Glass etched with acid has been in use for centuries, but sand blasted, or sand etched glass has been the preferred technique for about the last 100 years. Many early 20th century examples of sand etched designs are found in movie houses and theatres popular during the Art Deco era in the U.S. and Europe.
Sand carving (also known as etching) is a process for cutting into the surface of crystal or glass with a pressurized abrasive material (silicon carbide). Before the abrasive is applied to glass, the entire surface is covered with a protective vinyl material. The design is attached, and is then cut into the vinyl mask with a surgically sharp knife. When the glass is ready for etching, each cut section of vinyl is removed sequentially to create the life like imagery for which Margaret Oldman is renowned.