Sandblasting (also “abrasive blasting”) is used for a wide variety of glassworking techniques.
Common to all the sandblasting techniques is the basic concept that if an abrasive material is “sprayed” against a piece of glass with enough force (high pressure air) that abrasive will gradually remove some of the glass.
Because the glass is removed the tiniest bit at a time (with each impact of a grain of abrasive), the larger object does not break.
Sandblasting can be used to etch or carve into glass, often with the help of stencils. An entire surface can be “frosted” with a sandblaster. Reheating a piece of sandblasted glass to slightly below fire-polish temperature (varies depending on the glass) can be used to obtain a smooth, matte finish.
Most sandblasting systems include an air compressor, a pressure pot, a blasting cabinet and a dust collector.