The sandblasting technique of glass etching is achieved by directing a high pressure, high speed stream of sand (or other abrasive) at the surface of a piece of glass. The design is made by protecting the surface of the glass in the areas you do not wish to be etched with a resist material, while leaving the areas of the surface exposed which you do wish to be etched. Intaglio cut glass dates back about three hundred years. Early craftsmen using copper wheels chose to also use stone wheels to cut a design or picture onto glass. This method of stone wheel engraving grew in popularity. Once an apprentice learned his trade after 6-8 years he was approved by a guild of artisans to begin his own career as a master craftsman.
The subtly of glass etching and carving caught Terese Connolly’s imagination when she attended her first workshop on sandblasting 18 years ago. More recently, she has moved onto more advanced applications using different depths to create sculptural effects through high relief or reverse intaglio carvings. Working in reverse, thepieces of a pattern in the foreground are sandblasted first to the deepest depth of the piece and subsequent pieces are blasted to lesser depths, thus creating a three dimensional look.
Having worked in stained glass for the past 23 years, intaglio carvings have added a new dimension to Terese’s work and you’ll often see the two techniques combined. Just about any type of glass can be carved – clear window glass, plate glass in any thickness, mirror, stained glass, flashed glass (top layer is coloured glass and the bottom is clear) and glassware of all types. She’s currently experimenting on wine glasses and old pieces of beveled glass panes.
Working out of her home, Terese offers a number of services from lessons to custom orders. Currently president of GBACA (Georgian Bay Association for Creative Arts), she participates in a number of art shows in the Georgian Triangle as well as the Peak to Shore Jazz and Art Festival in August and the BMFA Studio Tour in June.