Blasting on Glass

Sally Gillies
by Sally Gillies
2 Materials
Hi, Hometalkers,
I’ve been designing and sandblasting on glass for more than 20 years and thought a couple of wine glasses and a little bowl would be a great entry. The actual blasting takes just a few moments. But the prep time is critical for a perfect image. Of course I used the Hometalk logo and found some great clip art of tools.
After finding clip art I laid the transparency onto the photosensitive film. Whatever was black on the transparency will be washed away so It can be blasted. The blue mask material protects the glass from the blasting media.
This is a UV light box.
Using sophisticated equipment in my own darkroom, i.e., the laundry, I exposed the film for the required time and then washed it out with a pressure unit until the words and art become clear.
Once the film has dried, it is carefully applied to the surface of the wine glasses and the bowl.

I couldn’t get a good shot of the bottom of the glasses, but each one has a different tool instead of those little beaded thingies. I chose a handsaw and a tape measure on the bases.

My blast box looks like an incubator. When I first started, I thought sandblasting meant you go to Lowe’s and buy some sand. Actually there are many different media that can be used depending on the job. Airplane engines are blasted with walnut shells.
I use aluminum oxide at 80 grit because it carves deeply into the glass and provides a very clear image.
All dressed up and only one to go. Taping the glasses and bowl all around is crucial. A stray movement might make a mark on the otherwise perfect surface. In this photo you can tell how powerful the blasting pressure is as the tape has a new matte finish.
Ordinarily, I would have carefully washed these and checked that each image is perfect. Then poured a nice glass of wine to celebrate the completion of this project. Instead I did wash them, packed them and sent them with the black bowl for YOU to test!
Suggested materials:
  • Glass   (Pier 1 Imports)
  • Ceramic bowl   (My china cabinet)
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Birdz of a Feather Birdz of a Feather on Jan 04, 2017
    Can you explain the photo sensitive part a bit more; I'm not understanding how that works to create the mask that gets sandblasted. Also, I wondering did you make or purchase your sandblaster?

  • Dois Dois on Aug 12, 2017
    How do you get the Cackle?

Join the conversation
3 of 12 comments
  • C C on Jan 04, 2017
    Just an FYI: You don;t need to sandblast...messy and not possible for many. Just get Glass Etching cream and voila! You put it on and wash it off. Here is an example:

  • Ann Ann on Aug 05, 2017
    I understood about the sandblasting or etching of the words but how did you get the crackle finish on the bowl of the glass. Didnt see it mentioned except in the title.