I have been working on a commission for my cousin Karen, who took her family across the United States along the famous Route 66. Karen wanted a version of the route sign in leaded glass. I downloaded a photo and manipulated it so that I had a high contrast print that could then be used to create the “cartoon”. The cartoon is an accurate drawing of the panel, which indicates the glass and lead sections.
I also had to tighten up the lettering as the characters had started to fill and I wanted to sharpen up the typography. So I was now able to paste this onto the finished cartoon.
I decided that I wanted the lettering on the shield to be “reversed-out” of colour, so that the lettering would be clear glass. I thought that powdered and granulated glass (frit) would emphasis the weatherbeaten aesthetic that are a feature of these rusting signs. I used Spectrum 96 compatible fusers glass for the clear glass base and the “grit”.
I cut out the lettering from a copy of the cartoon and stuck them in position with double-sided tape. I could then apply fuser’s glue and sprinkle the powder and granules onto the sheet of clear Spectrum 96. On the lower panel of the shield I used powdered frit and then poured more fuser’s glue and let it run to give the impression of spray paint graffiti.
Once the glue had dried then the lettering was pealed away from the clear glass bass and fired in a kiln. Unfortunately the firing proved to be problematic as bubbles were formed on the lower panel, causing the lettering to distort. I then decided to follow the distorted shape of the lettering, again to emphasis the shabby aesthetic.
Despite spending quite a bit of money on my Dremel tool, the attachments were not suitable for glass so I ended up using the tips of diamond files to hand etch the lettering.
I was able to complete the panel despite the issue with the glass bubbling in the kiln and the subsequent distortion of the lettering.