Glass Carving and Etching

Glass Abrasive Blasting

Abrasive blasting is a high quality method to etch glassware. Visually, abrasive blasting offers an extremely even frosted appearance which yields a smoother more contrasting mark. Abrasive blasting is most commonly used where producing a deep permanent mark is desired for the ultimate heirloom quality look and feel. Abrasive blasting is labor intensive and takes longer to produce the final product as compared to other etching methods such as laser etching. The process begins with the glass first cleaned and prepped with a hand-applied film mask and protective taping on all exposed exposed surfaces. The glass is then blasted one at a time with a stream of high pressure abrasive medium within a special cabinet enclosure. Because abrasive blasting is performed by hand, there is a substantial amount of flexibility if the glass item is oddly shaped and otherwise impossible to mark using other automated methods. Once complete, the glass is washed and packaged for shipment or pickup by the customer.

Glass Mug Abrasive Blast Standard Etching

 

Glass Mug Abrasive Blast Deep Etching

 

Wine Glass Abrasive Blast Standard Etching and Frost Etched Stem

 

Wine Bottle Deep Abrasive Glass Carving and Paint Fill

 

Glass Laser Etching

Laser etching is an economical method of marking glass. Laser etching unlike abrasive blasting, does not remove material to any large degree. Instead, the laser produces contrast by fracturing the surface of the glass. The final result is a fracturing type etch contrasting mark yielding little to no depth with slight roughness. Laser etching is most commonly used where there is a limited budget and tight cost considerations and/or large quantities of laser compatible glass items all of like standard size. Laser etching is limited in its ability to mark oddly or irregular shaped objects. Cylindrical objects which are not perfectly round on the top and bottom will not turn evenly within the lasers rotary support rollers. In cases where the item is not perfectly round, a fixture may need to be built to hold the item securely. As a practical matter, because of the additional expense, construction of a holding fixture is only done in situations where large volume of glassware is involved. The laser etching process begins with the glass first cleaned and then mounted in the laser to be etched. There is no need for masking or any other protective taping of exposed surfaces as the lasers beam is precise and only effects the glass area to be etched. Once the laser etching is complete, the glass is washed and packaged for shipment or pickup by the customer.