified by burning the tip to blunt it so its about ¼-1/2 inch long. POUNCE the brush to make the grays more tonal. This isn’t the final layer so don’t get crazy picky....

You are then ready for the second firing.

The final stage you may wish to pump up the highlights with engraving and filing before you paint another layer of deeper darker grays. This demo is stopping at three firings—which should be enough to get a decent rendering with gray tones ranging from white to black. In reality, you may with to fire one more time which we may be able to accommodate.

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!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Four stages of an engraving so far

What have we here? Why this is a 14" square of Saint Just 221 Turquoise on clear flash glass that is in the process of being mutilated beyond recognition.
FIRST: I sandblasted it. I did use a hand-cut stencil (3 ml clear contact paper)...however, after all I've done to it, I didn't really need it. FYI: it was the silhouette of the plants and the birds. I could have easily gotten away with just a light allover even blast.)
SECOND: I used a flex shaft engraver to delineate the plants.

THIRD: I decided I should paint NOW rather than later. Why? Because this glass strikes a little in firing. So what I did was wipe the whole square down with 1059 Stencil Black Reusche. And wipe it off so it left a tone atop the sandblasted turquoise. This will help a LOT with getting a nice dynamic range of tone--even thought the black is close to invisible. I swear, it makes a huge difference.
FORTH: I began to engrave the highlights with the flex shaft.
FIFTH: I went into the engraved highlights and softened them by using a diamond file. This is how all the volumetric tones are achieved.
SIXTH: I ground off the sky with the flex shaft. Then I went and took a walk.I saw a pretty red House Finch on Bainbridge St. (BTW--I have been working on this piece of glass for four days straight.)House Finch (not my pic)
SEVENTH: I began to work into the background using a 1/2" one of THESE. Important note: the link takes you to a potentially wonderful product that has some issues. This is the 1" version and I have both that and 1/2" which I think they stopped making. BIG MISTAKE!! The 1" version is TOO BIG for detailed work. Call HIS and ask for 1/2 inch! Plus they attach to the shank with velcro. This has hilarious results as the abrasive discs wing themselves across the universe and get lost somewhere after traveling through a wormhole where all your socks end up after they get lost int he laundry. Useless!!! SO...I silicone them onto the rubber thing on the shank. Velcro and all. This isn't a perfect solution but its adequate.
Detail of how it looks today.
This is how it looked on Sunday, three days ago.
Wait a few days and there will be some more layers.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Good pictures of work for May Exhibition

“The Minotaur” 25” x 38”
“Mad Meg” 53” x 21”
“The Cold Genius” STUDY 25”x 29” (bottom) x 37” (top)
Cold Genius Study detail