Here are some basic steps to sandcarving glass with a two stage method. This is just one way to etch glass, and you can see some of the other popular ways by going to the my home page. If you have read my ebook or read through the site, it discusses this as the major reason to use a pressure pot sandblaster. For more information about the basics, you can read this page: glassetchingsecrets.com/sandcarving.html
Through a series of sandblasting stages, you can carve a 3 dimensional shape into the glass. This is very basic and can get more advanced. If you would like to know more about the advanced ways, please leave a comment below.
Anyway, here are the basic steps to sandcarve a simple 2 stage process with a sandblaster.
First, place your stencil on the glass, and cut out the pattern with a knife by following the lines. This example is with a flower pattern by Ruth Webb Lee*. You will need to observe the stencil design. As you can see, I marked areas of the cut stencil with numbers. The number 1 means it’s the first blasting and is the deepest to be carved. The number 2 means it’s the second blasting and is a light etch step. Remove the number one areas of the stencil or the areas that would be closer to the observer when looking at. The picture below shows the first stage which is ready to be blasted:
Below is a picture of the first stage deeply sand carved with a pressure pot blaster:
After you have carved the glass deep, then you can begin peeling back the stencil for the number 2 stage. Remember, you can mark the areas with a Sharpe marker like I did. I marked the stencil areas with the number 2. As you can see, I pulled the areas, and it’s ready to be lightly sandblasted below:
Then, for the final step, after the second stage was lightly etched, you can remove the stencil resist and clean up. Since I did a reverse etching, which is the best way when sandcarving glass, you will need to flip the piece around as shown below:
If you liked this simple sand carving tutorial, please bookmark this page with the buttons below. I will have more for you soon.
Update: Some people have been having problems with photo resists and stencils coming off, so I made a post about fixing photoresist blowout problems (www.glassetchingsecrets.com/blog/photoresist-blowouts/). I hope these tips will help. Feedback would be great, just leave me a comment!
Lee, Ruth Webb. Ruth Webb Lee’s Handbook of Early American Pressed Glass Patterns. Framingham Centre, Mass.: R.W. Lee, 1936. Print.
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