COPPER WHEEL ENGRAVING ON THE MERKER MK1

With a reputation as a good beginners or students glass engraving lathe, the blue Merker MK! Has been built for using pre mounted diamond wheels. Certainly strong enough for traditional copper w, until it comes to the tradition of hammering the wheels onto the spindle. My efforts at getting a simple stronger lathe made locally warrants a book on its own. Flying tools in from over seas has not been an option for some time. Recalling internet discussions around the subject, I started exploring with limited experience but nothing to lose.

I have got as far as having half a dozen spindles turned with a proper morse taper 1.5. Narrowed down to 6mm they have a shoulder 6 mm back. Someone gave me 20cm of copper pipe 5 cm diameter. I hack sawed the pipe lengthways and hammered it flat, roughly. Cut circles with tinsnips and drilled a centre hole.

Next I filed the spindle end roughly square, and with needle files changed the wheel centre hole to a slightly larger square.

I have a wooden frame I made for leading small stone wheel centres. Using this and trusting the spindle collar to be perpendicular, I fixed it with silver solder(flux core)using a mini propane torch.

1.Next hand filed it to a near circle then ran it in the lathe, filing it down to a closer circle. The copper was uneven and thin. I have wheels about 1mm thick but a bit uneven.

2.Took me ages to file to get round circles. I should have rounded them on the bench grinder before mounting. I was too worried the heat might un fix them if I did it on the electric grinder later.

3. All the time spend filing and now trying has not loosened wheels at all. I don’t know if the squaring helps.

Thanks  Greg Sullivan for help and advice. I think it was Jim Riser who mentioned “solder” in early discussion. Thanks Jim and I guess the term “bush carpenter’; can apply to engineering. Sure it needs refining but now I’m down to practice on COPPER WHEELS.

THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER

I have a piece currently in the Gippsland Art Gallery for a group exhibition “Extinction”

It was important to write about the why and method of expressions I used, with influential writings. It is small, 15×20 cms but well lit and placed within a well curated exhibition.

Dave Hickey “The Hidden Dragon: Essays on beauty.” says the role of beauty is to create a safe place for the viewer to ameliorate the questions posed by the artist through the artwork. Glass has a strong inherent beauty so it is a dance with the material to bring questions and concerns to the fore.

Ben Shahn “The Shape of Content” discusses how the general can be expressed through the particular. This hopefully explains the single everyman as an example for the general overpowering problem.

Lincoln Kersten writing about Paul Cadmus satirical artwork uses the term “universal legibility” to describe the body language and historic references I use, as if in mime, to make the narrative connections.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

I still like the clear glass as the most beautiful of engravings. Very difficult, and it needs a bit of time looking at it to get the real art involved. Some pieces nearly make me bleed, there’s so much of me in them. “Matriarch.”

Jugs are intriguing because there’s always the subtle aim of getting the art and the message into the viewers hands. And I loathe plastic water bottles on the table. “Roses” and Gums”

Meanwhile at the workbench.

FUSED FLASH GLASS

If you can’t buy what you want, make it yourself. I’ve tried enamels and always felt not quite there. I have since fused 3mm color system 96 under 6mm clear, thinking it would mean a simplified engraving because of the extra depth required. It certainly needs much deeper cutting. Lathe with diamond wheels, and a simple laminated float stand.

“Spirits of the Bush.” 15x19cm.

“Adam and Eve. The Expulsion.” 15×15 cm

“Thomas, doubts the news.” 15×19 cm.

NEW LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

LEDs make life interesting. Easy to use and readily available with the right helpful shop. The figure, after the pre-Raphaelite painting, “Light of the World, is carved from white cedar. My old street tree. Copper tube and wire for the branches with my own amateur solder efforts. Glass enamels fused to float glass, then slumped, made the gum leave to be engraved.

HOME

I’ve been chasing my tail over this for about a year. Enamel on float, engraved. Last step, I hope is airbrushed, which is in the kiln now. There’s a sculpture in progress to mount these in.

