To say we like Annie Walters' etched glassware would be an understatement; we adore
The whimsical pieces in Walters' Etsy shop, Annie Two Braids
, marries elegant, often vintage glassware with etched words and phrases -- some inspirational, others just plain fun.
Vintage cut glass cake plate. Photo: AnnieTwoBraids; Etsy
The "Happy" champagne goblets are perfect for a wedding toast;
"Drink Me" martini glasses fit right into a fun-loving get-together; and "Eat Me" cake plates fit right in at a picnic. The latter two pieces are inspired by the whimsy of Alice in Wonderland. Other pieces -- like goblets branded with the words "Protection" and "Armor" -- are inspired by ancient medicinal rituals.
Walters, a landscape architect living in Seattle,
began her artistic journey as many artists do: quite by accident. "I was cooking a meal for friends in my kitchen. Looking at my spices, I realized how uninspired I was by the store-bought jars they came in. Paper labels hid the beauty of the contents within. All the tiny writing and words seemed distracting and unnecessary," she says.
So she began her hunt for the perfect containers. From upscale housewares stores to gourmet kitchen supply markets, nothing suited her fancy. Undaunted, she decided to create her own unique vessels by etching words and phrases into blank jars.
"After making my first set of jars," Walters says,
"I thought they looked so pretty and that other people might like them too."
That's when she decided to open an Etsy shop.
Vintage champagne/martini glass. Photo: AnnieTwoBraids, Etsy
Each of Walters' pieces begins with what she refers to as a "glimmer of an idea." she spends a great deal of time mulling over and sketching possibilities. "The incubation period of my designs is long and thoughtful; This process is precious to me."
Walters' actual process involves hunting for vessels in thrift and home stores, then etching the words into them by applying stick-on letters and a special chemical cream to the surface of the glass. In fact, she taught herself the fairly simple process of etching glass -- and you can too. Martha Stewart has a great article on how to etch glass
As her work has grown, Walters has added oil and vinegar containers, a honey pot, stemware, and more to her collection. Additionally, she does a lot of custom orders for people who know exactly what they want inscribed in glass.
Her very small studio is a tiny office alcove in her home -- a challenge for someone like Walters who wants to create with abandon. But when she can, she likes to
"spread out and take advantage of the space. After a day of etching, it looks like a tornado hit! I like it best when the weather is just right and I can bring my work outside on my deck with the birds and the trees."
Annie Walters of AnnieTwoBraids. Photo: Kaitlin Goddard
When she's in the right mood for creating, Walters loses herself in the process, often working until the wee hours.
Each piece takes about an hour to create, and she makes 15-20 pieces a week. Her prices are exceptionally affordable; the average is about $15. And she takes a great deal of care to the packaging of each piece she makes."I try to keep my packaging fairly rustic and am a huge fan of simple twine. I enjoy spending some special time with the wrapping, so when the buyer opens their package they feel as if they are receiving a personal gift, complete with a personalized card and bow they can untie to reach the new treasure that has entered their life."
Alyssa Ettinger is a ceramicist and freelance writer. Shop her handmade porcelain wares at her Etsy Store, alyssa ettinger design.