Address: 1324 Solitary Islands Way
Sandy Beach NSW 2456
Phone: (02) 6656 1061
Mobile: 0429 539 458
Contact: Faye
Hours: Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

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Studio 101 - Engraved Glass

In-the-Rainforest-4About the Artist – Faye Thomson

Faye Thomson is an accomplished Australian artist and glass engraver.

Faye was born in Sydney in 1944 and recently moved to Sandy Beach north of Coffs Harbour.  She always loved to draw and discovered Glass Engraving in 1980 when visiting Anne Dybka, an engraver of high renown and an Australian Treasure, at The Rocks.  She asked Anne to teach her the basics of engraving.

Sharing-the-Bush-6For over 30 years Faye has designed and hand-engraved many hundreds of her original designs onto high quality crystal decanters, glasses, bowls, plates and vases.  She has designed and hand-engraved pieces for large corporations, the government and private commissions both as gifts and awards and many have been taken to the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Each of the pieces is unique and feature Australian plants and animals or is inspired by the beautiful Australian landscape.

Detail-6-Glasses-Honeyeaters-on-SpiderflowerAbout Diamond Drill Glass Engraving

Faye engraves glass using the less common intaglio method involving the use of a hand-held high-speed diamond drill.

The technique was originally developed in the 1530’s in Venice where a diamond point was introduced into glassmaking to add linear drawings.  Since the introduction of electricity, high speed diamond drills have been used for deep engraving or carving of the glass.Pod-of-Dolphins-3

Today only a few hundred artists in the world employ this technique as it requires a high degree of training and expertise to achieve the high quality work.

Compared to mass produced machine or acid etchings, diamond drill engraving produces much finer and more detailed work.

Sugar-Gliders-on-Silky-Oak-6On average each piece can take a minimum of 6 hours to design and engrave by hand, and many more hours depending on the size and complexity of the work.

The Process

After drawing the design freehand onto the glass’ surface, engraving, using a variety of diamond tipped drills, begins.

Sugar-Gliders-close-up

Each design is cut deep into the surface of the glass and has the appearance of a miniature sculptural relief.  Although carved into the thickness of the glass, designs appear to stand out.

The artist must have a steady hand and a high degree of skill to avoid cutting the glass too deeply and destroying the piece.

The glass must be constantly water cooled during drilling to prevent fracturing.

Next, carborundums are used to polish areas of the design.

Water-Set-Water-BirdsLastly, each piece is titled and signed.