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Glass Etching. History.

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-Glass etching started around the 15th Century. Artists scratched directly onto cast or hand-blown glass, creating designs, motifs and pictures. -Acid etching was developed in the 1860’s and the cutting was finer and more exquisite. -As the types of acids used in this process were extremely hazardous, a mould-etch process was invented in the 1920’s and later widely used in the 1930’s. Moulds were used to mass produce etched glassware and later became known as Depression glass.


So what is Glass etching?

Glass etching is: The process of treating areas of glass to create a roughened, frosted glass design.

We will be using Glass etch cream: It has a diluted acid that lightly eats away at the surface of glass.

but what images do we want to put on our glass
But what images do we want to put on our glass?

We will be looking at the art of

  • Positive space and
  • negative space.
so what is positive and negative space
So what is Positive and negative space?

Negative space is, quite simply, the space that surrounds an object in a image. Just as important as that object itself, negative space helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition.


Positive space : the definition of positive space is the area or space on a painting or piece of artwork in which is occupied by the subject. 

we will be looking at polynesia and oceanic art sometimes called tribal art
We will be looking at Polynesiaand Oceanic Art, sometimes called Tribal Art.
  • Where is Polynesia?

North America



-The advent of Christianity in Tonga witnessed the loss of several indigenous practices such as the practice of tatatau or tattooing.

-Although the art of tattooing was retained in the nation of Samoa, it was completely erased in Tonga.

-However, the art and practice of tattooing has been enjoying a revival in Tonga in recent years. This is a result of the work of scholars, researchers, visual artists and tattoo artists such as the two brothers – Carl and King Afa Cocker. Carl and Afa’s knowledge of Polynesian art and culture – specifically the art and tradition of tattooing 


 Tongan warrior complete with his sharks’ teeth necklace, a war club and the traditional warriors tattoo. Notice that the tattoo covers half of his body with solid black. This particular type of tattoo was symbolic of defiance and self confidence in the face of the enemy. (1827)


This is from an engraving of a Tongan man’s thigh. This picture, drawn from life during Captain Dumont d’Urvilles voyage of the Astrolabe, is the only visual account left of a traditional Tongan male tattoo. 

something you might notice is happening with this project is
Something you might notice is happening with this project is
  • Pareidolia (/pærɨˈdoʊliə/parr-i-DOH-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant, a form of apophenia. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.
  • The word comes from the Greek words para (παρά, "beside, alongside, instead") in this context meaning something faulty, wrong, instead of; and the noun eidōlon (εἴδωλον "image, form, shape") the diminutive of eidos. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, seeing patterns in random data.
so what we are doing today
So what we are doing today?
  • We are going to experiment with paper and create designs that use positive and negative shapes.
  • On your paper I want you to play with using shape to make an image.
  • If you get ideas for your final design, I want you to draw them in your sketch book.
homework due wednesday 1 15
Homework. Due Wednesday 1/15
  • Find 3 inspirational images of art for your glass etching.
  • Helpful hint. If you are looking online.


“__your interest____” tribal design.


The Etching process.

1: Plan out a design you want to do and sketch it out.

2: Create a stencil of the design you have created.

3: Wash a glass in warm, soapy water and dry it completely.

4: Apply your stencil to your glass.

5: Make sure every edge of your stencil is firmly stuck to the glass.

(if you do not do this your design will have bad edges.)

6: We will use a brush to apply a thick layer of etching cream to the exposed glass. And let it sit for 15-30 min.

7: Rinse the cream thoroughly with warm water. Remove the stencil.