Category: Sandblasted Art Glass / Etched Glass

About Sandblasted Art Glass

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various types of etched glass

Beautiful works in sandblasting are the result of equipment and operator. Through technology and equipment, a variation of air pressure along with a variance of sand flow contribute the mechanical element. But the artistic elements are brought into play by the skilled artisan at work with the sandblaster. The decision of how to approach a project is key to its eventual beauty. The process of peeling resist, sandblasting, then re-masking as not to destroy earlier work, is a process mastered by few. This process is completed by the artisan’s skillful use of pressure and sand to bring depth of cut and shaded areas into play. In the end, it’s a perfect combination of artist and machine to create an exquisite work of glass art, each a one-of-a-kind endeavor.

Chuck Franklin

Etched Glass and Color

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Art Glass for Aadland Dental in Vancouver WaThis is the recently completed project for Aadland Dental in Vancouver. It was a nice combination of stained glass and etched glass. Adding transparent color to the etched glass was unique in this instance, in that it had to be done with the glass in the vertical position post install. Wet paint tends to run down-hill easily and in the case of glass, any variance of thickness really shows up. Tricky work, but it turned out great. Adding color to the sandblasted logo really brought everything together visually.

Art Glass wall and Etched Glass Partitions

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etched glass partitions with art glass wall in background.This latest restaurant in the McCormick & Schmick’s  chain in West Palm Beach,  featured their new contemporary look. Our work included rectangular light pendants in the bar (no pictures currently) and two glass features in the dining area. One feature was a low wall of sandblasted art glass 24ft long and underlit with LED lights. The sandblasting was executed by Ron Branch of Glasstone Studio. The other feature was a 7ft x 18ft wall with glass sheets and copper fish. The glass sheets were corded glass laminated to clear glass, then mounted 3, 4, and 6″ off the wall. Seaweed and waves were sandblasted on the back of the sheets, and a band of LED lights hidden on the top and bottom lit up the sheets. The copper fish protruded beyond the glass and were front lit. Designed and engineered by Chuck Franklin, the wall was a collaborative effort with Eric Leonard of Spring Box Gallery, Ron Branch of Glasstone Studio, and Rich Lamothe of Glass Strategies.

Sandblasted Art Glass Birch Trees

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etched glassSandblasted etchings 25″x73″ on tempered clear insulated.  Only traditional etching techniques were used here to create this complex and almost photo-realistic affect.


Onsite Sandblasted Art Glass at Tommy O’s

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surface etched glassA couple of years ago, we did some glass work for Tommy O’s in downtown Vancouver WA. – one piece was their logo deep carved and edge-lit near the front door, the other, a simple sandblasted divider panel with banana leaves and bamboo. We got a call from them several months ago about a new location they were in the process of remodeling and were thinking about having us do some etching for it. This time though, the question was, could the work be done “on site”?

Good Question – one that requires careful consideration to be sure. The situation was that they had a dining area enclosed in existing glass that needed some artwork so as to give the clientele less of an “on display” atmosphere without completely obscuring them. On site sandblasting is not always an option – it’s noisy, messy, and can be hazardous or even dangerous to the public, so when I went to go check out the job site I had to be prepared to disappoint our client.

Much to my relief, when I looked at it, I saw that not only was it do-able, it was ideal! It was basically going to be just like working in a very large sandblast booth. After masking off the interior with heavy plastic I made a make-shift air system using a work table, and some blankets that spanned the short distance to the back patio. Creating negative air pressure by pulling air out with a large fan at the end of the “tunnel” kept dust from roaming out into the rest of the interior.

One of the greatest benefits of working on site is that you are seeing the etched glass in its real world context, with the actual available light, the changes of the light throughout the day, and how that light affects the background. This was very different than the controlled and static environment of the sandblasting booth. It allowed for customizing the approach, strengthening when necessary, as well as seeing more easily which areas could or should remain subtle.

There were also some interesting lessons learned, for example how gravity can become the enemy of the arm and shoulder when the work is in the vertical – that, and the shear size of the job added up to quite a work-out. It was an excellent experience, one I wouldn’t hesitate to do again.

– Ron

The new Tommy O’s is located in Camas, Washington, at SE 34th and SE 192nd.

Edge Lit Carved Glass

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art deco sandblasted glass10″ x 14″ Abstract art deco sandblasted glass  carving
Edge-lit on free-standing base – an excellent example of combining shading techniques and carving.  This was carved out of 1/4″ plate glass with the carving going in 1/8″.  When edge-lit the light travels up through the glass to illuminate the design with shadows and shades of light especially effective in dim environments.

Sandblasted Art Glass Grape Vine

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sandblasted glass shadingThis is a closet door at our studio. It’s sandblasted clear glass – we hung a black curtain and installed a couple of spotlights behind it. This is sandblasted shading at its finest, and the attention to shadow detail can be seen in this closeup.


closeup of shaded sandblasting

Female Face

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etched mirror with faceSample of female face etched on surface #1 of a lit mirror at Chuck Franklin Glass Studio in Portland.

When in Portland, for stained glass, art glass, etched glass and more, visit the showroom of Chuck Franklin Glass Studio at 2708 N. Hayden Island Dr. Portland, OR 97217

Etched Glass Face

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etched glass faceExperimental etching technique on clear glass at Chuck Franklin Glass Studio in Portland.

(This is not a photo-etching process – rather, it is an advanced form of traditional stage blasting.)

UPDATE: We’ve moved!
Our new location is at 2708 N. Hayden Island Dr. Portland, OR 97217