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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Each year, men and women struggle with the age old question: what do I get my loved ones for Valentine’s Day? This year, the Medfield Library had the perfect answer: glass etching.
Prior to the start of the February 13 class, Adult Services/Programming Librarian Bri Ozanne gathered each attendee’s requests for their design. Some called for initials while others settled on more ornate designs, including full names or even objects. Using a vinyl cutter, Bri made each individual piece for each person to use for their glasses.
Once at the class, Ozanne distributed everyone’s requested glasses and etching stencils. The group was ready to get crafting. They began by “weeding” their stencils, removing parts of the green to reveal the white silhouette that would become their etching.
Using their laps, crafters placed each of their glasses on their laps to properly get on the sticker stencil. “Not to scare you, but this is a one-shot deal,” said Ozanne before explaining how to use a repurposed library card to work out creases and air bubbles.
After getting their stencils on the glasses, Ozanne had what was an out-of-the-ordinary safety talk. The etching cream used to burn a design into the glass was extremely dangerous for skin. “It's a silent skin eater,” said Ozanne, noting that people sometimes don't notice that it's on their skin. As a result, all crafters had to wear both safety goggles and glasses, and throw all trash into an allocated garbage bin. Placing their glasswork onto a nest of paper towels, each crafter carefully sealed their sticker stencil using tape before spreading a glob of etching cream onto the object.
Ozanne does a glass etching activity every few months. In November, crafters made etching for Thanksgiving vases. This time around, the glasses were the perfect gift for partners, kids, and friends. After ten minutes, the assembled carefully took their glasses to the sink and rinsed off the etching cream, removed their stencils, and revealed their designs, thoroughly impressed.
“It just says love, love, love!” said crafter Caroline Keats Lydon, admiring the glasses.
The crafters left with new friends, a basic knowledge of how to transfer an image onto a glass, and a newfound respect for those who make glasses for a living. Their loved ones, meanwhile, received thoughtful handmade Valentine’s gifts.