Helix Glass regularly uses photomasks in its work, and supplies custom masks to trophy makers and others using sandblasting as a decorative process.

The masks are for single-use only.  The film is very easy to use, as it can be repositioned on the glass several times before finally fixing it in place and then sandblasting.


We can work from your finished designs if they are prepared in pure celtic_knot.jpg black and white, or we can help generate designs from other types of images. 

We can process text, graphic images and most medium to high-quality images, including for example faces, animals, patterns, textures, architecture, sailing boats, cars, handprints and footprints.


The sandblast masks require medium to fine sandblast abrasive (typically 120 to 360 mesh).  The masks are suitable for images with gaps down to 0.5mm gaps (which becomes the etched area) and masked areas down to 1mm width (which stays clear).  If smaller dimensions are used, the gaps may not fully clear and the clear parts may start to undercut.  The masks are adequate for etching up to 0.5mm deep, or deeper for large features. The smallest text size is 6pt for simple fonts. The maximum mask size is A3 (420mm x 297mm). 


Masks are supplied as self-adhesive transfers on backing paper.  Once positioned correctly on the glass, the mask should be pressed down to get full adhesion with a squeegee. The top layer is peeled off before etching. Any air bubbleDragon.jpgs remaining need to be removed before sand blasting by pricking with a fine needle and pressing the film down again and covering with a small piece of masking tape if it is not in the area to be blasted. 

Ordering masks

If you are a new customer please give us a call so that we can get to know what you are trying to do. The recommended process for mask supply is as follows:

Supply artwork and required number and sizes of masks

We welcome the supply of an electronic file of the images.   We can work with most common graphic image file formats.  We can also scan a hard copy of the image.

Helix Glass will provide a quotation for the work required

We will detail costs and timescales for the work required.

We will commence work on receipt of a written order (or by email)

Prepare artwork (optional)

If the image is a good quality black/white image and supplied electronically, then no further artwork preparation is required.  Where work is required to clean up the image, we can do this, and also process photographic images at moderate prices.  Fixed quotations will be given before starting work once we have seen the images to be used. 

Add text, graphics (optional)

If you require it, Helix Glass can add text and graphics as requested.  If you can provide a rough sketch we can send back draft designs to you for approval.

heron.jpgGenerate film positive

We make a film master for each design.  This enables us to make repeat copies if required.

Process masks and dispatch

Masks are normally dispatched within 1 week from order.
All orders are dispatched in flat packaging by Royal mail 1st class post or parcel service.  All delivery costs will be paid by the customer.

Store film positive

Helix Glass will hold the film positive in case of further orders for a period of 6 months. If the film positive is required this will be sent at a cost of £6.00.

Use of materials

This is the responsibility of the customer, but we can advise on attachment of the mask to the glass.  If you would like some test masks please give us a call and we can send samples.

Processing of glass

Please get in touch - we can also etch the glass for you if required.


The price is proportional approximately to the area of the mask and the amount of work needed to be done on the original artwork.  Helix Glass will send a quotation for the order price once the required size and number of masks has been received, and any requirements for special artwork services are known. Multiple images can be supplied on the same sheet, either repeating the same or different images.

To give an idea of typical prices:

 Size  Mask Price
50 x 50 mm £3.00
100 x 100mm £4.75
200 x 200mm £12.00
A6 (148 x 105 mm) £6.85
A5 (210 x 148 mm) £10.35
A4 (297 x 210 mm) £17.50
A3 (420 x 297 mm) Price dependent on the level of detail required

Prices above apply to orders for single masks and are subject to change without notice and exclude postage & packing. 

Discounts are available for large or repeat orders.

All orders are despatched on receipt of payment via 1st class post.   Payment can be made by bank transfer or by sterling cheque made payable to Helena Ross.

We look forward to helping you.

Unique pieces combining art and craft