Etched Glass: Working with the surface

Etched Glass is a technique of creating patterns on glass by using external force or corrosive material. It existed for centuries but became widely available in the Europe in mid-1700s. Around 1630’s, diamond engraving invented to be used on mirrors to achieve the etching being in high demand by royal architecture. In the mid-1800 it became popular in drinking establishments where visitors could feel private while taking advantage of natural lighting. Victorian and Edwardian traditions quickly adopted the style, and soon enough copper wheel engraving became widely used. There the surface was cut with a copper wheel or disk rotated in a lathe. It quickly became the trend of the day, and many home enthusiast became experimenting with etched glass in their home studios.

Etched Glass OMC_145
Etched Glass OMC_145

Decorative glass etching in this century

In the late 1920’s, a mold-etch process got introduced in where the designs were etched in the mold so the art was directly transferred to the medium. Another type of glass etching becoming around that era was glue chipping where adhesive is being applied to the surface that shrinks when drying and causing the surface to peel off in particular pattern.

Abrasive Sandblasting

Ability to manipulate with the compressed air allowed craftsmen to master abrasive sandblasting. Shooting the air through a thin nozzle allows to apply very fine particles of sand unto the glass surface to create texturing and shapes. When kept on the same spot for some time pressured sand will create a deeper engraving; also artisan can change the pressure with which air if coming out of sandblasting pen. Usually craftsmen would separate sections wanted for processing with masking tape.

Options for etching on glass

Etched Glass Door OMC_140
Etched Glass Door OMC_140

In modern world etched patterns can be seen on windows, partitions, even glassware. Some decades ago laser etched glass was introduced allowing amazing technical capabilities of etching inside the blocks or dimensional sculptures.

New possibilities opened when water jet cutting allowed glass to be cut in cold environment with a very precise definition and ability to cut curves. It became widely used in signage and logo production. Combined with deep carving or fusing this industrial application becomes also an artistic expression.

While most etching will simply touch the surface of glass, our team of artisans is well known for carving that is also done by similar process of applying pressured sand onto the surface. Difference here is that we do not simply scratch the surface to create an image but we go into the texture of the panel to make it dimensional. That is how all our award winning designs looks so strikingly alive!

Palace of Glass is an award winning production crew that will help you with your needs for design glass from start to finish. We will help understand the styles and kinds of etched glass suitable for your project; contact us for free consultation today!

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