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Hamilton Bank Note reverse glass sign, Step-by-Step Part 1

Hand Lettering topics: Sign Making, Design, Fabrication, Letterheads, Sign Books.

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Larry White
Posts: 1213
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:18 am

Hamilton Bank Note reverse glass sign, Step-by-Step Part 1

Post by Larry White »

HBN-Web.JPG (61.93 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
I saw this wonderful image as I was looking through my Letterheads magazines. It was rather small, but I was able to get a larger version. Looks to me like it would make a very nice reverse glass sign.

Defining Design Elements - The first thing that caught my eye with this one was the fancy borders and ornaments. They definately call to be depth carved into the glass. Then, after depth carving, they would have to be gilded in some manner in order for the depth carving to show up. Bronze powder would also work, but isn't quite as reflective as a water gild would be. I would lean toward water gilding. Different portions would most likely be gilded in different types of gold leaf. Some of the lettering could also be depth carved. I am not a screen printer, so I probably look at this a bit differently than someone approaching it from that angle. All that scroll work is quite elaborate, so I think not elaborating on the lettering would be in order. However, a glue chipped letter center with a fading glaze, might look pretty darn nice some where. But it will be the gilded depth carved scroll work that I will use to set the tone of the piece. The next step will be to convert the art into a line drawing and determine the finished size. Hmm...computer...pencil....computer...pencil....
I think I'll do it with my pencil...that sounds funner. While I create the pencil drawing, I will be defining the techniques I want to employ. As I define the techniques that I'm going to employ, it will define the correct order of execution.

Initial Composition Ideas - My initial vision for this piece is mostly gold tone inscriptions and scroll work against a light beige/tan mottled background.

Hamilton- Depth carved letters finished in a dark brown mica or bronze powder with a 16K burnished primary drop shadow, paladium leaf burnished secondary shade, with MOP ornaments in the letters.

Bank Note- Also depth carved, finished in blended mica powder with the same gilded drop shadows.

Company- Again, depth carved with a 22K moon gold water gild, painted drop shadow, and paladium secondary shade.

Scroll work & ornaments- Depth carved, tinted, and water gilded Rouge gold.

Misc. secondary text- Various water gilded leaf, perhaps acid etched centers on "Bonds" with a colored glaze fade.

- Probably hand painted oil paintings (not done in reverse on the glass).

Background- Mottled beige/tan colors. I am also considering replicating the stripes in the backgound, probably with an asphaltum glaze.

This is another piece to be done on extra-clear glass. Might I suggest always using extra-clear glass.

Image Converted to Line Drawing-
HBNline-web.JPG (52.56 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
I made an enlargement of the original and traced the image into a line drawing (done in pencil). I have figured this piece to be approx. 29" x 44". I took the line drawing over to Kinko's and procured half a dozen enlargements in reverse to use as my pattern for the various techniques. I will be ordering a piece of extra-clear glass with the first step being acid etching, followed by the large amount of sandcarving.

Step 1 - Textured Acid Etching
HBN-AcidMask.jpg (53.59 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
After cleaning the glass and applying the vinyl for the resist, I registered and spray mounted one of the reverse copies of the line art to it. I then proceeded to hand cut and weed out the areas that I wanted to etch. I added a computer cut ornament into the open squares. They were cut out of some red vinyl and are a bit hard to see in the photo.
HBN-AcidApplication.jpg (34.54 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
I applied the acid/mica paste over the weeded areas and left the mixture on the glass for 30 minutes.
HBN-AcidResult.jpg (32.66 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
This is the resulting stippled etch texture in the glass. I have found that sifting the dust out of the mica, and using a fresh acid mixture, yields the sharpest, most pronounced texture.

Step 2 - Sandcarving
HBN-Cut4SB.jpg (54.61 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
I remasked the glass with 15 mil heavy duty Venture Tape sandblast mask.
I cut a few windows in it to expose the acid etching. I then registered the previously used copy to the acid etched images. When registered, I spray mounted the paper copy onto the sandblast mask. I then proceeded to hand cut all the areas that are to be depth carved. With so many different overlapping elements, I am going to make a "road map" of what gets peeled 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. There will also be areas where the masking will need to be put back in. I peel the paper copy off as I cut to ensure everything is cut.
HBN-SandblastingExecution.jpg (65.88 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
I created this color coded "road map" so I could keep track of what I was doing. There's at least a hundred steps involved. The large primary copy was sandblasted with a large (1/2") nozzle. This keeps the depth carving nice and uniform. Next, a good portion of the scroll work was sandblasted with a medium nozzle (1/4"). It was done with a "progressive peel" method which yields a varying depth to different elements with a soft edge transition between them. Where the scrolls overlap, the mask was put back in, in order to keep a sharp edge between the elements. The finer detail work was done with a fine tip (1/16"). These elements were done with both the "mask replacement" & the "progressive peel" methods.
HBN-Sandblasting.jpg (82.53 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
The finished sandcarving came out quite tight. There's just a few places I need to touch up.
HBN-SandblastingDetail1.jpg (62.58 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
Here is a detail of the upper cone element. The overall height of this element is 5 3/4".
HBN-SandblastingDetail2.jpg (76.78 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
Here is a detail of the lower depth carved element.
This concludes all of the glass surface alteration techniques that I am employing in this piece. The glass surface alteration techniques are always done first.

Step 3 - Ribbon and Pictorial Frame
HBN-ScrollwrorkTinting.jpg (48.89 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
I masked over the area to do the ribbon and pictorial frame and re-registered and spray mounted one of the xerox copies down to it. I then hand cut out the areas to be treated. I airbrushed a transparent glaze of Asphaltum and Clear Fibroseal to shade the ribbon and used Black Fibroseal (mixed into Clear Fibroseal) to create the glaze for the pictorial frame.
HBN-scrollwrorkEmbossing.jpg (51.02 KiB) Viewed 4871 times
I surface gilded the backside areas of the ribbon with green verigated leaf, then using embossing varnish (1/3 Quick Rubbing Varnish, 1/3 Damar Varnish, & 1/3 Resin Gel), I tooled in a swirl design into the front areas of the ribbon.

This step-by-step is continued in Hamilton Bank Note reverse glass sign, Step-by-Step Part 2.
Larry White
That's enough for now... it's gettin' late
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Anthony Bennett
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 4:50 am
Location: England

Re: Hamilton Bank Note reverse glass sign, Step-by-Step Part 1

Post by Anthony Bennett »

LArry, Thanks for doing this.

Intersted in the acid paste you used, do you make your own or is it bought over the counter please?
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