Sunday, February 15, 2009

Glass Etching Techniques

All of the possible glass etching techniques, they can be categorized into 3 major techniques: Surface Etching, Carving and Shading.

Surface Etching:

  • Here etching is only dome of the surface of the glass.
  • The designs look like positive and negative, or black and white.
  • The etched portions of the design always look white and the clear & unetched portions of the design look black or dark.
  • All etched elements have to be separated by spaces of unetched glass, or the etched elements blend together as a single silhouette, with no detail inside the border.
  • Surface etching is the easiest technique to learn and the fastest way to produce a finished etching on glass.


  • Here you blast, or carve, deep into the glass, giving a three dimensional etching.
  • There are several types of carving, including single stage, two stage, multi-stage, and freehand carving.
  • Single stage carving is simply blasting a surface etching design deeply into the glass, separating elements with clear spaces, as in surface etching.
  • With two stage or multi-stage carving, the resist is removed, not all at once, but a few elements at a time and in a definite sequence.


  • Like surface etching, this technique just blasts the surface of the glass.
  • But unlike surface etching, the elements in the design are blasted to different apparent shades of gray (hence the name Shading), rather than to the solid white color produced in surface etching.
  • You can create shades of gray by etching the surface to a density less than 100%, and you control the shade by controlling the density.
  • Shading, like carving, can be done in one stage, two stage, multi-stage, and freehand techniques.

Combinations of techniques:

  • Etching can be produced with just one single technique and also by a combination of two or all three techniques.
  • You can get effective results by combining etching with other glassworking techniques, like stained glass, glass blowing, etc.

0 Expert comments: