MCrystas can be manufactured in a number of different ways. In this section, you can read about the three most common ones.
WATCH THIS VIDEO AND FIND OUT HOW HAND-CUT CRYSTALS ARE MADE:
All over the world, crystals can be made by using machines. It is not only crystals of lower quality that are machine-cut, but also for example the famous strass crystals that are associated with Swarovsky. In the Czech Republic, the so-called lead crystal is manufactured by machine cutting. The term “machine-cut” is still often used in the wrong context in the industry, since many believe that can be associated to “simple crystal with a simple cut”. This is a common misconception as machine-cut crystals can be of very high standards, even though the Czech Republic still also manufactures coarsely cut crystals (marked M).
FULL-CUT AND HAND-CUT CRYSTAL
Hand-cut crystals are manufactured in Turkey and Bohemia (Czech Republic), among other places. This variety is manufactured according to crafts methods. The crystal is pressed and cut, after which it is polished by hand. The glass may or may not contain lead oxide. Crystals that are low in, or completely free from, lead oxide are the most similar to classic crystal, while the Turkish full-cut crystal is the most valued handmade crystal on the market today. The material derives from different glassworks and the different pieces are not identical in their composition.
Today, there are several manufacturers of lead crystal. However, all of them are actually copies of Swarovsky’s strass crystals which are much higher in quality, but also in price. Lead crystal has the ability to break light extremely well, and if your crystal chandelier is clean, you may get extraordinarily beautiful light effects on your walls when the sun is shining on the crystals. Some lead crystal, such as Bohemian crystal and strass are machine-polished, while Turkish lead crystals are polished by hand. The crystals are made from glass rods, for example from the glassworks Pasabache, which is one of the biggest art glassworks in the Middle East. In Pasabache, art glass is still made by hand.
MANUFACTURING OF HAND CUT CRYSTALS
After heating, the rods are placed between the molds in a manual press. The press is closed and once reopened, the cystal has been shaped. It is still coarse and uneven and the edges are stilcovered in residue.
The crystal is left to cool off in a box of sand before it moves on to the cutting section, where the coarse residue will be removed.
The crystal is being coarsely cut and the residue is removed.
This cutting machine is used to polish every facet one by one. This is a very delicate job, as the craftsman is unable to see anything as the facet is facing the wheel. In this stage, all the facets are exposed, but the crystal still has scratches and is not yet transparent..
In the last stages, every facet is polished again by hand. Any scratches are removed and the crystal is completely transparent, clear and shiny.
Each crystal pass a quality control where every facet is scrutinized with great care.