Natalia Designs



I teach lampwork glass beadmaking and the acid etching process at studios around the country.

Would you like have me teach a class at a glass studio near you?  Well then, send me some information about the studio by e-mail and I'll contact them and try to see what can be arranged for the future!  Also, it may help to chat with the studio owners about my work and show them my web site, you never know what might work out.  


Overview OF The Glass Etching Process

For my own beads, I etch images on lampwork glass beads that I create myself. I begin with rods of glass in different colors and then melt and shape the glass around a mandrel in the flame of a torch. I then slowly cool the bead in a kiln, which anneals the glass and gives it great strength and durability. Later I apply the etched designs to the cooled glass bead.

The basic principles of the etching process are very simple: The designs are etched on the bead using an acid solution formulated to cut away the glass surface in a controlled, even way. The acid creates a soft matte finish where it touches the glass, and leaves a smooth glossy finish wherever I have protected the glass. After it has done itís job, the acid is neutralized and washed away, leaving clean, safe, etched bead.

In my classes I cover many different techniques you can use to create your own etched design. We cover stencil materials and stencil cutting, applying different painted resist materials, wax resists, embossed stamping, and more. My classes allow time for students to practice the techniques, and learn many tips and tricks Iíve learned over the years that make this labor-intensive process much more successful and rewarding. I cover all of the safety information you need to use this process safely on your own, and my class kit includes all the tools youíll need to explore the technique further. See my Shows page for a listing of the shows where Iíll be offering classes.

For my own etched beads that you see on this web site, youíll see that I have some designs that use simple graphic elements (dots & lines, etc.), some with much more elaborate pictorial images, and some that have a raised, sculptural relief.

Simple graphic designs are mostly created using painted resist methods, although some very crisp linear designs call for using stencils. Pictorial images mostly demand the detail and control available by using stencils.

My sculptural designs are created by melting tiny threads of glass onto the bead surface, essentially drawing the design on the surface of the bead with the molten glass, and then selectively etching the bead by applying a painted resist on the raised design (or on the background, depending on the effect Iím after).

All of these beads are a great joy to create, as the etching process allows an endless range of images to lay over the many colors of glass available. Iíve been fascinated by the flash and flow of transparent glass since I began lampworking. With the addition of the etching process thereís no end to the combinations you can make, and so no chance to get bored with the color palette or the process!

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions!

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