A FORMER dental technician whose deft touch once helped to create bridges and crowns is now using his skills in a more artistic way.

Alexis Valentine has found a new passion in glass engraving after losing his job.

Mr Valentine engraves names and pictures onto glasses, bowls and even crystals, from his home in Helmshore, using his skills when he was a dental technician in Bolton.

He worked from 1982 to 2013, making crowns, bridgework and implants, until he was made redundant at the SJ Melia lab.

He said: “I loved it and still miss working at the lab even today.

“But things had not been great with the business, because more work started going to places like China, where it’s cheaper to get things made.

“I started looking for dental work, but after two months of nothing, I thought I should use my skills and start a business.”

Mr Valentine’s love of artwork led him to search for ways he could combine it with his skills as a dental technician and soon found he could engrave into glass.

Since then, Mr Valentine has also created pieces for the Valley at Work Rossendale Business Awards and the main Hyndburn Business Awards.

He said: “I get a lot of interest and I am busy even after Christmas, it’s not easy work, but people do love it and will pay for it.”

Mr Valentino also has a very supportive family, including a brother now living in Scotland, who owns one of the most famous golf shops called Simpsons of Carnoustie.

David Valentino, who runs the golf shop, also sells his brother's work.

In the engraving process, Mr Valentino sketches the designs onto the glass, before scratching an outline into it with a pen, and then finally starting the engraving process.

He said:“Recently I did some work for Scan Computers in Bolton, where I engraved a computer for them to gift footballer Gabriel Jesus.

“That was pretty cool for me, and I will be working on something for another top football player in the near future too.”

To view his work, visit the website https://www.walkingonglass.co.uk/ or Instagram @glass_engraving