Flexible Drive Engraving

Image © 2006 Jacqueline Allwood

This technique is of comparatively recent origin, in contrast to Copper Wheel engraving.  In essence, a hand-held drill similar to a dentists' drill, equipped with a diamond burr, is used to cut into the surface of the glass.  If water is used to lubricate the cutting surface, a softer, cleaner-edged cut is obtained.

Since there is a wide variety of burrs available, work ranging from extremely fine, delicate work, to large-scale cutting, can be achieved.

The cut glass surface can be softened and polished using either rubber or silicone rubber wheels with fine diamond dust incorporated, or by using softer abrasives such as cerium or zirconium oxides.

I mostly use flexible drive engraving because it is ideal for delicate botanical artwork, and for lettering.  

Page last updated 18 August 2014

Website content and images © Jacqueline Allwood 2004-2014