Awards & Engraving

January '18

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36 a-e-mag.com • A&E JANUARY 2018 problem: one still has to cut pleats, or pie shapes into the stencil and apply it piece by piece while beginning to remove the cover sheet as one works across the whole stencil. It does take a bit of dexterity to get this accomplished while trying to avoid burying the cover sheet in a spot of overlap of the stencil. I wish I had a dollar for every phone call or email about a magic solution to this problem—sorry folks, there is none (at least not so far). After we established the size and position of the etched areas, we made the stencils and proceeded to apply them to the objects. It actually did not matter that I chose to use two different films for the stencils because I would have had to split the stencils up into "bands" anyway to be able to get them into place. This circumstance is always a welcome situation for Murphy, given that there will always be gaps between the two separate stencil portions, which I had to notice and take care to tape off. Murphy delights in creating these teeny tiny spaces that look like they are covered when they are not, which will leave a speck of etching somewhere where it is not desired. Caution and double checking is always called for. Once I decided that all was well, I pro- ceeded with the blasting. The glass we used was actually softer than most award blanks we commonly use and therefore depth was achieved relatively easy. The blown blanks needed to be annealed properly or the blank would have broken during the blasting process, which we have experienced in the past with blown glass from the Far East and Mexico (their products have greatly improved over the years). ETCH MASTERS The paperweight is blasted and ready for cleanup. Beginning the cleanup; I often can't help myself in cleanup and start pulling some of the tape off before submerging the item into water. The finished paperweight.

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