While the undergraduates are still on their holidays I grasped the opportunity to work one to one with the glass technician Helen Love at Gray's School of Art this week, Helen graduated from Edinburgh College in Fine Art but her secondary subject included glass, Helen has now been employed at Gray's for the past 14 years and her skills have expanded to encompass ceramics too.
There where a number of skills I wished to acquire and experiments I wished to make so that I could confidently use the workspace and equipment next academic session. My first task was to learn how to operate the sand blaster so I could etch a surface onto the glass plates that I had prepared for my single plate camera. We had been taught at the dry plate workshop at Streetlevel, Glasgow to etch the glass with a chemical etch. However, after reading the side effects I decided to explore other options.
I also wished to prepare glass that I had found on the beach to make supports for my dry plate and cyanotype positives. Helen advised two ways in which I could approach this. The first was to melt a whole glass bottle and cut off the excess with a circular saw. The second method was to prepare a mould and slump the glass. Each of the experiments would produce a different effect.
With the moulds made and the kilns a burning it will be next week when I examine the results of my labours.
The sand blasted glass plates however where completed and I now have a little stack of them waiting to be washed and coated with liquid light.