Glass Etching Options
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Charli_Martin/589251]Charli Martin
Glass Etching can be defined as the technique of creating artistic images on a piece of glass. It means to make art on the surface of glass by applying acidic, caustic, or abrasive substances. Glass etching is the abrading or roughening of a piece of glass in selected areas in order to produce a design. It is a way to produce a "frosted" design on the surface of a piece of glass, or it can also be used to carve a design deep into the glass. There is also a technique to produce a shaded design that looks like delicate airbrushing, but is permanently etched in the glass. People desire etched glass because of it's beauty and practical application; able to be used for its aesthetics and window or glass wall covering. The etch will continue to allow light in, as it covers the glass window or wall, providing privacy.
The technique was originally used in 1867 on an etching at Bankfield Museum in England, but by the 1920s, it gained popularity when a new mold-etch process was invented, in which art was etched directly into the mold, so that each cast piece emerged from the mold with the image already on the surface of the glass.
There are two major ways in which glass etching can be done. One of them is Abrasive Sandblasting, a common technique for creating patterns in glassware, leaving a "frosted" look to the glass. High pressure air mixed with an abrasive material cuts away at the glass surface to create the effect. Some of its popular techniques are-
* Surface Etching: So named because you are only etching the surface of the glass.
* Carving: Called carving because you actually blast, or carve, deep into the glass, giving a three dimensional etching.
* Shading: the elements in the design are blasted to different apparent shades of gray (hence the name Shading), rather than to the solid white color produced in surface etching.
* Combinations techniques: this gives the ability to do the best and most sophisticated etchings possible by using each technique for its strengths and avoid its weaknesses yields beautiful results by combining etching with other glass working techniques, like stained glass, glass blowing, etc.
The other technique is Chemical Etching. Instead of sandblasting the glass, there is a chemical process that will produce similar results. Typically, "glass etching cream", available from art supply stores consists of fluoride compounds, such as sodium fluoride and hydrogen fluoride. The fluoridation of the glass causes the rough, opaque qualities of frosted glass. Advantages of this process are that it is easy and simple and doesn't require the equipment for abrasive etching.
Glass etching is a beautiful and elegant method of creating a graphic design on the surface of an otherwise smooth piece of glass, although it can be used on textured glass, as well. It is permanent and will never come off. Etched and carved glass has become extremely popular, being seen almost everywhere in upscale restaurants, hotels, banks, theaters and homes.
The typical areas of application of the glass etching are architectural products like windows, doors or whole entryways in homes, restaurants, hotels and office buildings. Interior decoration products include cabinet doors for all types of cabinets from china cabinets to gun cabinets, table tops from dining tables to end tables, room dividers, fireplace screens, etc. Etching can also be found on awards, corporate gifts and promotional products like glasses, mugs, decanters, carafes, vases, bowls; paperweights, crystal and regular glass sculptures and glass blanks, and gifts.
Almost any glass item found in any gift shop, department store or import shop can be etched.
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Glass-Etching-Options&id=3949936] Glass Etching Options