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Create Illuminated Artwork

Mark Baccay etches glass into a seahorse shape and illuminates it with electroluminescent wire.

Materials and Tools:

wood picture frame
stencil with paper backing
electroluminescent wire (aka el wire)
craft knife
sandblasting equipment
safety glasses
shallow pan of water
glass cleaner
paper towels
instant glue
masking tape sheet
duct tape
wet sponge

1. Sketch a hand-drawn seahorse design in pencil.

2. Scan the sketch and print it out on black acetate stencil on paper backing.

3. "Weed" the stencil by removing details in the design with a craft knife that will be exposed to the sandblasting procedure.

4. Cover the black portion of the stencil with a masking tape sheet and squeegee the tape onto the stencil.

5. Cut away two wedges of the masking sheet on either side of the design to aid in removing the backing paper.

6. Place the stencil onto the glass with the masking sheet side up, paper backing side next to the glass. Place a piece of duct tape across the top of the stencil over the cutout wedges.

7. Bend half of the stencil back so that it rests against the duct tape.

8. Remove the paper backing from the stencil on the half that is bent back.

9. Cut away the paper backing with scissors.

10. Fold the stencil half with the masking sheet now on the top over the glass and squeegee the stencil onto the glass.

11. Bend the other half of the stencil back over the duct tape and remove the paper backing of the remainder of the stencil.

12. Fold the remainder of the stencil back onto the glass and squeegee the stencil onto the glass. Wet the masking backing with a sponge and peel it away from the stencil.

13. Cover the cutout wedges with duct tape.

14. Wearing a respirator, sandblast the glass to etch the stencil design. Sandblasting gives the stenciled image a very clean edge.

15. Place the sandblasted glass into a shallow pan of water to loosen the stencil. Peel away the acetate stencil from the glass. Clean the glass with glass cleaner and wipe it dry with paper towels.

16. Attach the el wire to the edges of the glass with instant glue.

17. Assemble the picture frame. Insert the glass into the frame.

18. Hang the etched glass seahorse and turn on the el wire to illuminate the art piece.


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