- Use a range of tools and techniques to create designs on glass
- Combine practical and technical skills with creativity
- Opportunities to become self employed or become a glass artist
As a glass engraver, you'll cut inscriptions, and produce original designs or copy existing ones on items like bowls, decanters, glass panels, goblets and mirrors.
You'll use a range of equipment and techniques, including:
- Point engraving - marking the glass with a hand-held diamond or tungsten carbide point tool
- Stipple engraving - building up the design by hand using tiny dots to highlight areas of light and shade drill
- Engraving - uses a rotating tool in the hand piece of an electric drill
- Copper wheel engraving - machine-driven wheels to shape the cut and a mix of oil and grit to do the cutting
- Sand engraving or sandblasting - using grit to remove areas of glass
- Acid etching - the applying of acid to areas to be decorated
- Hot glass techniques - engraving combined with glass blowing skills to create different effects
- Laser engraving - a design on glass with a laser
Each method of engraving needs different skills.
If your self-employed, your hours will be more flexible and depend on the needs of your customers. You'll be based in a workshop or factory. Conditions could be noisy and dusty so you may need to wear ear protection, goggles and a mask.
This role would be ideal for someone with good coordination skills for delicate work, creative flair, with an ability in art, particularly drawing, the ability to concentrate and work alone for long periods, accuracy and attention to detail.
There are no set entry requirements, although an HND, degree or foundation degree in art, design, glass, or contemporary crafts might be useful. You'll usually need a portfolio of your design work to do a course or to start work.
Paid or unpaid work experience can help you build your portfolio, improve your understanding of glass engraving techniques and show employers that you have an interest.
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.
With experience you could progress to senior engraver or supervisor. You could also go on to become self-employed and work from home or set up a small workshop.