Photographs Comprised of Glass - Stained Glass "Prints" - Molten Casting... Etching..

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by holmburgers, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    There are glass casting methods that use plaster molds for pouring molten glass into various forms. I would like to apply this to the making of photographs composed completely of glass. Ultimately with the idea of making incredibly unique and potentially beautiful stained glass "prints".

    A photographic relief image can be formed in plaster by taking a high-relief carbon print/matrix, swelling it to full size w/ water and impressing this upon wet plaster. The result is a permanent and durable mold that can, in theory, withstand the high temperatures required for glass casting.

    F.E. Ives early halftone process utilized a plaster mold of this type, proving that a usable relief image in plaster can be made in this way (the carbon method).

    Imagine now pouring glass into this mold and with some kind of "doctor blade" skimming the excess from the mold, leaving colored glass in the valleys of the relief image in direct proportion to their density in the original photograph. Upon drying, a layer of gelatin, collodion, CMC gum or any number of colloids could be poured over this, allowed to dry and used to lift the glass image from the mold without disrupting its distribution. This could potentially be transferred to another surface, or might constitute the final mount. Ideally, several layers could be combined, possibly by glass fusing methods.

    The viscosity of molten glass is my biggest concern for this method working. All glass pouring I have seen looks like cold honey at best; highly viscous. It seems reasonable to assume that a much lower viscosity would be required to allow the glass to occupy every nook & cranny of the plaster relief, and also to allow for easy "skimming" of the excess.

    Alternatively, perhaps there is a method that would allow etching of glass to such a degree as to make relief images directly in glass. Hydrofluoric acid, sodium hydroxide and perhaps other chemicals will dissolve glass.

    Has there ever been a method of reproducing continuous tone photographs in glass?, that is, not some kind of half-tone process & etch, or a process where an image is applied to the glass. The glass, which in any kind of relief scheme has to be inpregnated with a colourant, must be the photograph, not a substrate.

    Glass experts? Process history savants?
     
  2. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    There is a very large forum at the web called Warmglass. I dont think you have finance for burning a furnace for hours with gas or electric.

    Warm glass is a concept which making a glass piece in the mold with soften glass pieces and sintering them before melting , safer , cheaper and easier.

    Have you ever visited a glass studio , it is even hard to stand before furnace even from 20 meters.

    But heating the furnace and closing the home heating system can save you from Mid West American winter for couple of days.

    Try to look glass enamels from Tiffany.

    Umut
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Thanks Umut, I will look at Warmglass.

    Of course I don't have the resources to do this. But if you get a good idea, with enough of the logistics figured out, convincing some glass artist or some art & design school to give it a go doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

    If we only discussed what was practical, or what we could do tomorrow, well.... you and I would never post!
     
  4. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Situation is not hopeless.

    You can rent a glass studio , furnace , annealing furnace and a master.


    Ask warmglass forum for a studio at Kansas , thousands of glass furnaces are in US. You can spend few days there for few hundreds per day and explore.

    Umut
     
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I need to know the lowest viscosity that glass can get to.

    I'm not encouraged by this, "Glass is viscous though and unlike metal casting, the soft glass does not flow through the mould."

    However, this same idea could be applied to resin, polymer, etc.
     
  6. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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  7. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    wow... glass properties dot com... go figure
     
  8. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Inkjeting carboxyl acid on to glass plate would create gold luster.

    Transferring carbon relief with acid sensitive material and than process this surface on glass with acid would give you the glass etch relief.

    Than apply below linked glass irridescent or normal paints on to glass , and you get what you are after , safer , cheaper and more flexible.

    http://www.your-decorative-painting-resource.com/glass-paint.html

    Umut
     
  9. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    image6.jpg
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Holmburgers, If I am reading you correctly, you are one of those brilliant people who spark with ideas. However, to realise any of them in practical terms you need to slow down, focus and experiment, again and again and again. It is easy to postulate ideas, but another thing entirely to turn them into images. We are only mortal and any new process or concept takes time. I do not wish to appear patronising, as I recognise aspects of your thinking in myself. However, I am a great believer in doing the same process over and over and over again, until you develop an intuitive grasp of the process/technique. This is something that is very misunderstood and neglected by many students today.
     
  11. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Some postulates his mathematics ideas on a corner of a book , some dicovers them 30 years later and some others wastes 150 years to proof it.

