Your Brand Carved In Glass

How we engrave your glassware
The deep-etch engraving process that we employ is labor intensive but it achieves the best results. It should not be confused with the "etching" that's done with a laser engraver, much like the one we use for engraving plaques. By super-heating the surface of the glass, a laser causes micro-shattering and a frosted effect. It's fast and cheap--hence the reason why perhaps most "etched" glassware is produced with a laser--but it's only a surface effect, tends to be uneven, and often leaves a tell-tale pattern. 

We instead use a sandblast process where a stream of abrasive is used to cut away, into the glass. Each piece is engraved by hand, one at a time, by a skilled artisan. Since the etch is deep, the results can be quite spectacular as ambient light gives the engraving dimension and texture. And we're actually able to achieve finer detail sandblasting glass than a computer-driven laser can achieve.

A mask must first be glued to each piece of glass to shield those areas that must remain clear. It's the advent of photo-sensitive masking materials several years ago that has made it practical for us to economically personalize glassware for you, in relatively small numbers, with your brand or logo.

An interesting variant that we occasionally do with very large pieces is called depth carving, or stage carving. The underlying process is fundamentally the same; a stream of abrasive is directed at the glass under pressure to carve away at the substrate. But here we carve different areas to different depths, with distinct edges between areas of differing depth. These differences can be quite small, but the effect is stunning when struck by light; a three-dimensional picture in glass. It raises etching to a fine art and, like the artist who works out the details in a sketchbook with pencil or charcoal before applying oil to canvas, depth-carving usually entails a great deal of experimentation with pieces of scrap glass to work out the sequence of cuts before the actual piece is attempted.

Imperial Crystal, Inc.
PO Box 510
2440 Old U.S. Highway 287
Laporte, Colorado 80535

Toll-Free (800) 616-6101
Fax (970) 472-6101