Q U I L L   S K I L L   N E W S L E T T E R ,   August  2009

Glass art calligraphy by Denis Brown
Above: Detail of a brand new work discussed later in this newsletter.

Quill Skill Newsletter, August 2009

Revealing techniques in my 'Wishie' series
Denis Brown discusses his inspirational '1,000 Wishes' series of calligraphy/glass-art

I've written in earlier newsletters of how my 'Thousand Wishes' project developed; from the initial call for wishes, to the showing of the first suite of works exhibited in Hollywood California, and still online.
I'm still busy with the series, having made 25 works to date, each with an average of about 30 wishes inscribed; but have some 10 more to do, before I reach my target of one thousand wishes. (I am thus still welcoming anybody to e-mail me a wish.) This newsletter shall reveal some of the new techniques I have developed in this series, combing ancient craft with state of the art digital techniques; as well as showing the latest new work, finished just yesterday.

Photos here were first released on my Facebook page. Join Facebook, look me up, and invite me to be your friend to get my latest news as it happens; through my informal postings there.


B A C K G R O U N D   P R E P A R A T I O N


Each work comprises multiple layers of engraved writing on four sheets of glass, presented in a box frame; and the glass sheets are spaced apart and layered over a background image. A principal technique in these works is the engraving of the glass. This is featured in a short movie as part of the CD-ROM of my work, but here I shall discuss some new techniques I'm using to make the background images.

The white area in the photograph above has been painted onto a paper background gilt with copper based metal leaf. The metal was distressed with abrasive pumice powders to reveal color washes underneath. Later I printed a custom photograph of a dandelion 'blow-ball' over that white area. More about the photo & printing later. The photo shows squares of loose gold leaf on my gilders cushion cut with my gilders knife at right, which I drop onto a coating on the metal leaf background. The gilding is influenced by traditional Japanese techniques, and the photo below shows me applying Japanese finely shredded gold leaf on a similar coated background. My coating is not a traditional Japanese gum, though I have used this in other works. Here it is a special inkjet coating which facilitates a crisp printing of my photo at a later stage.

A finished work using similar gilding techniques can bee seen by clicking here

shredded gold leaf


Photos of work in progress of a brand new work

This piece (detail at the head of this newsletter, full image at the foot; in progress images below) was finished yesterday, July 30th 2009, and I will frame it on the next sunny day. Today was dull, not so good for checking that layers of glass are clean and dust free.


airbrush work on the bakground image  

The photo at left shows me using an airbrush to blend the printed photograph with hand painted work. It's a color-washed paper with gilding as described above, here using squares of aluminum leaf as well as shredded gold leaf, and gold and aluminum powders. The photo print is a digital composite of a dandelion seed-head, merged with blurred scans from the glass engraving that will lie over this background.

In real life the depth of layering is very rich, and this is still just the background layer!!

Background art   The finished background art. BFK Rives paper, painted & color washed, written on by hand, then coated (also gilt) so as to be able to get a really sharp photo print, then painted more by hand with airbrush and also many little strokes of undiluted acrylic to give a subtle impasto.


Finally an image of the the finished work is posted below.

'Wishie Series' of glass art by Denis Brown

Finished art of the work after the layers of glass engraved writing are assembled on top of the background. Trust me- in real life this make a big difference; that a photo cannot convey. 3-D writing floats above the background in a ball shape. The outer edges feature a lot of acid etching, just painting freehand with acid creams. That helps de-saturate the color away from center, and also gives a ton more 3-D interest. (lost in a any flat photo, unfortunately).


C O M M I S S I O N   O P P O R T U N I T I E S

Works from this series may be made to your commission and shipped worldwide. I can develop a unique work after taking into account your preferences of works published to date. Some buyers like to have their own wish incorporated- a single wish on the topmost sheet of glass is just legible on closest inspection of original works. Standard size of these works is approximately 15" x 15" x 2" deep, and framed in white stained wooden box frames as you can see online. If you are interested in this proposition, please contact me to discuss it further.

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