Sunday, March 15, 2015

Etched Glass Coasters - How Does He Do That? - Part One

I created a set of CelticSpiral etched glass coasters and wanted to share the general idea of what goes into making them.  These are not as involved as some of the other more complex vinyl cut and hand cut stenciling or other detailed images I do, but they still take time with the steps.  It also gives an understanding to how these decorative art coasters are made and how they can be different from one to the next.

Any art coaster (window, tabletop, etc.) starts with a design or image idea.  These were made from a Book of Kells design.  After it had been made into a vector art and cut out on the vinyl cutter, it was ready to be laid out and pressed on the glass and sandblasted.  Not every stencil is cut on the plotter.  I have done many works for churches, businesses and residences that have been hand cut and in many stages of sandblasting.

The vinyl has a transfer tape I put over it. After it is positioned, the back sticky side is removed and firmly attached to the glass.  What is going to be deepest in the glass will be blasted first.  Each step after the vinyl stencil will be peeled (known as weeding) and etched to the various depths for carving, frosted, or shaded areas or left on to keep clear.  The stencil may be numbered and/or a printed map of the design image will be used to guide the order it is peeled labeling it accordingly.

The first round of weeding is done.  Since both sides of this coaster are being etched, they were peeled together.  In this case the front is a flat frosting while the backside of the glass starts with a carved sandblasting.

Next post:

EtchedGlass Coasters - How Does He Do That? - Part Two

You will see the comparison between the other peeled coasters and the last few stages involved in this etching process.

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