Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bas Relief: Day 1

We started our workshop doing bas relief, a method of carving an image that is slightly raised from the flat background.

To do this, fiber paper is used.  Fiber paper is a heat resistant paper made with alumina silicate fibers.   Images are carved out of the paper using an Exacto knife.  The carved image pieces can be used under the glass to leave a raised image in the glass.  The carved out piece can be placed under the glass so the glass sinks or sagged into the vacant areas when fused creating the images.

In the first sculpture (the birds), the carved out sheet of fiber paper was used.  The flat, clear glass sheets were cut to fit the perimeter of the fiber paper and placed on top.
Here are the results.
This is one piece of glass, turned front and back to show you the two different effects of using positive (draping over the fiber paper) and negative (slumping into the fiber paper).
Here, the birds protrude slightly from the background, while their wings (cut out of the original image) are the same level as the flat background and appear indented.  This is the image that results from using the positive (or cut out pieces) technique.
Here the birds are slightly indented from the flat foreground, while their wings (added back to the cut out image) are even with the flat foreground, but look slightly raised.  This image view results from using the negative technique.

Either way, I am happy with the results.  It almost looks like snow in the background.  Those are tiny air bubbles in between the glass.  Two sheets of COE 96 clear glass were used in this project.

I will write tomorrow about the other two pieces.  Visit for more workshop stories.