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.
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 !
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!
Holmburger how about 30 Feet Glass Mosaic based on a photograph or with etched glass like your Ideas more and more
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...
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Well this kinda resembles what I originally had in mind... though obviously lacking some of the requisites...
I am "back" after a week of having such a bad headcold that I lost interest in even reading about technical matters. I have done a few vey limited experiments in which I encapulated Pt/Pd/Au images between layers of glass and fired them in a kiln. For the images themselves, I used the same "subbing" and procedures that I have discribed in detail in an article in www.alternativephotography.com. I then fired the images in a kiln, The images retained there integrity through multiple layering and firing, laying one imaged sheet of glass on top of another for a total of 5 firings, one each for c,m,y and k layers and a top layer of glass.
I have not yet atempted a pigmented version of this. That will require special pigments that I have never even tried yet. But they are common in glass art.
I unintentionaly posted the above prematurely.
I purchased my glass firing equipment with grand intentions. But all of my time and effort I have invested in developing my panchro silver halide emulsion. If,and I mean IF, I I ever finish this and can get back to ART again (Now I'm not sure if I ever started ART ) I fuly intend to pursue this. Firing of not onl;y Pt/Pd/Au, but also Carbon Transfer.
A friend of mine, with similar interests, is further along than I am, not having been distracted by making her own Film for color separation work. I hope to visit her and her lab in WA to get caught up, once I am satisfied with my Panchro emulsion.
I missed outt on the Philosophy debate. Personaly, I find it impossible to NOT keep doing the same thing over and over again., For me doing is the pathway to original thought. Maybe some people can dream in a void. But the more I work to a specific goal, the more possible varriants and tangents occure to me. It realy is not a matter of who is right or wrong. Different people learn in different ways. Some people can read books and learn everything that they will ever want to know on a subject that way. That, by definition, is learning what someone else has thouhjt/done. That in not only enough for some people, for those people it is all that there is to learning. Others can spend a liftime doing the same thing over and over again and actualy keep getting better and better at it until they die. To that kind of person, that is enough. I once made a project out of mimicking Weston's Peper. Well, I could do it everyday for the rst of my life and mabe I could get so close that few could tell the difference between Weston's Original and my Fake. For some people that is enough. Stll some "photographers" (I actualy knew one) never do anything but plot chracteristic curves. Matching film to developer to to temperature to time to density. That, even I cannot relate to.!
For me, my hands are not connected to my brain. I am the clumsiest lab worker in the history of mankind. Yet doing stimulates my ideas. I am a mechanical Putz who, in my previous "Proffesional Life" was callked a "Mechanical genious". Sometimes people thought that I was doing the same thing over and over when infact my deliberate variations were just not obvious to the casual observer.
Glad to have you join the discussion, and indeed, knowing your love for glass I figured it was just a matter of time!
So over the weekend I've had a new idea for this one. My friend is a jewelry maker, and I asked her about casting glass and she started telling me about enamel.
Basically it's powdered glass with pigment that you fire and it will fuse to various metals. There is even a technique called plique-à-jour, which means 'letting in daylight' and is like stained glass in that it's designed to be viewed with transmitted light.
She also has a small kiln which excites me...
So anyways, I was thinking back to the original idea; using a plaster mold from a swelled carbon matrix (there are many, many precedents for this kinda thing, a lot of photoengraving techniques use it...). In the mold you could pour the very fine enamel powder into it, probably with a fairly high degree of resolution, use a very flat blade of sorts to scrape the top off, leaving enamel only in the valleys and in proportion to the image density, and finally fire it and allow the enamel to flow & fuse, hopefully not to the plaster, but just to itself.
This would leave you with a very fragile image in enamel, and you'd have to "lift" it out of the mold and ultimately combine it with the 2 other layers if you're doing full color. I wonder if this would work...
Bill, maybe after we have the 3 layers, they could be put onto a sheet of glass and fired one last time to fuse them all together into a true stained glass photograph?
Let me know if you come across some suitable CMY colors in enamel. I've done a little looking and it seems like a good magenta might be the hardest, but I'm sure it's really hard to tell from online color swatches. Also, how did your experiments in Pt/Pd/Au end up?