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How Heritage Irish Crystal is Made

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Heritage Irish Crystal
The raw materials of mainly silica sand, lead oxide & potassium carbonate are melted in a single-pot furnace. Each pot contains approximately 600 Kilograms (1300 lbs.) of batch & is melted overnight. A blowing team will use up the contents of a pot in one working day. In the evening, the pot will be filled again for use the following day. Heritage Crystal has color & life that you don't find in the more well-known brands. The color of the glass is checked by the owner every day before work can begin.
Hot Molten Glass Glass Blowing
Blowers remove a ball of molten glass on the end of a 5' hollow blowpipe. The ball is worked into the desired shape using moulds & shaping tools intermittently with human lung power.
Cupping Shaping Process
Following the blowing process, each piece is marked with the pattern height & vertical sections so that the overall design will fit into the space on that particular shape. The master cutter uses this basic guideline & his experience to free-cut the pattern from memory, using diamond tipped wheels. There are not many of these artisans left in the world. Heritage is committed to training cutters & blowers for future generations, so this will not become a lost art.
Cutting Guide Cutting a Bowl
The next step is an acid bath to clean up the rough edges from the cutting. Most crystal manufacturers use automated drum vats for this process. Heritage still dips by hand so the time can be controlled to best enhance individual pieces. A time consuming procedure to be sure, but one that preserves the integrity of the cuts so that light falling on sharply defined angles is perfectly refracted into a myriad of colors, portraying a diamond-like brilliance.
Finished Bowl Dipping Rack
The racks that hold the crystal for the acid bath are also made by hand & sometimes you will find a tiny depression where the glass touched the rack during the bath. Automated systems run longer & leave no depressions. However, the time required to achieve that also blunts the bevels & destroys the cutter’s art. Those tiny depressions are the mark of a truly handmade piece.
Look for them – there’s a story behind each one.
Dipping Dipping
A good day's work! Sonia Williams explains the intricacies of cutting to Linda.
<empty>Finished Group of Crystal Sonia Williams explains the intricacies of cutting to Linda.