Glass engraving is something that I have come to love. I use a Dremel tool and a variety of bits to achieve different effects on the glass. What I find so gratifying about glass engraving is, unlike stained glass or glass fusing, the results are immediate.
The learning curve on glass engraving is not quite as steep as with stained glass and fused glass. If you can trace a drawing, you can engrave on glass. The real learning is with how to use the bits to create the effect you want. The greatest physical challenge is steady hands. I have to watch the caffeine intake on the days I want to do an engraving project. It only takes a slip of the hand to ruin the engraving. Although you may be able to make some corrections, some bits can soften a carved portion and buffer wheels can smooth things out somewhat, once you go too far out of the lines, you need to start over with a new piece of glass.
Also check out the Bottle Crafts page to view projects made with bottle and engraving.
This vase does not photograph as well as it shows in reality. We are working to try to learn how to do better product photography.
The leaves where created with the white silicone polishing wheel. I find that this gives some detail and allows for giving real dimension to the leaves. The flower was done using several diamond bits. Shading effects are created using the black silicone polishing wheel.
This vase turned out fairly well. I would like to have seen the petals a little softer.
This vase was engraved with a weeping willow tree. I find that using grinding wheels allow for giving large areas some detail and flow. I used the white silicone polishing wheel to try and create the delicate branches of a weeping willow in a breeze.
I am pretty happy with the tree trunk itself. The photo has been touched up a bit to try and tone down the light reflection on the trunk in order to show the detail.
This was a fun project to make.
This item is a blend of stained glass, soldering techniques and glass engraving.
The item has been patinaed with copper and the white glass is extremely transparent. The frame is accented with bevel glass and soldering blobs.
The frame is self standing.
What I like about this piece is the blend of transparent glasses and bevel in the frame. I do think that the flowers could use a little more touch up, but that the leaves, grass and stems of the flowers turned out great, with good shading.
2/26/21 – I played around with shading on this piece. Has a little more 3D effect now.
Similar to the piece up above, bevel glass is incorporated into transparent wispy purple glass to make a unique frame. Unfortunately, the light is a bit strong in this picture, but the frame on the top is repeated in reverse of the frame on top.
This was given as a Christmas gift to a family member.
This was a gift I made for my daughter-in-law. When my son saw that I was doing glass engraving, he asked if I could do portraits. Having never even thought about it, I said I would give it a try. This portrait is of her father who has passed. A photo of him was converted to black and white, then run through Rapid Resizer on the web to generate a line drawing. I used the line drawing to engrave from. I was pleasantly surprised at myself. And my daughter-in-law was moved to tears (a good sign).
After trying engraving on a wine bottle, I thought I would try a real vase. Ever try to copy a drawing onto something round? It can get distorted. Given that, this didn’t turn out to bad. Still need to practice with the Dremel bits to learn what effects they have on the glass.
Speaking of practice, this little vase is my best so far. I learned what some of the bits can achieve. The leaves where created with a white buffing wheel and the inside petals of the roses where done with a White Arkansas stone. Both give off a sparkle when held up to the light.