After much deliberation, Blackbird Pye is testing the waters with photo emulsion sandblasting masks. This will enable us to achieve far greater detail than we've attempted with cut vinyl.
We began our production with 11-mil sandblast-resist vinyl, which turns out to be incredible overkill for our needs. It would be perfect for etching tombstones or river rocks. So I began experimenting with a roll of 2-mil vinyl, and it's better than imagined! But an upcoming custom job will require much more detailed etching. We want to make sure we are covering all bases and producing the absolute best work available, so we're adding the new process.
Along with the photo emulsion resists we've invested in a new and different type of sandblaster, and have been testing it all month in anticipation of receiving the new material soon. So far, so good!
We plan to continue using both methods, depending on the complexity of the design, as the photo emulsion material is far more expensive per unit than the vinyl rolls. But the complexity of our designs is no longer limited, as the Armadillo de los Muertos, below, illustrates.
A finely detailed drawing taking advantage of our new photo emulsion masks.