What happens in my front yard.

That nutter on the corner is at it again, as the neighbours say. I made an angel out of fruit tree prunings, last year it was a Halloween witch. Thinking about people who need angels I used scrap glass to practice my lathe work. A long way to go so don’t look too hard. Just experimenting on the style of figure work I want to aim for, so I let loose. Getting ideas of what I want to do even if I can’t do it yet.

The 4 pieces are about 30 cm square, figures lathe carved and the symbols sandblasted.

I won’t label them, because there can be different interpretations.




What a laugh. It looks a bit like a picture in the engravers bible. Persistence. I’m not spending as much time as I should, but getting right into it.  Feeling nearly comfortable with some wheels and have to work very hard to smarten up the edges. The flat strap wheel gives me hell. I’m adopting the idea that if I put in enough time, it will just miraculously come under control. The working method differs so much from drills that I’m taking a while to adapt. Many times I had to resist temptation to just move along a bench and tidy it up with a drill.


It’s a long time since I worked in clear, and working all sides has it’s challenges.


Tried a copy of a T.H.Benton drawing that I like. A long way to go but I’m starting to get an idea of the type of figure work I want to do, eventually.DSC_s0013

Thanks to Jim Riser I’ve had a try at setting up stone wheels. I think these were from a blade sharpener. Not to be taken too seriously at this stage.

Practice time again.

Many years ago I experimented making a design that was cut in vinyl multiples by a signwriter. Sandblasted then finished of with the drill. I’ve dragged the leftovers out as a practice for the new lathe. Lots of practice needed, but the cuts are smooth and if I can get there I’m going to love this tool. Cost so much to get it to Australia I should too.

December nearly here so I will drag out the old Christmas work picture. Memories of 15 year ago.




A very quiet and meditative method of glass engraving that suits some people at some times. There is no rush or you stuff it, and finished you are exhausted in a relaxed way. I really love the lightness of touch on the glass, a mystical mysterious experience only for those quiet enough to enjoy it.
The orchid on a wine goblet engraved above. Very difficult to photograph because of reflections. It is a very subtle method of working.
“Gums” crystal flute that was a melbourne market product from 1997. Great way to practice drill skills. Diamond and small stone burrs, stamens diamond point.


Mixed media, mixed mythology and I guess mixed message. Because the kiln isn’t wired I was using what I had, and I’m learning about the stone. Putting the two together is another story altogether.
All ready to wax the stone, trying a bees wax furniture polish. Pre warmed the stone.
A lot of the cream taken away. At this point I’ll start on the figure which will be 3d as well as shaded. From the back the outline in silhouette style is clearly visible. The colours match the stone fairly well.
Starting to cut away the cream layer to reveal the blue underneath. It’s fairly thick, about 3 mm, so it is reeally a cameo in the relief carving style.
The piece of glass that will finally fit into the groove shown in the plasticine model. It is fused cream opaque over transparent steel blue. Because the kiln isn’t wired I’m using what I have available.
Getting into it. Some of the deeper internal type areas were cut in with tungsten carbide burrs in the Foredom flexdrive. Still fairly slow and very messy. Cuts OK with a chisel though I’m scared of breaking it along its natural split lines. Rasps work fine but slow and my shoulders ache, files smooth it beautifully. I carve in a “direct” style, working some of it out as I go. Following natural character of the stone.
The stone. Siltstone again. Silver grey that will darken when polished and sealed. About 20 cms tall. Some rough cutting with a diamond saw and roughing with diamond sanding discs. A hell of a lot of dust and I wear a mask and face shield. Not good for clothes lines, the car or neighbours.
First stage. Although ideas can be drawn I find a 3d play easier. I think a fair bit with my hands and the light effect are better sorted this way. Plasticine is terrific.


The work table ready for a new adventure. I’ve thought about printmaking from glass plates for a long time. Tried a few basic experiments over the last few years and got together basic equipment.
Using a pin press and diamond burr I’m using the point or line technique made popular in Britain in a revival of glass engraving based around the Guild of Glass Engravers. http://www.gge.org.uk/ I’m using a solid little easel type, head magnifieers,and black cloth under so I can see the work. There’s reference print books as well as a chinese painting book that I copied the image from. It’s hard to get a good work light, essential, so I have a shed light, 100w, that is clamped to a camera tripod until I make a proper stand for it.
The plate looks terrific. I really enjoyed this part of it, slow and meditative, and I love the play of light on clear glass. If I want to I can use the drill to make up solid dark blocks.
The plate inked up. Now you can see the dark that before was light. Surprising how much detail is picked out by the ink.
My print. A hell of a mess, and I hated working with the ink. Thinned it down with plate ink, soaked the paper, and used a speedball hand barren thing. Over all I think the paper is too coarse and I need a press for the fine line type. Like an etching. Maybe a sharper darker ink, not a soft black. I’m really not sure I want to do this, just to prove it can be done. Maybe if I read up a bit more and go for a broader style that will hand print better I can have another go later.