Complete Glass Etching Seminars
Learn how to etch glass, carve it, shade it, gold leaf it and even how to color your etched glass!
We offer the only sandblast glass etching seminars in the U.S. (if not the world) that teach all three sandblast etching techniques plus special tricks of the trade (like controlled glue chipping, use of unique found resists and use of photo resists), and business information like how to price and market your work.
The seminars are organized on the lecture/demonstration/participation model. Students first get a description of each technique, with all the details. Then we do a demonstration of the techniques applied to a specific project. Last, each student creates the project that was just demonstrated, because hands-on practice is the best way to really learn!
Our Teaching Philosophy
Our teaching philosophy is to offer seminars with as much information as we think people can reasonably digest at one time, backed up by as much hands-on practice as possible. We teach not only a practical approach to glass etching, but also an approach that students can use to go into a glass etching business and make good money if they want. These are the professional techniques that benefit everyone learning etching, even hobbyists who want to do the best work possible. We believe in offering an environment that is conducive to learning, with a large selection of the best equipment available. A big plus is that the classes are so much fun!
Because we know it is difficult and can be expensive to get away from your normal activities and businesses several times, we try to group related seminars together. In this way, you can take two or more seminars in one trip. Not only will this help you save money, it will help you really get a jump start on learning as much as possible, as quickly as possible.
Who are our students?
Our students come from all walks of life. We have had teachers, doctors, electricians, attorneys, business owners, other glass professionals, psychologists, factory workers, nurses, consultants, housewives, software authors, sales clerks, policemen (and women), photographers, postal workers, accountants, construction workers, and just about anyone else you can imagine.
Some of these folks are changing careers from a job at a company that has downsized, some are retired, some looking for a second income, some looking for a business the whole family can participate in, some looking for a unique hobby. We have taught a VP of a large chemical company with sales of over 1 billion dollars, a female auto mechanic, a Japanese artist who spoke almost no Engilsh, a deaf person, several other handicapped people, a person who owned a large clothing manufacturing company in NYC, and many people from other countries.We had a couple take the class together and get engaged during the class, and another spent their honeymoon with us. Sometimes a father or mother will take a seminar with a son or daughter to go into business together or to help give someone with an artistic interest a way of making a living with their art.
All our students are interesting and we have a great time in the classes! Students meet a lot of new friends in class and do a lot of networking.
Ruth Dobbins speaks to a group of stained glass shop owners about photo resist etching techniques at a recent glass conference.
So, where do you start??
Most people just starting out (even if they have been etching for several years) will want to begin their education with our 4 day Professional Glass Etching Seminar and the Photo Resist 3 Seminar. These seminars have completely different approaches, both of which are necessary to know if you want to get a well rounded knowledge of etching. We usually schedule these seminars together (with one day in between), so you can take both in one trip. Otherwise, you can start with either seminar, then attend the second one whenever you are ready. (For complete descriptions of these classes, click their names on the menu bar at the left.)
We offer Advanced Glass Carving seminars once or twice a year plus seminars in the related techniques of Gold Leafing on Glass and Coloring Techniques for Etched Glass twice a year as well. These seminars are scheduled together as often as possible, so you can take them all in one trip if you want.
Advanced Classes in Glass Carving
Due to popular request, we have begun expanding our seminars. In 2001, we expanded the Gold Leafing and Coloring seminars into 3 days each. Because of the enthusiasm we received for this (both classes have been full, with waiting lists) we recently expanded the advanced carving into its own separate 3 day, Carving 2 class. The enrollment in this seminar is limited to 8, so students can get maximum practice time. We are considering another even more advanced seminar, Carving 3, for later in the summer of 2004 so keep checking back!
Other New Classes
One of the main problems glass etchers face when they want to publicize their business, for professional or personal purposes, is how to get good photos of the work! Our new seminar, How to Photograph Etched Glass, will solve this problem. It is designed for glass etchers, not professional photographers.The seminar, On-site Glass Etching, will teach you how to go out and etch glass that is already installed in commercial or residential buildings. We just completed our first class in How to Etch Stone and it was a great success! The class, How to Gold Leaf on Glass (Level 3) was held for the first time in October 2003 and students completed a really stunning advanced gold leafing project. Design for Gold Leaf is new for this year and provides instruction never before available. For complete info on all these classes, click their title on the left nav bar. For currently scheduled dates and fees, go to the Schedules/Pricing page.
Although we do occasionally still teach in locatons around the country (check our schedule page), we offer the largest number and choices of seminars at Aliento Glass School, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is our own studio/school location, where we have a very large selection of equipment and many finished pieces for you to see. For more information on the school and on Santa Fe, check our main Aliento Glass School page on the left navigation bar above!