Why etched glass?
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Etching techniques
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Chemical Etching
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Who Are We?

This site, 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.

In the 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. Students 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.

Norm founded 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.

Ruth, originally 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.

The facilities 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.