Crystal – how it’s made?
Crystal is an incredibly glamorous product, and at the same time it is also traditional. It has both practical and artistic applications. It is a perfect idea for a gift because it will never loose its charm and value. When we discuss how crystal is made, it is important to bear in mind that it is a special kind of glass. Therefore, in order to learn how crystal is made, it is necessary to refer to the production of glass itself. Production of glass is a process, which requires precision, standardized conditions, as well as passion and genuine engagement.
The initial stage of glass production consists in preparing materials, which will be subsequently subjected to heat processing. Adequate proportions of the ingredients and their careful mixing produce the so called “glass-set”. Nowadays, glass production consists in heating the mixture of sand, soda and lime at the temperature of 1500 degrees Celsius.
Now this is glass, but how is crystal made? It is made in exactly the same way, but the mixture of ingredients has to be enriched with lead oxide. The process of heating takes place in special glass furnaces, heated up with gas heaters. Glass cullet is placed in the furnace in order to speed up the production of glass. Next, the melted material starts to cool off and once it looses the temperature, its consistency is suitable for further processing in casting machines or for rolling into panes.
However it is often a different, specialist method that decides how crystal is made, because crystal glass is often blown and hand made. Hot, melted glass is formed into a bubble and placed at the end of a metal pipe. Next, the glass blower (the person who blows glass) turns the pipe so that during blowing, the glass is shaped appropriately. This however is not the end of production process. The products are then placed in a de-stressing device where they cool off. Once the products cool off, they can be decorated. Crystalline glass is made in the process of cutting special cuts on the surface of glass. Artisans use precise devices, including diamond wheels in order to draw original decorations, and the engravers manually cut out unique images. It is worth adding, that lead glass is often decorated by gold plating of edges or sanding. At the end, the products are refined. They are dipped in a special acid. This gives them wonderful shine and makes sure they are glossy and beautiful.
Now that we know how crystal is made, we will surely be more careful and deliberate when choosing glass products.