Engraving & Sandcarving Techniques

In short, engraving and sandcarving are two cold-working techniques for decorating or personalizing glass and crystal.

  • Copper and stone wheel engraving has been used for many years in the decorative industry. Both methods requires a fairly long learning curve and is unsuitable for engraving large areas or large pieces of glass. Copper wheel can produce beautifully detailed design and can carve into the glass.
    Stone wheel produces coarse to moderately detailed V-shaped and U-shaped grooved engraving. Polished grooves (called "brilliant cutting") give a beautiful finish on cut (stone wheel engraved) crystal pieces.
  • Sandcarving (also called "sandblasting" or "abrasive blasting") is widely used in decorative and architectural needs. A variety of effects, challenging techniques at all level of expertise can be made.  It can be used with very large or very small pieces of glass and is effective with production-line and one-of-a-kind pieces. There are three methods of sandcarving:
      *Surface etching - a fast way of producing graphic images of any size on any type of glass.
      *Carving - a highly controllable method for carving deep, complex images in multiple depths, as well as full-relief sculpting in thick glass.
      *Shading - a highly controllable method of creating complex images using variable gray tones (from black to white). It  produces a very delicate look, similar to airbrushing.