and the information here, is primarily the inspiration of
Norm & Ruth Dobbins of Professional Glass Consultants
and Aliento Glass School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. It
is presented in the spirit of helping people get started in
glass etching, helping them become adept at the craft and
insuring that they enjoy and have fun with it.
past, it was very difficult to learn anything about how to
etch glass, because the craftsmen who did it considered knowledge
of the techniques to be proprietary. If anyone came to their
door to ask how etching was done, the door would be slammed
in the newcomer's face. Even now, the same attitude holds
true in many parts of the US and the world. The Dobbins' determined
many years ago that they would not subscribe to that attitude.
Norm and Ruth,
owners of Professional Glass Consultants, are internationally recognized
authorities on abrasive glass etching. Their services in the glass
etching industry include work as technical consultants for manufacturers
of abrasive etching equipment and supplies as well as training consultants
for individuals and companies wishing to get into the business of
glass etching. They have taught their techniques throughout the
US, and in Canada, England, Holland, Switzerland, Germany and Italy.
have come from over 35 countries and all 50 states.
Norm & Ruth
have both been in the decorative glass business since the beginning
of the current boom in architectural art glass in the early 1970’s.
They have been etching glass from the beginning, and were some of
the original artists to begin to popularize abrasive etched glass
as a viable medium for glass art. Besides their teaching, consulting
and authoring duties, they also continue to run a rull scale etching
studio (Dobbins Studios) and a business (EtchMaster ) that sells
glass etching equipment and suppllies all over the world.
the first retail stained glass shop/studio/gallery in Albuquerque,
New Mexico in 1976 and operated it for 13 years. During that time,
he became proficient in glass etching and started the first equipment
company in the world to specialize in making abrasive equipment
for glass etching. Considered to be one of the leading experts on
abrasive glass etching in the world, Norm has written over 100 articles
for national trade publications in all major industries involved
in glass. He was an author of the Glass Etching Instructor Certification
Test of the Stained Glass Association of America and has authored
3 books and 6 instructional videotapes on abrasive glass etching
techniques. He has taught his techniques throughout the US, Europe
and Canada and has taught at all the major trade shows in the US
that involve glass—in the art glass industry, the plate glass industry,
the sign industry and in the award and gift industry. Students have
come from every state in the U.S. and from over 35 countries, from
Australia to Switzerland and from Egypt to Japan. Norm passed away in 2008.
from Germany, has a double Master’s Degree in Art and has operated
both retail and wholesale stained glass supply businesses in Germany.
She has been involved in glass art for over 25 years and is the
author of a German decorative glassworking book. An excellent designer,
she has co-taught glass etching seminars with Norm at industry trade
shows in all glass industries for the past 12 years as well as privately
sponsored seminars throughout the US and Europe. She and Norm are
co-authors of the only full color book on glass etching, Etched
Glass: Techniques & Designs, now in its third printing.
In their consulting
and training capacity, Norm and Ruth have done both formal and informal
consulting with such diverse companies as R.S. Owens (creators of
the Oscar statue for the Academy Awards), Tiffany’s, Glastar, PhotoBrasive
and many more. They have also helped many individuals and companies
get into the glass etching business — from small one person shops
to companies of over 100 employees. They have been retained by prominent
companies in this industry as celebrity endorsers and product designers.
In addition to training and consulting, they also maintain a full
service etching studio and commission business in Santa Fe that
serves local and national clients.
of Professional Glass Consultants in Santa Fe, New Mexico are housed
in a 7000 square foot adobe compound on a 10 acre site, 20 minutes
south of the center of town. This is also home to Norm & Ruth’s
new Aliento Glass School, the etching studio and a bed & breasfast
for students and glass lovers from all over the world.