The Possibilities of Sandcarving Metal

With over 35 years in the glass business, Ruth Dobbins offers experience in fused and cast glass, as well as in glass-etching techniques. Ruth holds a Master's Degree in Printmaking and Art History and has been a partner in a stained and fused glass wholesale supply company in Europe, which also placed great emphasis on a training program. For the past 20 years, she collaborated with her husband Norm Dobbins in commission work, writing books and creating videotapes on how-to techniques for glass etching. Ruth taught these techniques for 30 years in the U.S. and other countries. Ruth continues these venues by offering a complete training program at Aliento School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and by teaching at various trade shows, including The Awards & Engraving Show. One-on-one training and consulting services are also offered. You can reach Ruth by email at, by phone at 505-473-9203 and by fax at 505-473-9218. Check out the website at

Flasks and other items made from metal are popular these days; they have a similar restriction in terms of blasting acrylic. You can only achieve a surface frosting on these items, not because it will melt, but because it is hard enough to not allow for any depth. I suggest that when blasting any metal object, use the standard thickness of photoresist and a blasting pressure setting of about 25 pounds of pressure. If depth is desired, you will have to switch to a rotary or laser engraver.

—Ruth Dobbins, Your Professional Glass Consultants 

Check out another tip in regard to sandcarving metal