Louise Krampien has done it again! She created a wonderful class that I just completed yesterday all about how to create a relief print in glass. It was a fun and interesting three and a half day class at the Bullseye Resource Center in San Francisco. The image to the left is of the sales area, the classroom is just down the hall on the left side of the photo.
Louise taught us how to carve a linoleum plate with an image, then to create plaster molds from our plate, and then fill them with either glass powder or billet, a large brick sized piece of glass used in kilncasting. We hand carved linoleum using carving tools, then made three molds in two different sizes, and created three blocks of glass during the class.
The first relief print project was made on the first day of class with a 4″ by 6″ piece of linoleum that I carved with a Blue Morpho butterfly shape. I then created two different plaster molds from that same carved piece of linoleum, one of which I filled with transparent Aqua Blue Tint billet and the other I filled with opaque Egyptian Blue powder.
Each of the molds were fired in a kiln to create a glass block with the relief print impressed into the face of it. The transparent blocks made with billet were 2 cm thick, and the ones made with powder were 1 cm thick. The image on the right is of the two projects with the carved butterfly. At the top of the photo is the transparent Aqua Blue Tint block made from billet, then you can see the linoleum block that I carved, and at the bottom is the Egyptian Blue powder block.
The second project was made on the second day of class with an 8″ by 10″ piece of linoleum that I carved with an image of Daphne* just as she was transforming into a tree. That carved sheet of linoleum was also turned into a plaster mold, which I filled with Aqua Blue Tint powder. The image on the left is of the finished second project with the linoleum carving of Daphne.
On the left side of the photo is the linoleum block that I carved and on the right is the opaque Aqua Blue Tint powder block. Although the Aqua Blue Tint powder is a transparent color, because of the fine powder that was used in the casting the final block appears as a mottled opaque very light blue color. I think it looks like a stormy summer day, which seemed appropriate to the subject of the piece of art.
After we made the mold of the 8″ by 10″ image, we cleaned up our 4″ by 6″ powder block so that we could rub enamel into the face of it and then put it into the kiln overnight to sinter fire the enamel. I chose black for my enamel color, since the Blue Morpho butterfly is blue and black in color. I think that the contrast on that image worked very well.
The rest of the class we spent cleaning and cold working the rest of our blocks. We used a lapidary wheel, belt sander, and sandblaster for the powder blocks and the lapidary wheel, belt sander and an angle grinder on our transparent blocks. I found the thicker transparent block to be harder to work than the powder block, mostly because I found it difficult to position my hands in such a way that I wasn’t tilting the piece on an angle while I was working on the lap wheel. I kept creating a bevel on the sides as I was working it.
The one thing left to do is to rub enamels into the 8″ by 10″ Daphne relief print block. I plan to rub some red enamel on her heart, a little blue enamel on her eyes, and brown enamel into the tree areas. After I have a chance to do that and fire it, I’ll post the final block.
All in all, I really enjoyed the class. I even had time to discuss with Louise what I would have to do to be able to create a red rock tile image with screen printing on the layers and then put the tile onto a relief mold to add some texture to the face of the tile. It will require a bit of extra work and some experimenting to find the exact way to create it, and I’m looking forward to the challenge!
There is a Greek myth about an encounter between Apollo, Eros, and a nymph named Daphne. As is often the case in Greek mythology, the two gods were fighting and Daphne got caught up in their fight. Apollo was chastising Eros for using a bow to inflame his targets – Apollo considered it his weapon, as god of the hunt – and telling Eros that he had no skill with the bow.
Mad at Apollo for him criticizing Eros’ skill, Eros shot Daphne with a lead arrow to make her hate the next person she saw, who Eros made sure would be Apollo. Eros then shot Apollo with a gold arrow to make him fall in love with the next person he saw, who Eros made sure would be Daphne.
Daphne fled Apollo in terror, and Apollo pursued her until she called out to her father for help. Her father turned Daphne into a laurel tree just as Apollo caught up to her and embraced her. Still smitten with Daphne even after her metamorphosis, Apollo promised that she would live forever, that he would always love and protect her, and that champions would be crowned with leaves from her tree.
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