Awards & Engraving

November '19

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40 a-e-mag.com • A&E NOVEMBER 2019 ETCH MASTERS By Ruth Dobbins With over 40 years in the glass busi- ness, Ruth Dobbins offers experi- ence in all glass-etching techniques as well as in fused and cast glass. Ruth holds a Master's Degree in Art and has been a partner in an art glass wholesale supply and studio company in Europe, which also placed great emphasis on a training program, before joining forces with Norm. You can reach Ruth by email at ruth@etchmaster.com, or by phone at 505-473-9203. As the awards and recognition industry continues rushing headlong into the glass business, it is getting more difficult to keep your products differentiated from com- petitors, but differentiation is going to be increasingly important in keeping ahead in your business. STAGES ONE AND TWO In the first stage of the development cycle of glass in the recognition business, it was enough just to be able to etch corpo- rate logos and recognition wording on nice pieces of glass. Glass was so new, elegant, and attractive that customers flocked to it when given the choice, even though the selection of glass blanks was limited. An added incentive was customer reaction against using the same old tired products available in the industry for many years. As more and more customers began demanding glass, more and more recogni- tion shops got into it. The selection of glass available to the industry has grown rap- idly, and resist and equipment dealers have improved products dramatically. During this first stage of product development, we even saw several visionary companies started that are now etching hundreds of thousands of pieces of glass per year. Now that more people have gotten into glass, we are entering the second phase of the product development cycle. Profit mar- gins are still good for those offering etched glass, and that continues to encourage more shops to offer glass, creating more demand for products from suppliers. The selection T his is another article based on reader suggestions and questions concerning the work we all do in the sandcarving world. For those of you making glass awards and gifts, there is always the quest to take your business to the next level by learning more about glass, by improving your etching techniques, finding the best sources, and by improving your service to the consumer. Glass Blanks: Product Differentiation Importance of diversification to stay ahead in business The Bottle Cap Paperweight is a cast crystal piece of glass that offers a more whimsical choice as a commemorative item. IMAGE COURTESY CRYSTAL D

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