    I am one of them but not to prefer being Chriss voice !

    With playing too much things together , he will have a ability as Circus Athlete to patent every new his ideas
     
  12. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    cliveh, I completely understand what you're saying, but I'm hearing this kind of criticism at nearly every turn nowadays and it must be understood what my intentions are in the first place, because I'm starting to get incredibly frustrated by it.

    There are two completely different facets in my photographic pursuits; practical work and ideation. This post should be a very clear example of the latter.

    Coming up with ideas and discussing them is in itself an end, and I wish this was embraced by more people.

    I'm not going to go home and pour glass into plaster molds... not today, not next week, probably never! But then again, if the idea started to gain traction and the idea became so attractive and plausible then there might be a point where a new phase of practical work begins to take place.

    To be honest I do feel a bit patronized, and I don't understand why there's this assumption that because I'm always brining up wild and varied suggestions that I'm not working on a handful of things quite diligently at home... which is exactly what's actually happening.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2011
  13. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'm sure you've noticed that there are some kinds of people that like to talk and hypothesize, and others who focus on "getting things done". There are even people (lets call them type-3) who don't like to talk at all, no matter what. It is frustrating for both types to interact. I'm an expert at that kind of frustration. My wife is type-1 and I'm type-2. She can talk endlessly about things I think will never come to any good. :laugh:
     
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  15. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    I guess it is because there is an assumption that someone with a lot of ideas, only has... a lot of ideas. And nobody here knows if someone is sitting in the nude and posting chemical recipes (I hope not!) - we only have the words to go on, if you see what I mean.
     
  16. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    holmburgers, I do apologise, I did not wish to offend.
     
  17. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    In my business I find "idea men" to be extremely valuable, and somewhat frustrating at the same time. But I couldn't survive without the two kinds of thinkers: deep thinkers, and "out of the box" thinkers! I find them just as valuable (and somewhat frustrating) on internet forums. Let's be thankful for those who think!
     
  18. cramej

    cramej Subscriber

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    I took a glassblowing class at CityArts in Wichita some years ago and from that experience I can tell you that glass has far too high of a viscosity to fill small details. Plus, by the time you get the glass out of the furnace it's already cooled to a not-so-viscous lump. I've also worked with acrylic resin. It may be viscous enough to fill smallish details. You can color a portion of the resin to fill the deepest portions and use clear for the rest.

    With glass etching, you'll really only be able to make a single tone image since you would have to use a photo sensitive mask and then etch - details galore, but no depth and no tones.

    The closest I've seen to what you're asking is laser etching acrylic sheets. I used to work at a place with laser cutter/router and one project we did was to take continuous tone images of a bust of a man & woman and etch them into the reverse side of acrylic for men's & women's spa signage. They were able to configure the laser cutter to vary the laser output with tone from the image and create a 3d etching.
     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Has anyone mentioned ambrotypes yet? They, of course, are continuous tone images ON glass rather than IN glass.
     
  20. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Very thin glass layers each with a different color or tone like with three color etchings or woodcuts a glassplate/etching for every color and removal of the uneccessary glass might work. You have to ask a glassblower (best from Czech republic, Italy murano, you could also contact Schott Glass they are very helpful and they know a lot about glass) about the pigment or colors they use maybe one of them reacts to UV light or find a temperature ( 700°C +) but not UV resistant color. Holmburger great idea btw

    Dominik
     
  21. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Glass etching can be done as rotogravure printing plates done may be 40 years ago by hand.

    There are many artists who carve out the glass from back side and create very appealing art.

    Rotogravure plates are copper and when the separation films ready from prepress , they cover the copper plate with gelatin and paper hybrid material - they call this tiffdruck paper - and make gelatin stick to copper. Tiffdruck paper gets a relief by light and than excess gelatin being removed by water.
    Than the etching starts. Higher the relief , more time to be eaten by acid and lower the etching depth and lower the relief , deeper the dots and more ink being transferred to the paper.

    Same technic easily but more dangerously can be done with fluoric acid but the easiest thing to learn the process , not to invade Germany or Italy but have call the Corning Glass Museum at NY.

    Glass blowers uses low temp. glasses at their furnaces which invented at a Corning Studio and Corning Chemists.