I’m writing up the progress and have the photos of each step, so I can make a full show of it. Seems a long year, but then that’s the way I work.DSC_0453

‘HOME” IS IN RESPONSE TO THE BUSHFIRES THAT RAVAGES SOUTH EASTERN AUSTRALIA DURING THE SUMMER OF 2019-2020. PROPERTIES WERE LOST, AND MANY ANIMALS WERE KILLED DURING AND AFTER AS THEIR FOOD SUPPLY AND HOMES WERE DESTROYED. HERE IS HOW THE PIECE WAS MADE, AFTER MANY TRIALS AND EXPERIMENTS TO FIND THE RIGHT PROCESS.

FIRST TRIALS WERE USING OIL PAINT, TO GET THE IDEA OF A FLASH TYPE OF COLOUR TO ENGRAVE THROUGH.  SEVERAL LOW FIRING PAINTS, THEN ENAMELS WERE TRIED. IT NEEDED TO BE HIGH ENOUGH FOR SLUMPING  FLOAT GLASS. EVENTUALLY EASY FIRE HIGH FIRE, OPAQUE WAS USED WITH THEIR SILK SCREEN MEDIUM AND AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF WATER. I BLENDED COLOURS, ‘CAUSE THAT’S JUST WHAT I DO.  FIRST FIRE TO 500 deg.C FLAT WITH ENAMEL UPSIDE, KILN VENTING.  SECOND FIRE 800 DEG.C ENAMEL DOWN ON A SLUMPING MOLD I MADE IN A WAVE FORM.

THE OLD TILE SAW HAS A THIN DIAMOND BLADE A REGULAR GRINDER, AND FLEX SHAFT DRILL FOR THE MOUNTING HOLES. TIME CONSUMING TO GET A CASUAL LEAF SHAPE..

AN IMPROVISED SPRAY BOOTH BECAUSE THE AIRBRUSH MAKES FOR VERY FINE SPRAY THAT IS NOT TOO HEALTHY. A LONG LEARNING PROCESS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT MEANT FOR SUSPENDED ENAMELS BUT FOR FINE INKS.  A FEW POINTS.   BIG NEEDLE.  HIGHER PRESSURE 40 PSI. USE ONLY SMALL BATCHES AND DON’T LET IT SIT OR DRY IN THE BRUSH.  IT’S NOT REALLY SMOOTH, IN FACT A THIN SMOOTH LAYER WOULD FORM LOZENGE SHAPES WHILE I WATCHED.

I MADE 2 WAVE SHAPED CLAY MOLDS, THIS IS THE SMALL SLUMP MOLD READY TO FIRE.  GREEN ENAMEL LEFT A YELLOW STAIN ON THE MOLD.

MY OLD STREET TREE LOG WAS CARVED TO RESEMBLE A BURNT LOG, THEN I ACTUALLY BURNT IT.  BECAUSE THE ASH KEPT COMING OFF IT GOT A COAT OF FLAT VARNISH. THE LOCAL PLUMBING SHOP SOLD ME SMALL COPPER PIPE WHICH I CUT AND BENT, THEN SOLDERED TOGETHER BEFORE USING RED WINE VINEGAR WHICH COLORED IT WELL. THE ENDS WERE FLATTENED AND DRILLED.

DIAMOND WHEEL ENGRAVING THE LEAVES. THE MOST ENJOYABLE  PART OF A LONG DRAWN OUT PROCESS.

A PUNCH WAS USED TO CUT WASHERS FROM AN OLD TYRE TUBE, THEN DRILLED AND NUTS AND BOLTED IN PLACE. TAKES ANY EXCESS PRESSURE OFF THE GLASS.

FISH.

An exhibition on the theme, from a potter, water colorist, wood carver and a glass engraver. This is exciting, and the first time I’ve had work out in a long time. It will be the opening exhibition in a group studio I’m working with.DSC_0355

57297678_10213399574483926_1954190504564359168_n

My favorite at the moment. Took a while to get the heads turned just enough to look like they’re talking.

LATHE PRACTICE.

I bought a mini merker as it’s called, a few year ago, and have been working at using it. Different from the drill that I’ve used for many years. A huge amount of practice needed and then there’s the style I want to use it for. I’m basically a figurative narrative artist, and there are many ways to define a figure, usually influenced by the tools.DSC_0037

Donation for a service club raising money for the fire brigade.DSC_0341

A retirement presentation. Putting letters within a flower design worked out well.DSC_0343

FRAGILE MASCULINITY.

