Awards & Engraving

April '18

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44 a-e-mag.com • A&E APRIL 2018 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. With this article, I will begin a series of articles that presents a complete approach to the awards, recognition, and person- alized products businesses. I intend to cover not only basic etching techniques and equipment, but also glass blanks, using UV adhesives to assemble glass awards, advanced etching techniques, the best use of lasers in glass etching, and much more. This series is intended to help you with your questions — it is designed to help you be more successful with your business from start up to growing. With 40 years of experience, I have a few things to share. If you are already etching glass recognition pieces, you may be tempted to think this will be too basic for you, especially the first few topics, but think again! We have found time and again that people who already work with glass are the ones who have been left behind by new technology and new techniques and don't even know it. For example, there are people still using a non-adhesive photoresist with a paint-on or spray-on adhesive to adhere the resist to the glass. Did you know that you can skip that step by using a self-adhesive resist that was released about a year ago? And if you knew that, did you know that recent developments in do-it-yourself resists make it practical for you to etch photographs onto glass? Or that there are specific resists being made for use with a laser? Or that there is a new resist that does not require a water washout at all? Do you have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of all different types of photoresists? So, join me for an interesting, exciting, and (hopefully) profitable ride. W ith all the articles that have been written about glass etching in the awards and recognition industry in the past years, it is all too easy to forget that at any given time someone completely new to this business is trying to get started. And, as I know from the many phone calls we receive, newcomers are amazed at the scattered information that is available from various vendors and websites. Most of that information is naturally geared to selling specific products, without giving any comparative information or pros and cons. So what is a novice to do? I intend to help, beginning right now! How to Start Etching Glass Awards & Gifts Example of a blasting system with a free-standing pressure pot blaster. ALL IMAGES COURTESY RUTH DOBBINS

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