Surface Etching a Design
Surface etching is another technique that an artist may use to obtain contrasting colors within an individual piece of glass. A special type of glass called "flashed" is used for this process. Flashed glass is manufactured by applying a very thin layer of a darker color onto the surface of a lighter colored sheet of glass. The darker thin layer (the "flashed" layer) can be etched, engraved or sandblasted away to reveal areas of the lighter color underneath in whatever design is desired. For example, an artist may use a blue flashed on clear, then etch a design by removing some of the blue surface color to create a design of clear "stars" on a dark blue "sky" background. We used this technique for the stars in the Garden of Gethsemane window on the front cover of this book.
After every glass component has been cut, shaped, painted, etched or otherwise
prepared, it is time to assemble or "lead up" the stained glass
window. However, not before one final, and very important inspection is made.
All finished glass components are arranged back on the light table, or fixed to
the viewing easel, exactly as they will be assembled and the artist will make
one final review of the work.
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Detail of a stained glass window showing an example of symbols etched out of red flashed glass. Detail from a window created for the Veterans Administration Hospital, Knoxville, Iowa.