Seattle meet - August 2002

Compiled by: Irene D'Aloisio

Revised: April 04, 2005

The Gang
Ernie, Jane, Greg, Irene, Jim, Rob, Kathryn (Upper left to lower right)

Meeting Place
Cups, Conversation, and Clutter


Serious Talk
A problem being discussed; a solution ensues


A Lesson
All eyes are on Greg as he demonstrates

What a great session!  On Sunday, August 11, several motivated and generous sandcarvers met to exchange ideas, tips, methods, and to attach a name to the Yahoo Groups Sandcarvers user IDs they have been seeing for awhile.  All but one was from the Puget Sound area. 

Ernie just happened to see our post and was in town for a wedding, so he came along.  Those attending were RTGSANDCARVER (Jim), Robvisel (Rob), Ernie348 (Ernie), Gregory Fairlane (Greg and Jane), Inkartist (Kathryn), irenejd (Irene).  Here are the notes from that session.       

The conversations were fast and furious, and of course, no one waited for the entire ensemble.  Questions and answers and problems and comments began as soon as there was a warm body to address.  The following synopsis lays out the topics discussed.  The detail provided on each topic varies as the note taker was more interested in the conversation than taking notes!

Tape:  duct vs. masking.  In general, everyone complained about the inability to remove masking tape easily.  Greg suggested that duct tape be used instead.  It's cheaper and comes off much easier.   However, he says do  NOT use just ordinary duct tape as the adhesive of this is very stubborn.  Harbor Freight sells a vinyl tape exactly like the Rayzist tape, and it leaves very little residue after the blast.   Greg uses HF electrical tape for the detail taping and the wider stuff for quick masking.

Blowouts on photoresist:   Several suggestions here.  A couple of the group use heat to encourage the resist to stick to the substrate.  One member uses a heat lamp and lets the substrate sit under it for awhile.  Another heats the substrates in the oven and uses a hair dryer/heat gun to heat the resist.  Many let the item sit overnight after applying the resist and before blasting.   Another suggestion was to pierce the smaller lines/letters and firmly press the air out before blasting.  This, in particular, was applied to small fonts with letters having round centers like d, e, o, etc.  Use a knife or `picker' to stab or perforate the exposed area, i.e., the center of the letter, and then firmly press to adhere and remove the air.  

Lots of discussion on exposure time, washout time, and which resist works best.  Was everyone having difficulty with the self-adhesive type sticking?  Ernie shared that he uses a pressure washer and his washout time is only 15 seconds or so.  He also washes out over a floodlight.  He also shared pictures of his washout chamber, which he made from a 55 gallon plastic tub.  The directions for these  are on the board. 

Trust:  an interesting topic.  Can we trust our products to perform as promised?  Many of us don't trust them but need to as we seem to waste energy worrying about whether or not they will work for us.  Overall, the group decided this comes with experience.

Photography/halftones:   a subject that was discussed in great length.   Greg, Kathryn, and Ernie brought examples and shared their processes with us.  Greg brought pieces he did with different methods, so we could see the difference.  Greg makes his adjustments in Photoshop while Ernie makes his on the printer.  At next month's workshop, we are going to work on photoresist and halftones.

Printers:   what we use.  Most everyone has an HP.   Some are very old and work fine, even with 300 dpi.

 Carving rock:  Many have the problem of the resist not sticking. 

Others wanted to know how deep to carve.   There were suggestions to use a separate adhesive which should be applied with a foam brush to avoid striations.  Also, someone  said that 5 mil is thick enough to do a ¼" deep carve. 

BAT:   Lots of variations in use of the blastable adhesive tape.  Some had success and others didn't.   The degree of line fineness was questioned: could the BAT achieve a fine line?  Again, some had had success with this.  Others mentioned a problem with tack.  It was suggested that the BAT be applied to the resist and then only lightly burnished on the glass.

 Raster/Vector/Wacom:  A couple of us use a Wacom input device.  Both had great things to say about it.  Wacom is an input device which will allow you to draw on a tablet which creates an image on the screen.  It digitizes the image and can be quicker than scanning and cleaning up an image.

 Moniker Tile:   A good place in Seattle to buy tile, rock, and slate, in particular.

 Copyright:  A healthy discussion on this was held.  Let's leave it at that so no one misinterprets anything!

 Paint:  Rob recommended Lithco/Lithichrome paint.  The one he uses on his rocks is Shadow Black.  Questions came up on what paint is safe to use on glass for edibility.  Another was recommended for glass, Pebeo, which needs to be baked.  Michael's has paint as well that is dishwasher safe.  It is called `french'.    The Rayzist pen with color, according to attendees, created uneven, streaky color. 

Moisture:  Definite problems with moisture in the NW.  It was suggested that a water separator be installed and then a desiccant filter be installed between the water separator and the pot.  Some talk also about a wall system to filter out water.  Be sure the pipes are on a slight decline to move the water down.

Abrasive:  NW Abrasives was recommended as the place to get grit.

Booths:  A suggestion for booth lights was to put them at eye level.

Design detail:  All agreed that less is more.

Blanks/glass:   Per Kathryn Whitacre:   "Craftsman is a division of Wholesale Glass out of Texas.  I get my very nice "barked edge" 1/2" thick glass from them. Their catalogue is:   The main site is: and you can look around.  Their glass supplies are great too... I get my UV glass glue from them…glues glass without a seam/residue; sets up in mere seconds-- depending upon the UV source. (it was a WOW moment for me when I found this product!)  If you want the awards choose - Craftsman Division...their site has a slow loading graphic on the Craftsman homepage (I suggested they have a button to stop the graphic from loading) but it is very nicely done.   This shows the awards as they do them. Call and ask for  Kim or Shanna they can help you set up an account and quote you the wholesale price on their blanks (very good prices, I think). Their toll free USA number is: 1-800-666-3668. I didn't see the water cut edge stuff that I get; but it is rough on two sides and smooth on the other two  (custom order).  It is gorgeous. I use it for a software company. I have done this award for four years. It is much anticipated by the recipient. It is displayed in their headquarters on a lit display. I'm sure it looks wonderful.

"This glass company will ship anywhere. They are very full service and their people are wonderful to work with: polite, efficient, knowledgeable, accurate and interested in your satisfaction and work.  I found them by surfing the internet one night. I have not been disappointed. I have no vested interest in I hope your experience is as good as mine. You may tell them that you heard about them from me -  Kathryn Whitacre aka inkartist - through Sandcarvers, so they can see how quickly a good word is spread."