Selecting Your Sandcarving Cabinet

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 cabinet is the container in which you blast your projects. What size should it be? That should be your first consideration along with evaluating what your available workspace is since all items have to be accommodated. For most sandcarvers in the awards industry, almost any small-sized cabinet will do since awards and glassware items are relatively small. If you are also considering doing larger pieces, you have to keep that in mind when selecting your cabinet.

Besides selecting the cabinet size, you also have to decide if you wish to stand up while blasting or if you prefer to be able to sit down during that process. If you are limited in space, you may want to consider a cabinet with an attached pressure pot. 

—Ruth Dobbins, Professional Glass Consultant 

Still not sure which sandcarving system is right for you? Consider this checklist.