This is a piece of patterned dichroic I purchased - it was part of a purchase of scrap dichroic, where you don't get to pick what goes into the lot.
patterned dichroic glass
This is a gorgeous pieces of rainbow black dichroic, with a geometric brick-type pattern. I like it, but I just don't use patterned glass that much. I have made earrings with it, where you don't want to stack a lot of glass because it starts to get too heavy for ears!
I decided to go ahead and try making my own patterned glass, just to see how it went.
Here is the set up:
gloves, Armour Etch (acid), dichroic glass, popsicle stick applicators, stickers
Those who know me, know that I am already out of my comfort zone - because I don't like MESS. The gloves were to protect from the acid; I would have worn them anyway, because the etching cream gets on everything, and is a big mess. Yuk.
I had 2 different types of stickers to use as a resist - I chose the stickers for their patterns, and they both ended up working just fine, but the paper stickers (at the bottom of the stack on the right) had a very different type of adhesive, one that would definitely tear paper if you stuck the sticker on paper and then tried to remove it. Whereas the other stickers were more like Post-Its - you could stick them on something, and pull them off, without any adhesive issues. This played a role later on in the process.
I was using some scrap black-backed dichroic (the technique works on clear dichro, also).
First, I applied my designs to the glass. The thing I had to keep reminding myself about is that the stickers are the resist: wherever there's a sticker, no glass will be etched. But all the non-stickered surfaces will have the dichroic eaten right off, leaving plain black glass. Seems a shameful thing to do to all that pretty color!
flowers on purple, green
loops on gold
ovals on purple
zigzags on teal
dichroic glass group, ready for etching
Time for the acid!
etching cream on glass
they all bubbled a bit, but this one REALLY bubbled!
Let's see how they did...
Here's how they looked with all the acid washed off, but the stickers still in place:
purple flowers, before I removed the stickers
gold loops and purple ovals, with stickers partially removed by washing
At the very bottom of the gold glass, you can see an unetched area - I ran out of loop stickers to apply, so I decided not to even put acid on this part of the glass. You can see how the acid really eats the color off the glass it IS applied to!
more etched glass before I removed the stickers
Here's the group shot:
And now, some close-ups:
purple flowers - and I tried to add some abstract stuff because I didn't want so much vast, black space
I made a couple of side-by-side before and after collages to show how the acid eats away all the uncovered glass:
top: purple dichroic with stickers; bottom: etched glass, where purple represents the portion covered by stickers during etching
top: stickers on gold dichroic; bottom: etched glass where gold represents the dichroic portion that didn't etch because it was covered by resist (stickers)
Here's what I learned:
1) I can etch glass, and make my own patterned dichroic. It's easy, if messy.
2) I can't make patterned dichroic anywhere near as pretty and perfect as any I could buy: My sticker application is not very evenly spaced!
3) It's messy....
4) I'm not a big fan of all that black glass - it seems like a waste. Although, I can see using it decoratively in some bigger pieces.
I would have achieved a completely different result if I had done this on clear dichroic glass - and I can really see using some pattern dichro, such as the loopy design in the last pic, as a window into a piece with colored dichro below it.....maybe next time!