Sandblasting is an interesting diversion, and allows me to work on a bigger than usual scale. I was asked by a glass merchant if I would do a sandblast for someone and this time I said yes. It was for high placed cupboard doors provided. This meant not having to worry about safety specifications. An elderly couple and it had special meaning, which is something glass is very often used for. “Two Kookaburras facing each other”. A casual photo, reflections just happen.
First I had to hand draw the design, I’m not into clip art type computer design or cut outs, although I respect people that use that method. The to-be-cut side of the glass was covered in sign writers vinyl. Design put onto tracing paper, the side on the vinyl ran over with oil pastel because modern non greasy carbon paper won’t work on vinyl or glass. This all takes a while as I often change it over a few days, by looking at different angles and in different light. The imagination comes into play when you have to decide highlights, shading and shadows.
Cutting is a worry. No going back. All the lines are cut with a sharp craft knife or scalpel and it’s important to make notes on the cartoon because once you start blasting it’s difficult to see the cut lines. Only the highlights which will be blasted deepest have their vinyl removed at the first stage. As stages progress the vinyl pieces are removed, and blasting is progressively lighter.
The sandblasting is done in a large cabinet, with overhead light and dust extractor. I use silicon carbide which can be used multiple times. A simple sandblast gun and the strongest compressor I could get single phase 20 years ago. 80 PSI. Would you believe this is the quickest part, but very tense time as there is no correcting mistakes once they’re blasted. I was pleased to se a smiling very happy client.