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Traditional Techniques

The art of Surface Etching is a tried and tested technique that has created some of the most brilliant trophies and awards ever designed. While straightforward in approach, surface etching is actually a highly complex and meticulous decorating technique that requires skill, patience, and dedication to detail by each of our artisans in order to bring out the luster in each award.


Engraved/etched crystal and glass has existed for centuries.

To “mark” the surface of crystal and glass, film is created from vector artwork and is used to make the stencil, or resist, that is affixed to the surface of the crystal being engraved. The crystal areas that are not to be engraved are then masked off.  Once fully masked, the crystal is put into the engraving booth and is sandblasted.

After the sand etching/blasting is complete, the masking is removed, and the glass is cleaned, inspected and packed.

Quality engraving requires expertise and patience. Experienced etchers from other vendors often remark that our etching work is detailed, clean and has great depth, which is ideal for color filling. Admiration of our craftsmanship by our peers is always welcome.

When glass and crystal surfaces are deeply etched, the engraved area is deep enough to hold paint.  The area engraved needs to be etched a millimeter or two in depth so that painted can be applied within the engraved area.  If the engraved area is only lightly frosted and is not deep, there will be no edges to hold the paint within the area.  That is why crystal and glass marked with a laser cannot be color filled, the depth of the engraving is not deep enough.  Etching deeply requires much more experience and skill from the person doing the engraving compared to a fine surface frost which lacks depth.

1. Recognize a team leader

2. Celebrate corporate milestones

3. Create interesting signage/donor walls

What sets a quality engraver apart from one that is inexperienced is the detail and quality of their work.  Look to see if the engraving is straight or crooked, or if it is centered or not.  Laying down the engraving resist is often tricky and requires a good eye, especially in curved surfaces.  Also look for letters that seem deformed or missing parts.  Often in the etching process, small letters “blow out” , especially the insides of an “a” or “e”.  This is because the resist was not affixed well enough to the glass. 

Other Decoration Methods