Awards & Engraving

November '17

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50 • A&E NOVEMBER 2017 ETCH MASTERS might, we could not get any decent expo- sures. After much sweating and cranking the exposure time up to five minutes for a 20-second exposure, we finally got a faint image to show a result. We had to say things like, if you imagine turning the timer to just 20 seconds, you would get a good exposure. Later, when we returned the units to our supplier, it was discovered that the cylinders had been produced from a different clear material that just so happened to block UV light. THE BLANKET This is the last component I need to men- tion. The stretchy black blanket has the job of making sure that the film and artwork are completely flat against the cylinder without any air pockets in between them, giving the best conditions for a good exposure. There are only a couple of things that can happen with the blanket. One, the plastic bars at each end need to be attached to the cylinder before exposure. In order for that to happen, you have to slightly stretch the blanket to be able to snap the bars onto the cylinder. Once the exposure is completed, you have to unsnap the bars to release the blanket. Eventually the bars will break, usually right in the middle. We have fixed that with a brace, but down the line you may want to replace the blanket. Another problem is that the blanket can be stretched so many times that it loses its elasticity and will no longer close around the cylinder. Specific to our dry climate, we have the problem that the rubberized blanket begins to dry rot and develop holes, which is not good for the process. Both of these last situations call for replacement of the blanket. That about covers the universal expo- sure unit. I am sure some of you have encountered some of these situations. Keep in mind that any problems with the timer, ballast, or bulb can lead to improper exposure times and therefore to under- or overexposed film. If you have further questions, feel free to contact me at any time. ©Ruth L Dobbins 2017 With over 35 years in the glass business, Ruth Dobbins offers experience in fused and cast glass, as well as in glass-etching techniques. Ruth holds a Master's Degree in Printmaking and Art History and has been a partner in a stained and fused glass wholesale supply company in Europe, which also placed great emphasis on a training program. For 20 years, she collaborated with her husband Norm Dobbins in commission work, writing books and creating videotapes on how-to tech- niques for glass etching. Norm & Ruth taught these techniques for 30 years in the U.S. and other countries. Ruth continues these venues by offering a complete training program at Aliento School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and by teaching at various trade shows. One-on-one training and consulting ser- vices are also offered. You can reach Ruth by email at, by phone at 505-473-9203. Once the brackets are removed on either side, the bulb is exposed, showing the bayonet fitting. The bulb can be removed now, if necessary. A&E

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