My sister was visiting recently and upon seeing an etched bear plate I had made, decided that for some of her Christmas presents she wanted me to make her plates similar to this. I had only tried this technique once and so embarked to recreate it and even make some modifications.
Here is the process and my lessons learned:
- You will need a resist material to use for your stencil for sandblasting. I used a 3M Buttercut Sandblast Stencil which I bought from His Glassworks. They sell just a square foot of it for you to give it a try which is what I have been using.
- Select your design and decide if you want the design to be what is etched or leave the design as the iridescent and etch everything around it. I so far have always etched the design.
- Assuming you do as I do and etch the design, pick the size of the glass that you are going to etch onto as you will need to cut a square of the resist to match this size exactly.
- Cut your design out of the resist material using an Exacto knife. Lesson learned: a) it is easiest to cut on the dark green side and b) the dark green side is the side that will be facing down, so you will need to flip your design if you have a specific direction you want your design to face.
- Peel off the facing of the resist and lay it on your glass.
- Sandblast the glass to remove the iridescent coating from where the resist is not on the glass.
- Remove the resist and I save this by sticking it to wax paper, because if you are careful you can re-use this resist again another time.
- Fuse your glass and just like any other piece of fused glass work it into the design of your glass art design.
An interesting insight is that black and darker colors have a more pronounced contrast. I made the bear on black glass and it shows up very pronounced as does the skate which is on a darker green irid. I made the tennis racket on a blue iridescent glass and it is more subtle.
My husband likes the more subtle look better. I think I like the bolder look. Do you have a preference?