Manufacturing of the crystal
Our company specializes in manufacturing colorful cased bohemian crystal glass with a 24% PbO (lead oxide) content.
It is made by connecting a layer of clear crystal and a layer of colorful crystal at temperatures around 800°C. The spectacular results of this manufacturing process require the talent of the best and most skillful glassmakers. The demand for artisanal production is also evidenced by the fact that no method has yet been invented to allow machine production. These traditional skills continue to be employed at our glassworks today. Here younger generations of glassmakers inherit the skills of the bohemian crystal glass making craft from older glass masters.
1. The raw materials used for glass melting are glass sand, potash, and limestone. Glass shards are also added into a glass batch in the kiln. The color shades typical for Gulet crystal are created by melting glass with a mixture of metal oxides. The current palette includes Amber, Azure, Blue, Green, Red, and Violet. A black color, which is usable only for a few shapes and styles, is also melted for special designs. At each stage of the process, the product is scrutinized to ensure it passes stringent quality control standards. Only after that, a product becomes the brand´s holder. Products showing any imperfections, often invisible to the untrained eye, are removed and crushed. In the case of the transparent or ruby red crystal, they can be recycled and are melted back into molten glass.
2. The crystal glass production process starts with melting a glass base material with molten substances. The glassmaker takes a small amount of the molten glass on the end of a blowpipe and begins to gradually shape and blow it.
4. Casing process – with a temperature around 800°C a bulb of the transparent crystal being a product base is placed into a beforehand shaped colorful funnel. This is exactly the important part where our products differ from others. Achieving precise glass thickness requires vast experience and confidence. In the case where the color glass thickness of another product in the series is higher, the product must then be assigned to another product of the same thickness. Every glassmaker is consistently learning this method from a master craft.
5. The process continues by removing a surplus layer by cracking it by holding it in cold water. Now there are only a few millimeters of colored glass on clear crystal left.
6. The glass needs to be heated again to temperatures up to 1000°C. Immediately after that, the shaping continues, now using damp wooden molds into which the glassmaker puts the flask to obtain a basic shape by blowing. These wood molds are regularly exchanged as they are permanently in contact with molten substances.
7. And after these several important steps, we can see the final result from the furnace chapter. And that’s half of the process behind. The next following steps are anyway as much important as the previous ones. Now the result is coming to the cooling unit. The propose is to ensure very slow cooling of the crystal to avoid possible cracks.
8. Each product now still has an upper “cap” which has to be removed. A short cut is made by a diamond point than a gas flame is held onto it so the cap breaks off at the exact place where the cut was made.
9. To keep the product right-angled and stable standing on a flat surface it must be ground horizontally. An abrasive is added to the flat steel wheel, together with water. With a gentle and circular motion, the desired result is achieved.
10. To make the cutting of the glass easier hand-marked lines are showing the basic outlines of the decor for the glass-cutters.
11. Before the surface is ground, the decor must be very precise put into a drawing. This requires professional experience and a direct feel for a spectacular design. We are honored to work with one of the best crystal designers.
12. By cutting the crystal glass to various depths with the help of a natural or a synthetic wheel, the cutter achieves the required shape and design of each product. Certain type of crystal is also enriched by the painting of 24-carat gold and smalt. The specialty of our art pieces is also by sandblasted beautiful decors of master Alfons Mucha paintings and others, for example, Chinese attributes such as fishes, horses, flowers.
The finishing touch of the whole manufacturing process is the polishing of each product. For that, every item is fully sunk into a polishing bath. In this way, it obtains a polish which is, even more, underlining its beauty and magnificence. The product only obtains the label if it successfully passes strict quality control levels which are applied during all manufacturing processes. Otherwise, the product is discarded.
Those several steps are necessary before one can admire the highest quality results of our bohemian crystal. Each step in creating a process requires fine skills and another person applying them. It is also very important to be resistant to very high temperatures by the furnace and have a general passion for beautiful objects.