Robin Dean of Oakland first spoke to me about making a piece for her garden in December of 2018... and I'm now trying to finish it for her and display it at the Autumn Lights Festival. Robin says she's excited to be able to see it lit up at the garden and say "That's mine!" As for me, I've once again taken on an almost impossible deadline.
As Robin's back yard hosts a woodland garden, I thought I should make an appropriately shade tolerant plant in glass. I decided on a fern, but in order to light it, I've made hollow leaves upon which to sandblast a fern-like pattern. That way the light will come through the opaque glass and the fern image will be silhouetted against the light. My blowing partner Patty Garrett and I made some sample leaves, and on a couple of them, I masked the glass with blue painter's tape and then used an exacto knife to cut out the leaf motif to use as a resist. It took ages to cut each little leaf. I'd seen a vinyl cutting machine called a Cricut at Michaels and decided to plunge in and buy one! Doing all that cutting by hand would take me til Christmas. (And it's a pajama year, so I have to get out my sewing machine after the Autumn Lights Festival to make 7 pairs for my Canadian nieces and nephews... but I digress...)
I hooked up the Cricut, scanned my fern drawings (with some help from my friend Tara Gill) and I jumped up and down with glee as I watched the little blade cut all the details into the vinyl ... I didn't have to lift a finger! Such a rarity to be doing work without "doing the work"! Of course, once the vinyl is cut there are still several steps to go to prepare each leaf for sandblasting, but I am encouraged!
I sand blasted some test samples using the vinyl and it worked! Voila, so far! (In the meantime I'm making the base with Magic Sculpt and a safety cone. Mosaic to happen over the next week in addition to prepping the rest of the leaves for sand blasting... Wish me luck! Less than three weeks til set up. Oh dear!
Look Ma, no hands!!!