Design of the Month · March 2005

  • Floral Carve

    "Floral Carve"

    After designing for stained and etched glass for over 25 years using pencils, overhead projectors and lots of carbon paper, finding The Glass Eye software in 1996 was indeed a Godsend. We had struggled with many vector based computer drawing programs and repeatedly tried to adapt them to the requirements of glass patterns but to no avail. Glass Eye was easy to use and within minutes of loading the software on our old 486 computer we were off to the races. Our first pattern was an intricate grape arbor design for a local tea room. The pattern was quickly printed out on the plotter and off we went to the studio to make the panel. The only thing the software didn't do was make tea for us in the morning!

    As the software has grown, so have its applications for us over the past 9 years. We now design every glass application possible using Glass Eye 2000. From flat panels to 3D pieces, from etch designs to our own advertising images, all are accomplished with Glass Eye 2000. We had approached Dragonfly Software with a suggestion to allow reversal of text in designs for etch design usage. When one etches a sign on the back of the glass, one must reverse the lettering for it to be readable through the glass. Very quickly the solution was at hand. AutoTrace of the text was a fantastic addition to the software (what could be more tedious than drawing text?) and one we very much welcomed! The most versatile software for glass became even more so.

    We recently had a client arrive with a 1920's stained glass window. Its mate had been shattered by the moving company. The glass could not be replicated as it was a very age-darkened version of actual stained glass, that is, a layer of stain had been applied to one side of extremely thin clear glass (far right in photo). We obtained some extra long sheets of Lambert's flashed glass as the client wanted to brighten the color. We digitally photographed the original panel. By importing the photo as a background in Glass Eye 2000, we were able to pick up the subtle differences in etch depth of the various petals and leaves of the original and exactly duplicate the design. By assigning different gray tones to the different depths, we could easily mark the pattern for carving. The design was then sent to the plotter/cutter and voila, we were ready to put the resist onto the glass and go to the blast cabinet.

    We're very happy with what Glass Eye 2000 has allowed us to accomplish in etch art. No more carbon paper, no more pencil sketches on craft paper, no more overhead projectors and very little (if any) hand cutting of resist. Revisions are a snap.

    When clients show up with valuable photographs, we no longer need to keep them at our own risk at the studio. We simply take the image to the scanner and then hand the photo back to the client for safekeeping. Most of all, Glass Eye 2000 has saved us tons of time, and in the business of glass art, time is indeed money. From incredibly detailed military logos to portraits and gifts, so many art glass design tasks are made easier with Glass Eye 2000.

    More etching examples:

    Donation to Wildlife Refuge Center fundraising auction
    Text reversal / AutoTrace functions used

    Gift from daughter to father who was MacArthur's adjutant in the Philippines
    We even included the faded ink sentiment from the general himself
    Man of La Mancha
    Wedding anniversary gift from daughter to parents
    who met at the play Man of La Mancha
    RDECOM insignia
    Military insignia
    Glass Eye 2000 was essential for the accurate replication
    of all the details to be etched and painted (fired)
    on this 72" x 72" panel (hanging in front of glass block wall)

    About the Studio

    Paned Expressions Studios opened in 1979 and has been creating patterns and custom finished glass art commissions throughout the years. They have always felt that stained glass is fine art and not only a craft and this attention to detail shows in their work. In windows, mosaics, fired paints, and etch/carve, they strive to achieve the realism that is the signature of their creations. In 1997, their talents became available to other studios and to hobbyists through their custom pattern design service. In 2003, they compiled many of their designs into pattern collections which are now available in several computer formats for ease of print.

    This pattern may be used to make one or more artworks for sale or personal enjoyment. This pattern may be printed for personal use only and may not be sold or given away in printed or electronic form.

Each month we feature a project designed using Glass Eye 2000. Do you have a project to share with the world? Contact Dragonfly Software and your creation might be our next Design of the Month.