Wednesday 4 July 2012

"April Showers" / Ultra violet epoxies

Although it's July and we are getting some warm weather now, this piece, "April Showers", is one that I made more than 12 years ago, when I was first using ultra-violet epoxies with the kiln-fired stained glass, bevels and one or more sandblast etching techniques. On tempered glass in wood frame: 40cm X 119cm (16" X 47").

This is a simpler version of what I have been making in the last few years, although it still has its own appeal with the streaks of colour and 'torn' look of the wispy etching. Here's a detail which shows the surface etching, applied kiln-fired stained glass and bevelled glass:

The one part epoxies that cure with ultra-violet light that have been developed for the flat glass industry are made by many manufacturers, but all employ a similar technique. The epoxy is applied to either piece to be glued, pressed together and then exposed to ultra-violet wavelengths of light (sunlight or tanning bed light) for an 'initial' cure. The length of time of the 'initial' cure depends on the strength of the particular wavelengths required by that manufacturer's specifications and the colours of glass being assembled (experimentation with your materials is always part of the process). After the 'initial' cure, the still water-soluble epoxy can be trimmed easily with a knife (if the 'initial' cure was not too long) and the remaining epoxy residue wiped away with a bit of cotton cloth sprayed with a liquid glass cleaner.

The etched areas are 'masked' by a variety of techniques: 4 ml. self-adhesive plastic for the large clear areas and several different applications of wood glue, scratched through to expose the areas of glass to be sandblast etched. After the sandblasting, the wood glue is washed off and the other resist materials removed.

I call this piece "April Showers" as it makes me think of the sunlight and snow/rain/sleet that comes at that time of the year here in southern British Columbia.