I finally found some reusable, vinyl stencils at Michael's, the kind that I could cut my own designs in. It comes on a clear plastic backing that you can place them on when you're done using them, like reusable stickers. During this round, I did some testing with how much Armor-Etch cream was needed for an even etching, and also with how long the cream should be left on before being rinsed, in order to ensure a lack of visible brush strokes. I'm not sure whether it adds something to see the brush strokes or not, but I'm leaning more towards no visible strokes... My process was something like this:
Draw design with a Tombow HB pencil (my favorite softness, and brand) onto the stencil. Remove stencil to self healing mat, and place flat, so as to preserve the clear backing sheet for later. Use exact-O to cut stencil. Place stencil on glass. Brush super heavy/thick coat of Armor-Etch cream onto stencil/glass, leave for 30 minutes. Rinse. Dry. Remove stencil to backing sheet. Enjoy newly etched glass.
I also messed around with some glass paint. On the squid glasses, I felt it was best to keep to the simple shape, and only used paint to detail the eyes, so they would be more visible. I had some glass jars that I cleaned and saved, to try out something a little different. I wanted to do some UPA style characters... simple etched shape, with an offset line drawing. It's a little hard to get the glass paint to resemble an ink line, most of the time I had to put it on in more than one coat, or push it around, rather than paint it on. My lines ended up a lot thicker than I had hoped. To put the paint on the glass, I waited till my glasses and jars were completely dry, let the paint dry over night, then baked the glass in the oven (it says what temp on the bottle) so that the paint would set.
In case you're curious, I'm trying to sprout an avocado seedling in the amoeba jar, which is what that weird pod is, being supported by toothpicks, and cradled in water.