THE LOCKED HOUSE. very sad because a house is really a home, not just an investment.

DSC_0326

DSC_0329

THE BLUES. I love music although I don’t play anymore.  Music means a lot to young people, particularly young men, in many different ways.

DSC_0333

LOCKED.  Says it all really.DSC_0336

 

FATHERHOOD. Lots of different interpretations for different people. It’s finished at a time of very depressing news reports, fatherhood is different to paternity.DSC_0306

TIME.  Take it as you like. I made the clock and then the figure took ages. Somehow I prefer the rough cut of these carvings and don’t want to smooth and polish these.DSC_0299

FAMILY TREE. The pressure of a family tree can sometimes be unbearable.

DSC_0283

My favorite at present. For the young men who die feeling indestructible on the road.

INDESTRUCTABLE MALE.      Yes the electronic key is shaped like a coffin.DSC_0248LOCKER ROOM Makes a man cringe.

The knotted straps are for the group pressure in this environment.

IMG_0498

I need a better photo, and maybe a recast.(mold is fine) This is for “beyond blue” or similar org. Also for the refugee cause I get reminded about by the wonderful Pat Waters who still believes in art for issues.

FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS.DSC_0233

First one done. Used stainless steel in the centre of the mold, for the handle hole. The base/book is carved siltstone. Handle , carved pine, stained varnished.

LAW, AS A MALE CONSTRUCT.

LAW

Next stage in the “touched” theme involves casting. Will become more obvious later. The subjects I chose revolved around a loose theme of “masculinity” although they could relate to everyone.

My lack of experience shows. I made terra cotta models, wrapped in clay, but had to sit them in sand to hold up after I took the model out.  Hoping to use the clay molds more than once. The details in the key needed a plaster mold. Back to the books so we’ll see what turns out.

TOUCHED. 2018.

INSCRIBING CARAFES AND GOBLETS.

I took a carafe blown by Philp Stokes  with an engraved inscription, to display at Segue Stratford. I remember the other carafes and goblets that have had a personal connection to people. I love using them, with a smile, for the personal touch or connection myself. I found 5 goblets in an opp. shop that seemed to beg for inscriptions, and they also had a weighty balance, instinctive smooth know, and a size of dignified importance. Anyone who sees them wants to hold them, in an exploratory conversational way. To be touched in all ways. They have Leonard Cohen quotes.

BEING TOUCHED is all about connection. A physical connection, or an emotional connection that has an emotional reaction. There has to be a sharing of values, history, narrative. A certain amount of physical touching reinforces that emotional connection. Reassuring what you visually see as real. (not virtual reality) Reassuring connections as an animal may howl, sniff or touch.

GLASS PETER

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Dabluedot

A topnotch WordPress.com site

gippslandwildharvest

Urban Sustainability- 1 Family, 1 Block- The Dream

Janice Mills

Australian Fine Artist

Prisoners of the Crown

contemporary jewellery and studio glass

glass central canberra

a renegade site for today's thinking studio glass artist

Deb Donchi

My Art Journey

Helen Banks Art

The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams - Oprah Winfrey

GLASS PETER

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Dabluedot

A topnotch WordPress.com site

gippslandwildharvest

Urban Sustainability- 1 Family, 1 Block- The Dream

Janice Mills

Australian Fine Artist

Prisoners of the Crown

contemporary jewellery and studio glass

glass central canberra

a renegade site for today's thinking studio glass artist

Deb Donchi

My Art Journey

Helen Banks Art

The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams - Oprah Winfrey

GLASS PETER

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Dabluedot

A topnotch WordPress.com site

gippslandwildharvest

Urban Sustainability- 1 Family, 1 Block- The Dream

Janice Mills

Australian Fine Artist

Prisoners of the Crown

contemporary jewellery and studio glass

glass central canberra

a renegade site for today's thinking studio glass artist

Deb Donchi

My Art Journey

Helen Banks Art

The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams - Oprah Winfrey