Ttt. Creating my Own Beach Glass from a Rock Tumbler or??
Creating your own Beach Glass by Tumbling, chemical etching, or sand blasting?
This is a common myth. A small rock tumbler or even a large commercial grade vibe tumbler lacks the action or fall to allow the glass to slam into your medium (usually sand, shells and small marble stones) and re-create the erosion of Mother Nature. I’m now into my fourth year of collecting authentic waste glass from coastal areas, lakes, rivers, streams, and old abandon land dumps. Over the four years several visitors to our show appearances claim to have created beach glass from tumbling. There is no comparison. The faux beach glass looked more like a broken piece of bottle that was rubbed against the sidewalk and lacked the presences of the unique “c” chips from the glass. Edges were sharp and the surface had gouges in the glass rather than a satin rough or etched surface. Further the individuals attempting this process ran the tumbler for a period exceeding three weeks! That’s a lot of time, effort and electricity to create faux beach glass. Tumbled glass will never display the “c” shaped patterns and small hair line cracks that is common on naturally created beach glass.
Etching compounds are designed for artist glass, sheet glass and stain glass. The etching solutions that are commonly available are not strong enough to create a rustic and real look of erosion on bottle glass.
If you have access to a contained drum or coffin style blasting unit you can create the rough look on the flat surfaces of the glass but a uniform look over the entire piece of glass is almost impossible. Furthermore you have to deal with the sharp edges of the glass you create from broken bottles. Sand blasted glass also lack the recognizable mark of the “c” chips.