Preparing Natural Stone to Sandcarve

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

The first thing that happens before production begins is that stone need to be thoroughly washed and scrubbed to remove any lose parts or dirt from the surface. The next thing is to let the stone dry well, or any stencil material you want to adhere to the surface is not going to stick and would probably release during blasting; patience is called for when working with stone. Only when you are sure that the stone is dry and won’t sweat anymore do you begin the process for the actual sandcarving.

—Ruth Dobbins, Professional Glass Consultants

Read more about how to sandcarve irregular stone surfaces in the December ’18 issue of A&E.