    I forgot the guys name but he had had visited the Murano Italy and saw there , for each glass studio , there is a small furnace at the door and presented shows to the tourists.

    When he found , glass furnaces could be very small , he starts the American Glass Studio Movement with low temp formula.

    And pouring on plaster , if there is trace amount of moisture , everything can explode to the face.

    Annealing of poured glass at least 24 hours , could soften the micron detail also.

    Umut
     
  22. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    A small slumping kiln (used as a small furnace) and some forms made by hand to congregate the glass would probably be a simple way to go. One could use forms to contain one color or could more or less paint with different glass colors in crushed form into a mold. Using Photoshop or by hand, one could outline (simple?) photographic shapes on paper using a printer or lightbox and use the pattern to create a wooden pattern and thus the mold. If anyone has ever seen slumped glass, variations of color are endless and incorporated shapes easily defined.
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i agree with umut

    find a local glassblower and see what information they can offer.
    i did a series of photographs on glass blowers near me and it was
    both a lot of fun, AND really hot. i was glad it was wintertime !

    have fun
    john
     
  24. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Thanks for all the comments guys, and cliveh, thank you. No hurt feelings or anything, I just had to say my piece.

    Ideas are ideas and action is action; if I'm unable to do one I'd like to do the other and APUG is a refuge for thought in an otherwise "action-packed" work week. When I'm at home in the darkroom I'm usually doing very practical things or working on my dye-imbibition stuff or carbon printing. Owing to the limitations of the internet, we have to just trust that people are taking care of their lives off-line and to realize that the output we see on forums is but a small sliver of one's life.

    Ok... well I'm convinced now that glass is too viscous to cast into a delicate relief, and that's a bummer. That chart of Umut's showed about the consistency of honey at 1300°C... a tad warmish. But, what if pressure was applied? The glass might not flow naturally, but perhaps it can be forced in with pressure or something? Though I agree that the whole thing sounds very dicey.

    Etching sounds interesting... and I'm wondering if it could be used to produce a continuous relief in glass. It sounds like tiffdruck creates a continuous relief in copper, if I'm following it correctly(??). The gelatin acts to inhibit the acid, but doesn't block it completely so that certain parts are in contact with acid for longer than other parts and this results in valleys of varying depth. Have I got that right Umut?

    So, what if you could apply a gelatin resist to glass and bathe it in hydrofluoric acid (yikes) or some other etchant? Dissolving away glass sounds like a pandora's box of "material integrity" issues... and the few youtube videos where people drop jam jars in drain cleaner end up looking pretty nasty.

    One last though... if glass casting is incapable of fine detail.. why not just make the print larger? 5, 10, 15 feet across?? Hey, we're talking about stained glass afterall... it better put the fear of god in ya!

    :wink:
     
  25. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Holmburger how about 30 Feet Glass Mosaic based on a photograph or with etched glass like your Ideas more and more

    Dominik
     
  26. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    From here,

    Only a few chemicals aggressively attack glass -- hydrofluoric acid, concentrated phosphoric acid (when hot, or when it contains fluorides), hot concentrated alkali solutions and superheated water. Hydrofluoric acid is the most powerful of this group; it attacks any type of silicate glass. Other acids attack only slightly; the degree of attack can be measured in laboratory tests but such corrosion is rarely significant in service for acids other than hydrofluoric and phosphoric.

    Acids and alkali solutions attack glass in different ways. Alkalis attack the silica directly while acids attack the alkali in the glass.

    When an alkali solution attacks a glass surface, the surface simply dissolves. This process continuously exposes a fresh surface which in turn is dissolved. As long as the supply of alkali is sufficient, this type of corrosion proceeds at a uniform rate.

    Acid corrosion behaves quite differently. By dissolving the alkali in the glass composition, a porous surface is left that consists of the silica network with holes where the alkali has been removed by the acid. This porous surface slows the rate of attack since the acid must penetrate this surface layer to find alkali to dissolve.


    The emphasis above is mine. It sounds like this would be the ideal way to make a relief image in glass, but how to ensure that a continuous relief can be made, consisting of a continuum of depths and not simply on/off (like in half-toning)? What substance, that could be applied to glass through photographic means, would inhibit the action of a glass-corrosive alkali in a linear fashion? That's the crux!

    By the way, hydrofluoric acid sounds like some nasty stuff... :sick: