A Letterville Step By Step
Maple Bay Glass
Sandra Cuthbert

A window for the Maple Bay Yacht Club. 26 x 36 Completed on March 30 2000

The Sketch
For the price I quoted the customer was to supply a "camera ready" piece of artwork. Not being too nieve, I expected to have to do a little clean up of the design. This is basically the sketch I ended up with after about 2 hours of computer design and clean up of the artists design.

Sketch #2
O.K so tis is where I made my mistake. I'll admit that at this point I should have increased my price. Live and learn.
After three more visits with the customer to "confirm" the design, this was the final outcome. (sorry about the quality of pictures on these two sketches. I hope to fix them soon!) :)

The Etching
Step 1
Taking the above sketch to my good friend Mark Paetz at The Instant Sign Shop. I had him cut a vinyl mask out of sign vinyl for me.
Carefully I measure and apply the vinyl.

Step 2
I print out a line drawing and shade the different areas of the design to remind myself what level of blasting each element will have.Then, using that print out, I number the elements in the order I will blast them. Always making sure no two elments of the same number are touching. (clear as mud?)
Here I have removed all the #1 elements ready for blasting.

Step 3
I have used 150 grit silicon carbide with 15psi with a pressure pot blaster for this job. I got a nice depth of carving in the centre of the leaves and in all the text. I don't recommend trying this on tempered glass. It can explode in your cabinet and give you one heck of a mess to clean up! It just happened to work for me this time (knock on wood). Here's a picture after the first blast.

Step 4
Here's a look at what the glass looks like in my cabinet. I have a glide thru carver from Photobrasive Systems so I can put virtually any length and up to 6 ft wide pieces of glass in it.
I made a mistake in the order of carving , so as you can see I had to remask an area at this point.
The big ROCK hasn't been blasted yet in this shot.

Step 5
Unfortunately at this point I got so involved with what I was doing I didn't take a break to take pictures.
Refer back to the finished piece for the rest of the steps.
I got into some free hand stuff in the water , sky and mountains, using pieces of removed resist and cut or ripped paper for masks

The Sky
Leaving the mountain shapes on I just lightly blasted in some cloud shapes. (simple huh?)

The Water
Much trickier! I took some of the ripple masks out and blasted them fairly heavey first. I then took the background water mask off, leaving some of the ripple masks that were closer to the mountains on.I then took a piece of vinyl backing paper and cut a wavy line along it. I used this mask to lightly free hand blast some texture.

The Moutains Last, I took off the mountain masks. I the used the left hand mountain pieces as a freehand mask to lightly dust in some misty trees.For the right hand mountains I tore a piece of vinyl backing paper and used that for the farther away mountain and trees.
Now go out and try your own. It's not nearly as hard as it seems!
Thanks for visiting. :)

Sandra Cuthbert
Duncan, BC
Email Sandra

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