Placing Masks on Compound Curves

Compiled by: Sally Elliot

Written: Date: May 9th, 2002

Revised: August 03, 2005


This article has been compiled from responses to a related question on the sandcarving Forum.  Contributors to these responses are: Tom Eddleman, Pat, Christopher and Rob.


Ever tried placing a mask on an object with compound curves such as a wine glass?  Not an easy task if you want a reasonable sized etching that will enhance the glass and display your talent.  Below are some tips others have used which may help with this endeavor.  One method or a combination of methods may work best for you. 

  1. Firstly, keep in mind that this is a task requiring patience.  Donít try to rush it and remember that the smaller the image is, the less the curve to which it is subjected.  Of course the real trick is finding glass without compound curves.


  1. One method is to stretch resist or put gores in it to get it to fit. The trick is to get the gores cut in solid areas if you can. If you apply your glue to your resist you can apply the resist with pleats in areas that are out of the way.


  1. Try getting the mask in the correct position and then burnish along a line so that the carrier sheet will start to lift off. At this point carefully remove the entire carrier sheet and slowly work the rest of the mask on with your fingers by pulling and stretching it into place.  If this doesnít work, remove the resist, wash off the glass and and start again.  Even though you hate to waste the resist, donít take the risk that you may have to ditch an expensive item.


  1. Another approach would be to make relief cuts in the film leaving the carrier sheet on.  Start in the center and burnish only one half of the material. Use your thumb over the carrier sheet to burnish the remaining side while pulling the carrier sheet off the other side.


  1. Try separating the mask from the carrier, and then apply it to the glass. Press the mask down starting in the center of the art and work your way outwards. Once all of the edges of the art are stuck down, it doesnít matter if the rest of the mask becomes distorted. Just tape over it.


If you have a different method of working with compound curves that could be added to this article, please e-mail your approach to








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