masking tape mug

Sandcarving Tip: Best Masking Tape

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

Q: I keep having problems with residue left behind on my glass items after I peel off the masking tape that was used to protect the area around the stencil on the glass; any suggestions?

Not all masking tapes are created equal. I would avoid the low cost, usually cream-colored tapes. We have much better experiences with the blue tapes on the market, even though there are also some quality differences. Top of the line would be the green tapes, but they are also the most expensive ones. However, they will save you a lot of clean up time. I would try out several different ones to find the one you like best before buying any tape in bulk.

—Ruth Dobbins, EtchMaster

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