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Techniques of Glass Engraving

The glass shown in this exhibition is engraved using a number of different techniques:

  • Point engraving: A hand held scriber with a sharpened diamond or tungsten carbide tip is used to mark the glass with a tiny dot (stipple engraving) or a fine line.
  • Wheel engraving: A wheel (usually copper) is fitted to a lathe and fed with an abrasive compound. The glass is held to the wheel to engrave it. Stone or diamond wheels may also be used on the lathe.
  • Drill engraving: A hand-held micromotor drill or drill with flexible drive attachment is used with burrs of various profiles and compositions to engrave, carve or polish the glass.
  • Sandblasting: The glass is first covered with a masking material in the areas not to be engraved. Then it is subjected to a high pressure air blast carrying an abrasive medium.

The glass may be lightly engraved on the surface or deeply cut. Coloured layers on the surface of the glass can be partially or completely cut away. Subjects explored in the exhibition range from traditional illustrative and figurative engraving to lettering and modern abstract work.