Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

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megan child
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Country NSW, Australia

Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by megan child » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:51 am

Hi all,

I have been honing in on my mirroring skills and now have a 85% success rate. I have also been working on some brush skills my downward strokes are really really good but the rest are just mediocre. Which leads me to the question of what comes first do I hand sign write on the glass first and then back it up and lastly mirror or do I mirror the glass first? Im just not sure what the best way is and my previous attempts haven't been that wonderful. If you could give me some feedback I'd appreciate it.

meg :roll:
Attachments
1.jpeg
My first attempt. I applied a vinyl mask, mirrored the glass and then after removing the mask I gilded and backed the previously masked area.
1.jpeg (25.67 KiB) Viewed 5616 times
2.jpeg
In my 2nd attempt I glue chipped a small area of the B prior to mirroring.
2.jpeg (29.72 KiB) Viewed 5607 times
4.jpeg
My third piece is more intricate and I had many problems, this is when I thought that it may be better to sign write on the mirror
4.jpeg (28.72 KiB) Viewed 5604 times
3.jpeg
This is the back, I added smalt to the black paint but I'm not sure if I did it correctly.
3.jpeg (33.72 KiB) Viewed 5603 times
Meg
I don't make mistakes, I just have learnings.

:p

Roderick Treece
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Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Roderick Treece » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:41 am

Hi Kim,
For me the choice is ,
What does the design look like ?
If the design is simple without alot of fussy art or small details then I prefer to mirror first. The mirror backing paint I use has a very hot solvent base so it's always better to do the mirroring first. Second thing is cleaning the glass for mirroring is hard on the paint so if I am doing NEW mirroring sometime I worry about taking paint off with the cleaning process. If I am doing antique mirroring I would do it last because there isn't the need to be so carefull about cleaning.
If you plan the project properly you can use one mask for many things. Like the mirroring and matte centers or painting.

Good luck

Roderick Treece
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Location: San deigo Calif
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Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Roderick Treece » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:42 am

PS
What formula and metheod are you using to do your mirroring ?

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Lee Littlewood » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:14 pm

Hi Megan, are you in the fire area? It sounds terrible.

We always silver first and letter second. We have had poor results when mirroring over paint, but as Roderick says if the result is to be an antique mirror then some haze around the letters might be a feature, not a bug. And as he mentions, cleaning the glass is a prime consideration, so any work done before silvering has a chance to contaminate the clean surface.

We do a lot of our backing up with silk screen - this allows very fine detail to be applied to the silver. And a screen can be burned from cut vinyl (on a clear backing sheet) or film positive (from a graphic center) or hand lettering on clear acetate film. If doing it by hand, remember that yellow is actually the best color for blocking UV (from the exposing light) but it is hard to see, so we add a bit of black to get olive drab. If you're careful, you can burn drybrush strokes and print them.
The reason you can get very fine detail on silver is that the desilvering chemical is dissolving the metal where it isn't protected by greasy paint. With gold leaf the removal is abrasive, actually grinding the leaf while softening the gelatine under it, so it is hard (but not impossible - look at Noel Weber or Dave Smith for thin thin lines) not to lift little bits here and there. But with mirror the chemical does all the work. When I work on site I apply the desilver with a foam brush, and sometimes scrub a little, but very gently.

If you don't have access to screenprinting, this may be a moot point. Then you are back to hand work (at least we have never had much success with stencils), but remember that almost anything will repel the silverstrip, it does not have to be a good solid lay of paint. If you go gently, you can make nice lines with a felt tip.
where am i? Now, when i need me...

Roderick Treece
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Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Roderick Treece » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:40 pm

Hi Lee,
Thanks for the great info. Do make up your own chemicals or by it pre-made A B C ? Are you spraying or pouring?

megan child
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Country NSW, Australia

Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by megan child » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:11 pm

Gee Guys,

Thanks for all the food for thought. A long time ago I saw the screen printing done on a glass surface and I think I could get a frame made up and set a mask on the silk and that should help me out with the intricacies of detail. So I will get straight onto that for my next project.
I use Sarah Kings mirroring kit for the mirrors and although in the first two shots the mirroring doesn't look crash hot I have improved. In fact the second B mirror has gold like patching on it due to me leaning it up near our wood fire - I had no idea the fumes would react to it.

As for the fires, we had a small one just less than a Km away from us on friday. I had all our car packed and the animals ready just incase I was told to evacuate. My son who was 400 Kms away at a shooters camp was in the same situation although the fire near him burnt out over 100 hectares where as our home fire was only a small 1 hectare.

Well Im heading back to the drawing board to try again.

Meg :D
Meg
I don't make mistakes, I just have learnings.

:p

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Lee Littlewood » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:45 pm

Roderick,

We buy our chemicals, either from Sarah King or Peacock. I have great respect for those of you who make your own, but I would worry about consistency if we did it. We do both spray and pour; although I am more familiar with the spray technique, Ron in our shop does reproduction beer signs that are mirrored to the edge, so pouring is the way to go.

Here is a link to an article I have on my website that goes over some of this, with pictures. You can tell it is an old article, because it has Esoteric Signs as a supplier, sigh. And it does not list Sarah King - I need to get my web designer to update (but he's in Nicaragua, and I'm afraid to touch anything).

http://www.lblsigns.com/articles/articles.html
where am i? Now, when i need me...

Roderick Treece
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Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Roderick Treece » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:02 pm

Thanks for the link Lee,
I remember that step by step of mirroring the on site window. One question, why did you choose to mirror it rather than water gild 12k gold leaf ?
I have purchased my mirroring chemicals from both Sara and Peacock in the past but now buy them from Del Amo in LA. They only sell a spray formula ABC. I am very interested in learning how to make my own formulas so I have more control over the process. At this point when things don't work quite as well as they should I don't have the experience to know what to add or subtract to make a defference.

Maybe we should have a Silvering meet to share ideas ! ?

Megan , Keep it up. I want to know more about your fire teqnique? Let see what it looked like when you put it near the heat ???

megan child
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Country NSW, Australia

Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by megan child » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:04 pm

Hi Guys,

I brought a screen and applied a vinyl decal to it, the first time the decal came off while printing so I did it again. But only onto plain glass as a test trial. Well its a shocker of a mess. I dont have screenprinting skills and I thought this would be a better option but its not worked so far BUT im not down and dusted yet. :wink:

My thoughts on the first run done on clean glass - the vinyl didnt stick :( due to either of the following
1. I didnt apply the vinyl firmly
2. Enamel - Solver brand paint effected the vinyl
3. I chose the wrong kind of paint
Q's :?
1. Should I use enamel or water base paint?
2. Is there a best brand to go for?

On my second run I tried a water based paint and had the following result - the vinyl stuck but the paint didnt flow through well and all I got was smeared paint with no defined lines. :oops:

After looking at the LetterheadSign Supplies How to - I am more convinced this is the way I should go but heading over there for a 4 day workshop isnt in my budjet this week.

Your advice is invaluable for me what would you suggest I do next ?

The Mirror Child
:D
meg
Meg
I don't make mistakes, I just have learnings.

:p

Tyler Tim
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:12 am

Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Tyler Tim » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:49 pm

I've done some screen printing... but never with paint. I think fresh paint is to thin and wants to flow and level out... whereas screen ink is thick and stays where it's laid allowing for the fine details to be retained. I'd try cleaning the screen place the cut graphics on the bottom of the screen and use a rubber brayer roller or a wallpaper seam roller to seat the vinyl then flip and rub to the frame and seal with 2" packing tape round the edge. Load some enamel screen ink or backup ink and pull your squeegee. Give it another go as I believe the key to your failure is the paint. You should be able to get 6 to 12 prints from a vinyl mask.

Good Luck Tim
Sure I paint thing for my amusement and then offer them for sale. A brushslinger could whither en die from lack of creativity in this plastic town my horse threw a shoe in. :shock:

Rich Hawthorne
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:22 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon USA

Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Rich Hawthorne » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:12 am

What a great idea to cut your mask out of vinyl to make a screen. I will certainly try it. But, one question: why not just put emulsion on the screen, apply your mask and then burn the screen?

I'm gonna talk to you guys about mirroring. I need to know this.

erik winkler
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Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by erik winkler » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:04 pm

Rich,

I remember that you had some paintsamples for me.
Realizing we are in the 2nd renaissance of the arts.
Learn, copy and trying to improve...
Still in the learning phase ;-)
Amsterdam Netherlands
www.ferrywinkler.nl
www.schitterend.eu
www.facebook.com/Schitterend.eu

megan child
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Country NSW, Australia

Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by megan child » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:41 pm

Well guys,

I'll be in Sydney on Friday so I'm stopping at a 3rd Generation Screenprinter's shop who's going to go through the process of screenprinting onto glass and exposing my images using sunlight with me so I keep on going I have a series of designs and ideas I want to do in the next few months.

