I am given a task
I should have know what was coming: David approached me this morning with a spring in his step, a twinkle in his eyes, and a piece of paper in his hand.
Here, he said, this is for you.
His enthusiastic tone implied even the Rosetta Stone was significantly less important than this paper which he gave me.
On the paper: instructions.
And the reason I tell you this tale so you get some insight into the so-called romance and excitement of the glass painter’s daily life.
Romance and excitement – if only.
In David’s tidy hand-writing, the paper said:
- Apply a light tone in umber brown sepia
- Trace the detailed lines in umber brown sepia
- Strengthen them in violet of iron
- Flood the borders and dragons
- Take out highlights; spottle; soften and distress
- Apply a light tone to the reverse, then spottle, soften and scrub out highlights for staining later on
- 1st firing @ 625 celsius
- Apply a light tone of enamel etch to the front, then spottle and soften it
- Stain the back (use Reusche 1384)
- 2nd firing @ 565 or 570 celsius (depending on which kiln you use)
- Apply a graphite patina and then seal it with fixative
- Cut and glue the blue fluting. Leave to dry for 24 hours, then test for strength
David pointed to my light-box.
The prototype which I must copy
There I saw the prototype:
Plus the measurements: 320 mm by 185 mm.
Plus the terrifying words:
We need 120 of these.