natural stone sandcarving

What You Should Know about Sandcarving Stone Tiles

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

We usually deal with tiles made from granite or marble, which have a highly polished surface and have also often been treated with fillers as their matrix leave holes in the surface after being cut. The fillers do fill these holes and cracks to make the surface even. Sometimes this affects how well your stencil sticks to the surface. These tiles also have a matrix consisting of at least two different colors, which make it almost mandatory to think about color-filling the blasted areas to make the design or text readable. 

With these stone tiles, you want to choose the thicker version of your photoresist product because you have to blast longer to achieve depth. The depth is also necessary for the paint to be below the surface to protect it from being scrubbed while cleaning. You will blast these at about 40 pounds of pressure and hold your nozzle about 10” from the surface. 

—Ruth Dobbins, Professional Glass Consultants