Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Glass Engraving

By Jharna Shahani
Khajuraho Temple 

We are living in a machine-like world today, where machines are taking the place of handmade art, especially engraving. Still there are few artists like Vijay Kharkar, who are striving to keep the art of engraving alive.

Glass engraving is a form of decorative glasswork that involves incising a design on to a glass surface, by cutting grooves into it. Diamond coated or Tungstone Carbide stylus, Stone or Copper wheels used with a lathe machine, hand-held rotary drill and Diamond coated burrs are tools, which when used with the right skill produce such attractive and mesmerizing designs that it’s difficult to get your eyes off such artistic pieces.

Goddess on Crystal glass 
14 years ago, Vijay Kharkar, a Pune based artist left his pencil and brush and adopted the hand-held rotary drill to begin working on glass engraving. At 74, there is no end to his enthusiasm. Without any formal training, but armed with the essential tools of hard work, experimentation and practice, Kharkar has developed his own technique and mastered the art. His inspiration and learning comes from the works of eminent engravers like Wayland H. Cato from the U.S., James Denison from UK, Catherine Miller from West Virginia and master glass engraver Max Erlacher.

Vijay Kharkar
Glass being a very versatile medium can be used in different ways in engraving and presents excellent results; this is what Vijay Kharkar realized and began experimenting with different tools and themes like portraits, landscapes, animals, floral designs and old sculptures. The outcome of these experiments is the number of awards and accolades he has collected for his work, not only in India, but from all over the world.

Sun Temple
A precision-driven process, glass engraving involves utmost concentration and a very steady hand; being a non reversible process, mistakes are not permissible. With such inherent challenges, Vijay Kharkar faced many challenges like his work ‘Old Age’ required rough texture to depict agony and ‘Amorous Couple’ needed a softer texture to incorporate the mood. The spray of water and the huge rocks visible through the spray in ‘Niagara’ needed numerous trials with a variety of tools. ‘Pieta’ demanded a marble sculpture effect and matching the picture on two glass sheets to show the 3D effect. He says that his most challenging works were ‘Pieta’ and ‘Veiled Beauty’.

  Veiled Beauty
With acid etching fast replacing the art of engraving, Vijay Kharkar suggests young artists to be exposed to this art form via exhibitions, displaying photographs on blogs, publishing links to the works of great glass engravers, holding competitions for glass engravers to encourage young artists to take up this art form and also by creating awareness in the public about this art.

 Old Age

 Amorous Couple

Niagara Falls
Browse through other signature styles; portraiture; photographypapier-mâché; sculpture; painting etc. 


  1. These are awesome!!
    It is unbelievable that these are engraved on glass!Amazing dimension and depth in the works.

  2. I, Chanel stand for the laser engraving machine business, show the highest respect to Mr. Vijay Kharkar. Awesome!

  3. Aah really amazing!!
    It is unbelievable that these are engraved on glass!

  4. Vijay, the depth of your skills and experience is amazing, with new dramatic complexity since I last saw your work. I'm in awe of your energy and talent! Janet Haskell (USA)

  5. Hi Vijay ! Thank you for sending your artwork our way. Your talent is quite impresive. We look forward to seeing more.
    Norman & Sharon (Mexico)

  6. Vijay's engravings show an amazing creativity and skill to create these works of art in a very delicate, but versatile medium - glass. I am proud to have the Niagara Falls as a priceless piece in my collection.

  7. Tushar, Chanel,Anonymous, Janet, Norman and Sheron
    Thank you for appreciating my work. It is people like you all that will keep encouraging me to achieve even better results.

  8. IT is simply awesome!To do such works of details, one requires patience, meticulousness, careful handling of the glass, and of course Talent.You have them all.All the best for your new work.

  9. Dear Vijay,

    I have seen your glass engravings at Pune. Your engraving skill is par excellence.

    I feel plenty of detailed intricacies in design
    do not make full justice to the engraved picture
    as a whole, as nothing becomes conspicuous.To make engraving eye-catching, few features need to be bold enough.. e.g. "The Humming Bird"

    Perhaps, u will weigh this angle too.

    I like your "NIGERA FALLS" the most.

    Looking forward to see more artistic works of
    excellence from you.


    1. Hi vijay Sir,
      I am awestruck by your works. Thank you for sharing and inspiring me. I have just started engraving, a long way to go....

    2. Dear Vidya,
      Thank you for your comment. Can I see some of your work? It would be a pleasure.

    3. It is my pleasure to show you my works, sorry for the late response. Please visit my blog Anxious to know your views. Thank you

  10. i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful.


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