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Rowan uses a range of traditional techniques such as leadwork and glass painting, and some more innovative ones such as sandblasting, a method exemplified by the work of Julia Linstead.
The glass she likes to use most is handblown in the West Midlands using Swedish sand. She also uses glass from Poland and France. When the glass is blown frit (ground glass colour consisting of metal oxides such as copper, iron, and cobalt depending on the end colour) is added which creates the unique and varied colours that give the glass its special beauty and lustre.
Imagery is made by matting paint onto the glass and scratching or sandblasting it away, not unlike some etching techniques. The paint used is ground glass pigment, consisting of metal oxides, powdered glass and gum, which is applied using various methods. The painted glass is then fired in a kiln which vitrifies the paint, causing it to bond with the glass and become part of the panel itself.
Sandblasting involves applying a resist which is then cut away and the image created by sandblasting the exposed surface of the glass to either reveal the colour below, if using flashed glass, or simply to give a texture to part of the design. This sandblasted surface catches the light in a dazzling fashion and enhances the visual effect of a panel.
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