This page is still under construction

You can start engraving with very little outlay, the following is a list of the basic tools, equipment and material required to experience the joy of this hobby, if you find yourself captivated you can always upgrade, if you find engraving on glass is not your thing you will be surprised at the uses that can be found for your rotary tool.

What you need to get started:
Flexible shaft rotary tool

These are available in most hardware stores for a little over $NZ100.
Often called a dremel, although dremel is a brand name and there are many other brands available.

Diamond burs
A range of shapes and sizes are often supplied with your rotary tool. These are often of a fairly coarse grade, they don't always give a nice edge when working on ordinary glass, but are OK to experiment with, finer grade burs are available through dentistry and some craft suppliers (I found my supplier on the internet), and even a $NZ3.00 one does a good job.

Permanent Marker
The finer the better, for drawing your design on the glass.

Print a picture from the internet, use a photo, print some text straight from your wordprocessor or draw from your imagination straight onto the glass with your permanent marker.

A piece of scrap glass, a glass coaster, a jam jar or a drinking glass out of your cupboard will do.

Safety Equipment
Dust mask
Safety Glasses
Ear muffs or plugs

The safety equipment listed above is a must!!! The process of engraving is noisy and will damage your hearing without ear muffs/plugs, and the dust created is very fine and can cause all sorts of nasty problems if you breath it in.

A most useful lesson page provided by Lesley Pyke:

Lesley must be Britains leading drill engraver, her skill and talent are incredible!!  I strongly advise any budding glass engravers to view her videos too:

Note: I started engraving with a cordless rotary tool, it proved heavy in the hand and awkward to use, the need to recharge it was also frustrating, however it was cheap (around $NZ25.00 from memory) and did give me the opportunity to experience engraving with minimal outlay.

More Advanced Tool:

This is the Foredom micromotor I use now... a huge improvement on a rotary tool, no vibration, no drag on the handpiece (from the flexi shaft), no wobble on the burs, and being fan cooled, much longer working times.

More photos to come, as time permits....


  1. Love the webpage Jean....can't see the mother's day glasses and they will not enlarge but then again I know you are working on the site. It will prove useful to others and to beginners. Take care and I will see you on Face Book in Lesley's glass engraving club....your firend John of Sketch-N-Etch glass engraving.


    1. Hi there Sandy, if you have a look at the "Hints and Tips" page on this blog there is a bit of a write up about the burs there :-) Also Lesley Pyke's videos on youtube are very helpful, although each of us will develop our preferences for which burs to use where, which really only comes with practice and experimenting until we find what achieves the effect we are looking for. Something else to consider is that different speeds on the drill and the use of water (or not) will give different results too. Best of luck with your engraving!! Enjoy the learning process!!