How to Engrave Dichroic Glass

Written by jennifer meyer
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How to Engrave Dichroic Glass
Artists often etch glasses and vignettes. (laser etched virgo in the glass image by Igor from

Chances are if you go to an art fair these days you will find at least one stall selling dichroic---or bicolored--- jewellery. This colourful, iridescent glass experienced a surge in popularity a few years ago, and the fad shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Part of the appeal of dichroic glass is that you can make it at home with a simple kit. But why not go one step further? With a few glass-etching tools, you can engrave your own dichroic glass for a unique look.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Engraving tools
  • Wax crayon
  • Dichroic glass
  • Cloth

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  1. 1

    Draw your engraving design on the dichroic glass with a sharp crayon. It is difficult to get a lot of detail if you're working on a small piece, though. In these cases, simply draw a vague outline of your design to help you establish the proportions.

  2. 2

    Etch the glass lightly using hand-held, diamond-tipped etching tools. The point here is to etch a light impression of your design without going very deep. You are making a "sketch" of your design that you will flesh out later. To etch the glass, simply drag the diamond tip of your tool across its surface. The diamond particles will scratch the glass.

  3. 3

    Wipe the wax crayon away with a cloth. The lightly etched design should remain.

  4. 4

    Etch more deeply into your design. The deeper you go, the stronger your lines will be. Vary the line depth for a more dynamic look.

  5. 5

    Wipe the ground glass from your etching away to reveal your design.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use a hand-held electric engraver instead of an engraving kit if you want to go easy on your hands, but you cannot achieve as much line variation in your design with one.
  • Be careful with the ground glass remains. Do not inhale it and be sure to wash your hands after you are done etching. Do not leave ground glass lying around.

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