So off I go into the smog and dust to learn a bit more.

:P
Meg
I don't make mistakes, I just have learnings.

:p

megan child
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Country NSW, Australia

Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by megan child » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:54 pm

I'm back from Sydney and am rearing to get started. So I've chosen a design and wanted to go through the process steps with you prior to commencing so you can steer me in the right direction if I get off track.

I plan to crack the glass and angel gild the teddy bear, the fish's fins and tales I will sandblast and silver. the area for the scales I want to add abalone.

1. screen print black outlines onto glass surface
2. paint area not to be sandblasted with Asphaltm
3. sandblast unprinted area
4. glue chip teddy bear
5. wait till all chipping is complete - about 48hrs? :?
6. clean glass and remove asphaltm
7. prepare glass for silvering
8. Angel gild teddy bear (what is the best way to keep the liquid in the area you want it to adhere to?)
9. Silver glass completely twice
10. ?? remove excess silver where abalone will be placed :?
11. back silvered glass
12. adhere abalone to glass
13. final backup

Comments Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee :P
Attachments
bearfishsml.jpg
chosen design
bearfishsml.jpg (7.41 KiB) Viewed 5078 times
Meg
I don't make mistakes, I just have learnings.

:p

Roderick Treece
Posts: 1048
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 8:04 pm
Location: San deigo Calif
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Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Roderick Treece » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:34 am

Hi Megan,
I would
Mask the glass
Screen print
Cut your chipping area out and weed
Chip
take off mask
Reprint design

Your print my come off if you print before chipping. The cleaning process for asphaltum and chipping is hard on paint. I haven't used asphaltum to chip in years.

Larry White
Posts: 1140
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:18 am

Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by Larry White » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:41 am

My first thought, is, what size is this piece going to be?

Crack the glass? Most of us don't like it if our glass is cracked.

Asphaltum WILL NOT resist the sandblasting, it will blast right off.
You will need to use a vinyl mask.

Silvering into a sandblasted area will have a very slight metalic quality,
but really just turns gray.

Depending on the size of the piece, you may loose some detail in the
bear if you glue chip it. (Might be better to do a mica acid etch).

A dam of industrial strength hot melt glue can be used to isolate
smaller areas for solution gilding. Attempting angel gilding and silvering
in one process can be challenging....but not impossible. The problem is,
there needs to be a separation of the two areas for the dam, and if its
angel gilded, then the dam removed prior to silvering, the glass will not
have been tinned under the dam area. Re-tinning over the angel gild would
not be a good idea. I would consider silvering the piece, removing the silver
from the bear and leafing it.
Larry White
That's enough for now... it's gettin' late
Town Of Machine
http://www.walljewelry.com

megan child
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Country NSW, Australia

Re: Which comes first the mirror or the sign?

Post by megan child » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:57 pm

The piece of glass is a tad over 8" x 11"

Okay I probably wont crack the glass - but theres no guarantees in life :D

I've taken your idea with the mica acid etch and if I can source the HYDROFLUORIC ACID I'll give it a shot rather than glue chipping as it is such a small area and I really want it to look shmick. And if I choose this technique I wont need to gild the area (not that I dont like gilding).

I saw the recent video of Dave Smiths and I understand the vinyl/screenprint/cut method and thats the way I'll go.

So I now have a few Q's
If I go the way of the mica acid etch will I silver over that area?
If not am I best to make a dam and silver around it ?
When I go to back the silver should I back the etch too?
If I dam it and need to back it should I use a colour that matches the mica? (makes sense doesnt it as it would give the mica more depth of colour)

So I'll run through my steps again

1. cover both front and back with vinyl,
2. screen print design on one side
3. cut out area to be etched
4. etch glass using Rick Glawsons method
5. wash the glass
6. screen print design on glass
7. silver glass
8. remove excess silver
9. back silver ?
10. add abalone using glass glue
11. seal the back (not sure what to use there)

thanks for your advice - obviously heaps better than groping in the dark :roll:

Meg
Meg
I don't make mistakes, I just have learnings.

:p

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