Introduction: Color Glass Etching - Constellation Dice Tumbler

This is a follow up to my popular tutorial about Constellation Dice that just got its 14000th view. I will create a Dice Tumbler as a mean to show you a quick way to permanently etch glass in any color you like (for my purpose I chose white). This method relies on the right tools and a firm hand, so it may not be for you!

Step 1: First Things First, the Tools.

Get a glass that is made of ... glass (crystal would break) and is thick enough, a whiteboard marker, an enamel paint marker of the color you like, an old sponge, and an electric engraver powerful enough to etch glass.

Please note this process may produce fine glass dust that may go in your eyes, mouth and nose, and if something goes (very) wrong the glass may break and you may hurt yourself. Use adequate protection for you eyes and so on.

Step 2: Draw Your Subject.

Use the whiteboard marker to draw whatever you like. Since you can delete and repeat, this is a nice way to play with a subject without having to committ it permanently to the chosen object. Your fingers will easily wipe off the marker, so be careful while you manipulate it, or just work on a small area at a time.

My topic of choice is Constellations, so I drew the same one that can be found on Constellation Dice, minus the glow in the dark effect :)

Step 3: Etch a Sketch

Start etching lightly with the electric engraver, first defining the shape, then going deeper.
I suggest to draw "in the air" in front of the marks before touching the surface, to train your muscles and deliver the master touch that doesn't need a correction.

Step 4: Clean It Up

Wipe of the glass dust by using the sponge.
This way you will also remove any remaining sign of the marker.

Step 5: Once More...

Repeat the previous steps until you have completely finished etching the drawing you have only sketched with the whiteboard marker.

Step 6: Fill in the Gaps

Use the enamel marker to fill the etchings. No need to be precise, just cover all the area you have just engraved. I have used white as a color so it will not be very apparent, but bright colors work as well and will not be easily removed by manipulating the glass afterwards, since the paint will be under the surface level.

Remove all the extra paint while it's fresh. Quick!

Step 7: Wax On, Wax Off.

I know you have enjoyed it, so do it once more.

Step 8: And Again.

Yes, you have guessed the right way to do it. Same as before.

Step 9: There You Go!

Your glass is now properly etched, in color!

And I have a brand new Constellation Dice tumbler.
If you don't know what kind of dice these are, or if you would like to get some, you can check this page.

Step 10: What Will You Draw?

I am curious to see what you will do with this technique. It's fast, it's easy, it's fun, just takes some practice.
As soon as I get some more markers I will update this page with another subject in color (I still got 5 more glasses from the thrift store :)

Comments

author
Battlespeed (author)2015-06-09

Nice! I'd have to check to be sure, but I believe if you bake the glass for about an hour at 350-400 it will make the enamel paint washer-proof? Also, I see no reason you couldn't do the same with stencil and etching cream (applied properly, not as instructed on the container).

author
Battlespeed (author)Battlespeed2015-06-09

Sorry - meant to mention that there are a number of ways to create your own stencils, and if you might consider making sets of glasses, etc., or perhaps even making a small business out of this kind of project, stencils can be used repeatedly.

author
Gio Lasar (author)Battlespeed2015-06-09

Hello, thanks for your comment, I will check if the marker is washer-proof as it is. I have seen many instructables that use etching cream, and I wanted to suggest a different approach that is more friendly to the ecosystem (the etching cream is an acid). The cream is also hard to find where I live and quite costly, so for the same price I got an engraver :)
Stencils would be better for repeating the same subject, while this approach is better suited to unique pieces.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I graduated in Industrial Design and worked as a graphic designer and web developer. This will be the outlet for my personal projects, since I ... More »
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