There is a sense of discovery that never goes away in glass etching – you’re never really sure how it’s going to turn out until it’s done. The glass work I did during the period so far described in the series of booth building posts happened basically in the late eighties. I had taken a part-time job as a “runner” in a Scottsdale company named Glass Design to make some money as I tried to begin college. I had never seen glass art before (or at least had never noticed it), and I remember touching sandblasted glass for the first time and wondering how they got that “on” there. Luckily it was explained to me before I asked the unfortunate question.
I had a proficiency in pencil art, and immediately knew I could do well in glass etching. They were doing simple shading techniques, carving, and mostly one stage peel and shoot stuff. I felt driven to see what I could do with it, and so they let me give it a shot. Within a couple weeks I had dropped my college classes and was working there full time, learning stained glass as well. I had only done a few projects with shading when suddenly a church wanted a huge etched Jesus. It was pretty exciting, and I wasn’t afraid. I should’ve been. I had never even tried doing a face before. It went well considering my lack of experience.
So here is a slideshow of surviving images from that time of intense learning. (just click on the photo)
The Kenton Library job is on the table. It’s a VERY interesting project. Four large interlocking sliding etched glass panels for Chuck Franklin Glass Studio.
The designer is painter Marlene Bauer. Her challenge was to create a design for the four panels that would also look good when the pieces are slid back into one stack. My challenge will be to emulate her unique style. Her work has a lovely texture to it and I think it is important bring this to the glass. Her paintings can be seen at the Laura Russo Gallery in Portland and at Davidson Galleries in Seattle.
Here is a job that just came through – clear cabinet door glass with a stained glass pattern sandblasted onto it. It’s what we call a “simple etch” – just peel and shoot. Click on the image to see the steps involved for even the simplest of projects.
This is also called a “single stage blast”. It is basically two-tone, black and white, or in this case – clear glass and solidly sandblasted glass. Often the work involves many more tones, or “shades of gray”. In multi-stage blasting this just means that parts of it are less than solidly blasted.
This is a sample piece I am working on with Chuck Franklin. We are finding just the right “underwater” look for a large project that will end up in a West Palm Beach Florida restaurant.
The end product promises to be quite stunning. Multiple panels of wavy glass provided by Rich Lamothe of Glass Strategies which will be mounted behind some large copper fish made by Eric J Leonard of Springbox. The whole thing will be lit with powerful LEDs. It’s like a big glass and metal puzzle – designed by Chuck Franklin. Produced by Chuck Franklin Glass Studio.