Tuesday, May 20, 2014

sandblasting the Greenland diary into glass

                                                                          photoresist diary image taped before sandblasting

I recently took a three day glass sandblasting class with Susan Hirsch in northern San Diego county (just before the fires, lucky me). Susan teaches the first day of the class at the Rayzist factory -- makers of sandblasters and their photoresist technique that allows for printing images on glass. The next two days are in her studio in San Marcos.

Susan's expertise (well, one of many)  is not only making sandblasted images on glass, but also how to incorporate this ingenious technique into fused glass. I was lucky to be able to bring my own images -- and natch, they were from my current project, Greenland Diary.

The photo above shows the photoresist image we printed with UV light. The resist is placed on the glass -- the areas that won't be sandblasted are masked off (Susan likes green, ergo the green tape!).

After it is sandblasted, a black enamel paint was applied with a squeege and the piece was fired.Here is the image after it was sandblasted, painted, and fired:

                                                                           after sandblasting, painting, and firing

The Life Magazine  cover story on the Greenland trip (a military secret expedition dubbed "Operation Blue Jay" -- top right of cover) was the next image to be sandblasted. Here are photos of the cover in color, and the photoresist image:

                                                      Life magazine cover, converted to a photoresist image for sandblasting

The final piece emerged from the kiln today, all four layers: a base of white, the Life Magazine image, a sheet of clear so the diary "floats" over the ship ( no visual pun intended), and the diary.

                                                                                              Greenland Diary, 18 x 18

This piece is for the August show and will serve as the introduction to the exhibit. Luckily, the diary continues to inspire more work -- both glass and textile -- so I am still happily immersed in abstractions of fog and ice.

And now I am in love with sandblasting and doing coldwork with a pneumatic wet angle grinder. Who knew I would covet such tools at this stage of my life?

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