This post whould have been done two days ago but as I have been working till late actually engraving I guess I have a reasonable excuse. However, they say a picture is worth a hundred words so this will mainly be pictures.
There is no point in drawing all the figures on at once as the water/abrasive mixture and the action of my fingers will rub them off. The drawing is very sketchy, it doesn’t need to be detailed at this stage, a waste of time in fact as it will be rubbed off as I work and will change a great deal before it’s finished. Only when all the figures are present on the glass will I start to do the tricky bits, faces, drapery etc.
I use both diamond wheels and copper wheels for engraving. The tehnique is exactly the same whatever wheel is used but there are sublte differences in the appearance of the finished piece. I tend to use diamond wheels at his stage as they cut faster and it is not necessary to continually feed an abrasive mixture to the wheel ( copper alone cannot cut glass but the abrasive /oil mixture applied to the wheel does). The first objective is to rough out the figures. I like to really push on and carve deeply into the glass to establish the basic forms. Only when this is done can I have a feel how everything is going to look. It’s no fifferent with other forms of sculpture. Using the word “sculpture” may surprise many people as they think of engraving as drawing, and existing only on the surface, but with wheel engraving nothing could be further from the truth!! My aim is to carve something like 5-6mm into the glass, wheel engraving is definately a form of low relief sculpture!!!
This stage is going to take a few more days, but how how many I don’t know. The old say about a length very much applies here!
Gail came round yesterday as she wanted to be there when I started engraving. Her help has been invaluable and though she is not an engraver it seemed appropriate that she should have made her mark; literally; on the bowl. It would seem that the next person I am going to be teaching wheel engraving is Gail!! By-the-way I often teach engraving at North Land Creative Glass. the next time will be this June.