Carved and etched glass, at least in my case, is done with silicon carbide under pressure. In effect, itâ€™s â€śsandblastingâ€ť. A resist is applied to the glass, a design is drawn on the resist and the elements of the design are cut out. For carving that has several different depths, the deepest elements are cut out and carved first, then the second deepest and so on. Glass can also be surface-etched and in this case, the surface is frosted and all design elements are the same depth. This can be done on tempered glass that doesnâ€™t allow for deep carving.
I often like to light carved pieces with neon, as the neon light travels through the glass and refracts from the carved areas. Neon comes in lots of colors, doesnâ€™t generate much heat and lasts almost forever without burning out. Modern neon transformers are small, and can be hidden in bases or even in hollow table legs. And the neon can be made in almost any shape.
My neon comes from Magic Light Neon in Crawfordsville, Indiana. The owner, Bill Platipodis, is very creative and can do about anything that can be done with neon. Itâ€™s great fun working with him and Iâ€™ve learned a lot about this flexible and interesting light source.
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