Monday, February 23, 2009

Etched Glass Goblets

More pics of items that I have made to sell in my shop. If you haven't figured it out by now, I run an occult bookstore and gift shop. These are some colored glass goblets that I picked up at a reasonable price from a warehouse club here in town. These particular goblets were well suited for my purposes because of their straight sides. Also, I liked the colors.

When I first started out etching (engraving) glass I used a Dremel tool and a diamond bit. I still do that if I plan to engrave the glass, but for etching, now I use a common commercial product called Armor Etch. It is a hydrofluoric acid paste. You can buy rub on transfer stencils for it, but I don't care for them. I use a piece of vinyl adhesive backed paper (called contact paper, or shelf paper) as my stencil. I apply it to the piece, then I use spray glue to attach a photocopy or printout of the line-art I want to etch onto the glass. Then I trace the art with an exacto knife, cutting through the paper, and the vinyl. Peal away the part you want to etch, and coat with the paste. In five minutes, wash it off and peal away the rest of the stencil. Ta da! It sounds easy, and it is, but a lot can go wrong, so practice will improve your skills. You need to make sure your glass is very clean, and your stencil cuts are very straight. Even coverage of the paste is a must, and brush marks can be a problem, especially in large etched areas. Since it's very hard to get the vinyl to stick properly, without puckering, to a surface that is curved in two directions (i.e a bowl or globe shape), these goblets with their straight sides worked out well.


  1. these are beautiful! I engrave glass also, and wondered about using an etching cream. I will definitely try this out as you make it sound easier than I thought it would be.
    Thanks for the wonderful post!

  2. I read it and I would truly say that this is such a wonderful and interesting kind of at work about etched glass. Well appreciated!