February 16, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Etching Fillable Lamps

A fillable lamp etched with a shellfish.This featured post shows the work submitted to me by Jay Swartz. He thought that everyone wouldn’t like these since the etchings are specific to Martha’s Vineyard, but I think the overall idea alone will give you some creative project ideas!
I haven’t thought of this, but he etched fillable lamps which were then filled with sand and shells to look like the beach. Just think how creative you could get here! He also shared some etched ornaments. He provided the below:

These are a few of my creations. The map is of the Island of Martha’s Vineyard, where we live and out of the scallop shell is one of our most wonderful shellfish. I am sandblasting all of them. I etch pitchers, hurricanes and all kinds of stuff that is displayed at fairs.

fillable-lamp-etched lamp-martha-vineyard etched-ornament-vineyard

etched lampThe fillable lamps I searched for seemed to vary but probably averaged about $100. I am not sure if Jay made these from recycled glass, but I found a few inexpensive kits below that allows you to transform bottles, mason jars or whatever you can rig up:
Mason Jar Lamp Kit – $7.95
Cork Stopper Lamp Kit (set of 2) – $18.63
Bottle Lamp Kit (set of 2) – $14.95


This featured sandblasting work was submitted by Cheryl.

Patio stone engraved by sandblasting.I thought these were cool and will give you some great ideas! This shows the great variety of items that can be sandblasted. She sandblasted a concrete block which others may call a patio stone, a decorational mirror, pilsner glasses and a shorter glass which might be called a tumbler. She provided the below details:
For the concrete block, I used a rubber resist, 80 grit silicon carbide abrasive, blasted at 45lbs/pressure. The resist cut like butter. Any pressure higher made the details blow away.

The other pictures are examples using contact paper/pencil blaster cut with my silhouette.

Tumbler glass with a stencil in place. A tumbler glass etched with name. Pilsner glass etched with cowboy stencils. Decor mirror etched for the home.


February 7, 2015 at 1:29 pm

How to Engrave Patterns on Bottles or Hard to Get Areas

My hand won’t fit in that small hole
“So I blew it!”

This helpful tutorial and creative idea was submitted to the blog by Jon Mallory. What an awesome idea to allow you to place patterns/images inside hard to get areas of a glass for engraving! Please read Jon’s tutorial that he provided us below:

Many times we have a photo that we would like to engrave on a bottle but the neck of the bottle is too small to put the photo into the bottle by hand.
If you have a photo to put into a long neck or funny shaped, small neck bottle, this is how you can do it.

1. Size your photo as if you are going to reach into the bottle and secure it to be traced.

Bottle and photo

2. Find a tube that will fit the bottleneck loosely. Trim the photo to make it slide into the neck easily. You will have to roll the photo to make it fit.
Loose tube

3. Tape a piece of paper, about 1/2 inch wide, to the top center of the photo that is long enough to position the photo where you want it to be for engraving. Make the paper long enough that you can tape it to the outer edge to the bottleneck when you have it located where you want it.
Photo with tab

4. Roll the photo, “image out”, so you can see the photo and so it fits in the neck without damaging your photo or the paper tab. Locate the photo where you would like it to be when it is engraved.

5. Take your loose fitting tube. With electrical tape, attach a balloon to the end that enters the bottle. Make your tube long enough that it will enable you to reach the bottom of the bottle. Your tube must be small enough to allow the balloon and tape easy access inside and to allow the air being replaced by the inflating balloon to escape. Slide the balloon and tube into and behind just beyond the middle of the photo. The balloon must be located beyond the bottleneck so as not to restrict the balloon while it is inflating. This will assure that the photo is tight against the bottle.
Tube with balloon

6. Gently inflate the balloon. You may have to remove the air and move the photo, or balloon, if it moves! When the photo is in position and has enough of the balloon in position against the photo to hold the photo in place, twist the tube to lock the air in. You can tape the tube in place if you want to be sure it won’t deflate. Engrave and untwist the tube and you are done!
Balloon inflated inside bottle


January 31, 2015 at 6:49 pm

How to Engrave People with a Sketched Design

Rotary engraving people on glasses.We are featuring Kevin Retelle today with his rotary engraved glasses. I have done a similar personalized glass like this before, but used the sandblasting process and different software, but I haven’t documented it well, so this makes a great fit! It is a lot simpler than other methods such as using a halftone photoresist process or shadeblasting, but this is less time consuming and easier to get loved one’s faces on glasses. He provided the below steps on how he engraved pictures of his granddaughters with a sketched design.

1. I first took the photo of my granddaughters sent to me from my daughter via Gmail and downloaded them into Adobe Photo Shop.
2. Once I did that, I selected Filter, selected Sketch and then clicked on Photo Copy to get the photo close to what you see.
3. I then adjusted the Detail and Darkness to get it to the final image.
4. I then reduced the sizes of each piece to fit the glass vases and printed them.
5. Using rubber cement, I attach the images to the INSIDE of the vases. (Be careful not to use too thick of glass due to the fact it could distort your position while cutting).
6. Once positioned, I took my Micro-Pro by Mastercarver and used a round fine tip diamond head bur to outline and cut the finer lines.
7. Once that was done, I went back over the wider lines with a coned shaped fine sanding stone to smooth it all out.
8. After finishing sanding, I used Rub and Buff to make it all pop. It was my second attempt at engraving and had a blast doing it.

I plan on continuing to do faces of family and improving my craft, eventually go out into the market to sell.


January 28, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Nadina P. Etches Glass Sculptures, Jugs, & Pitchers

A blue glass jug etched with an old ship.Nadina Piehl has been a subscriber for almost as long as I’ve had this website and she sent me these photos. She sent over a picture of:
• A blue glass jug with an etching of a ship on the front (great contrast).
• A pitcher etched with some oceanic scenery
• A glass bowl with etchings depicting a more lively oceanic floor
• A glass sculpture shaped like a fish with etchings all around it.

I thought these were interesting and will provide some great ideas!

A glass bowl etchedEtching of a glass pitcher.Artistic glass fish sculpture etched.

She provided the below details:

Here are samples of my work. I am featured in a small local art gallery, and in the spirit of selling my work, I’ve been creating more usable items for home decoration/usage. I have been doing this for about ten years, mostly as a hobby and gifts for family and friends when approximately five years, I was invited to join the gallery. Hope you like my work.


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