Altered Art: Etched Brush Pots

Happy New Year! I have a new year intention (I don’t do resolutions, too much pressure) to have a studio clear out and tidy up. As a first step, I decided to replace my water pots for use in classes. Inexpensive Ikea smoked glasses caught my eye – stable and weighty, perfect! Of course, I couldn’t just leave them unadorned…

A little work on some typography, vinyl cutting on my Silhouette and a generous dollop of Armor Etch and my etched brush pots are complete. One features a caution symbol and ‘contains paint’, specifically targeted at one of my studio guests who can mistake her glass of water for the painty water pot. Another has the steps required for cleaning a brush. The third has all the words I could find in the thesaurus connected with cleaning a brush. And the fourth has phrases playing around with the whole brush pot concept, such as ‘clean brush, cloudy water’ and ‘colours in suspense’.

Bearing this in mind, tidying the studio is going to take forever if at each point I have an idea I then implement, making a mess in the process…

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Glass Etching with Armour Etch

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I have learnt three things on this little project:

  1. Etching glass with Armour Etch through a vinyl stencil that I cut on my Silhouette Cameo is quick, simple and delightfully effective. This inexpensive Ikea glass is now carrying the branding that I use for my studio.
  2. Photographing glass, like mirrors, is incredibly tricky! I spent roughly 15 minutes etching the glass, and then the next hour learning how to take the photograph! I ended up lighting it from beneath with a small LED push-light with a sheet of paper between it and the glass to dim it slightly. All of this was in a blackout tent, with a small amount of light from above, and poking my phone through a small slit in the tent. The first attempts had so much reflection of both the lighting and the surroundings, the etching wasn’t visible.
  3. Cleaning the glass digitally was so much more effective than in real life. I’d done my best using alcohol and non-shedding cloths, but the pesky dust specks really showed up despite my best efforts. The Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop really came to the fore to remove them. Though not perfect, I think as a bit of amateur product photography I can get away with it šŸ˜‰

All that’s left to do is the rest of my glasses!

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