Sandblasting is an industrial glass decoration technique which has been adopted and adapted by many glass artists. Like Flexible Drive engraving and Copper Wheel it uses an abrasive material to erode and sculpt the surface texture of the glass.

Abrasive powder, usually of a uniform grit size, is directed against the surface of the glass with a high-powered air jet. The sandblasting is done inside a closed cabinet (for obvious reasons) and the operator can direct the jet of abrasive using a gun-type nozzle. The surface of the glass can be masked with a resist material to protect areas which are not to be treated.

Sandblasting gives a very uniform textural effect. The depth and intensity of cutting can be manipulated by changing the air pressure, the time of exposure, and the type and grit size of the abrasive. Also, by using a resist which is itself slowly abraded away, shading effects and soft edges can be achieved.

I have used sandblasting for the large Turnberry panels- a botanical design based on broad-leaf forms

Page last updated 18 August 2014

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