Handmade Techniques Used by CLARESCO Glass
When creating its products, CLARESCO Glass exclusively uses traditional glassmaking, the techniques and processes that made Bohemian crystal world renowned. Bohemian crystal by CLARESCO Glass is, without exception, lead-free glass, produced by hand-blowing and decorated by top artists in Bohemia. Minor variations in both the shapes of the product and décor are proof of individual manual production. These small imperfections are precisely the signs of the hand-made crystal’s exceptionality.
CLARESCO Glass uses the following techniques for decorating Bohemian hand-blown crystal:
Hand Engraving is considered the finest glass decoration technique applied to glass. A décor is outlined onto each individual glass, and subsequently artfully hand engraved by expert craftsmen using several different wheel types, ranging from diamond to copper and stone. The creation of one décor on a glass involves several different wheel diameters as well as types. The final production of a single glass may take hours to complete. Each piece in the CLARESCO Bohemian Crystal Collection is therefore a true original artifact.
This nearly overlooked technique originated in the 19th century and produces patterns of frosted appearance. A special sandblasting stencil is created, based on the design drawing. The stencil is then carefully hand-applied onto each piece and finally ground by hand, using a pistol with pressurized sand in its sandblasting chamber. As each glass is mouth-blown individually, no two glasses are of the same exact dimensions. As a result, each stencil must be hand-adjusted specifically for each and every piece! Only the most skilled professionals can execute this complicated procedure.
When glass is cut, its surface is decorated using cutting wheels, typically according to an outlined stencil or a template. This technique is used particularly in glass with a high content of lead oxide, causing the material to soften and become easier to cut. After the cutting, each glass is soaked in a chemical bath which achieves its high gloss and luster.
Painting on glass is one of the oldest artistic techniques that lifted the quality of surface decoration of glass to a higher esthetic level. Glassmaking paints are applied with brushes but can also be sprayed or applied using the silk screen print. After application they are fired in a furnace.
Glazing is a production process during which particles of copper or silver are infused in the glass. The glass is first covered by a glazing mixture that releases metal ions into the glass and colors it. Thus glazed glass can further be decorated by engraving or cutting.
During etching, the desired décor is achieved by allowing an acid in an etching bath to affect the material on all parts of the glass other than those covered by its protective layer. Etching may also be used to achieve a matting effect.
During metal-coating, very delicate layers of metal surface are applied onto the glass. The technique during which a layer of pure gold or platinum is applied to the glass is called high enamel. The glass is fired in furnaces after application of the metal coating.