Rocky Mountain Glass Carving - by Randy Mardrus

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 10-08-2009 01:09 AM 5837 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a carved glass (etching) by artist Randy Mardrus of Permanent Reflections ( / that is featured in the bar in my game room. The piece was commissioned if I remember right back around 2001. Randy is world renowned in his field, completing projects ranging from yachts to planes to cabins to hotels.

The stained glass was done by my uncle Robert Saperstein who does a variety of extremely high level glass projects ranging from Tiffany reproduction to scenes and signs.

I figured I would post a few images of this as it’s in the background of the full bar image with the wildlife carving panels I posted as separate projects. This gives a feature of the glass carving itself as it is one of the main features of the bar. The use of multiple materials, glass, metal, tile, stone, etc. incorporated with wood allows additional texture, creativity, and function … not to mention extra artistic options. Just because we’re woodworkers doesn’t mean we can’t leverage other mediums and/or other artists in our projects!

The glass is ½” thick starfire glass (iron / impurity free glass) that is reverse relief carved with a depth of about 3/8”. The frame is setup with a fiber optic harness configured to direct the light streams directly into the top edge of the glass. This develops the depth and shadows – a 3D effect enhancement as there is already perspective and relief in the scene.

Carving is done with various sand blasting techniques. It’s detailed, unforgiving, and extremely tedious – which is why Randy loves it! The net result is just amazing in person – hard to get the photos to really show it off.

The background is a piece of flat black velvet – just to create a glare free surface and a shadow background. The concept was a bugling elk in the Rocky Mountains w/ the eagle flying above. Classic wilderness scene …
The stained glass is a geometric pattern that is backlit by a loop of fibers from the same fiber harness. The light source is a single halogen bulb in a unit placed inside the bar cabinet.

Overall this carving was inspirational in getting me motivated do to the rest of the carvings in the bar. I met Randy at the onset of this commission, years later we’ve remained friends and traded ideas for artwork, marketing, etc. It’s been interesting to watch progression in both our artistic careers as we both have similar fascinations with nature and wildlife. Check out his websites for some amazingly detailed and creative work …


-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

10 comments so far

View George Barreras's profile

George Barreras

185 posts in 4063 days

#1 posted 10-08-2009 02:38 AM

Absolutely beautiful. Does the artist offer any tutorial publications in glass etching?r

-- Nubs,Reserve

View littlecope's profile


3097 posts in 4273 days

#2 posted 10-08-2009 02:39 AM

That is outrageously beautiful, Eric. No doubt that Randy is World Renowned…Primo work!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1107 posts in 4578 days

#3 posted 10-08-2009 03:22 AM

Eric, It’s absolutely stunning. Maybe a few words about the carvings on the bar panels? They’re looking mighty fine as well! Max

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4761 days

#4 posted 10-08-2009 02:22 PM

Beautiful bar Eric! That’s something to be really proud of as well. Thanx for posting it.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3966 days

#5 posted 10-08-2009 07:12 PM

Wow, the lighting on that second picture really makes the details standout. Beautiful work.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View savannah505's profile


1849 posts in 4357 days

#6 posted 10-10-2009 06:44 AM

gorgeous, really an excellent piece and bar.

-- Dan Wiggins

View scottishrose's profile


110 posts in 3936 days

#7 posted 10-10-2009 07:02 AM

Eric, You are right, the back lighting really makes it pop!

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4348 days

#8 posted 10-10-2009 07:39 AM

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4019 days

#9 posted 10-10-2009 09:02 AM


Thanks for the feedback – I’ll make sure to pass your comments on to Randy.

The other panels are described in two other project posts – before this one in more detail. If you check Randy’s sites you can see additional examples of his work. Looking for something unique to incorporate into one of your projects – this may fit the requirements. Doors for a cabinet, tabletops, framed as artwork. Imagination is the limit!


-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View woodchic's profile


841 posts in 4128 days

#10 posted 10-22-2009 06:13 PM

I love this….......very nice piece of art!

Robin Renee’


-- Robin Renee'

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