Value of Lead Crystal
An exclusive introduction of the glass industry includes the valuable product called lead crystal. It is a delicate variety of glass. It also has been given the name of flint glass. Often, it is just referred to as crystal. It can be either hand-cut or machine-cut with many facets.
The property of specular reflection lends it a spectacular, sparkly look. Its ornamental and decorative properties account for its popularity. It is fragile but gives great shine and sparkle.
Manufacture of Lead Crystal
A lead crystal product is made as a result of the heat treatment of glass along with lead oxide. This product then goes through the process of faceting, which can be done through machines or by hands. Adding lead oxide to molten glass increases the index of refraction, thereby increasing the sparkle. This attractive sparkling of the glass is the special characteristic feature that makes lead crystal products costlier.
Designing of Lead Crystals
Lead crystal is intricately cut by designers from different angles to make decorative designs. Engraving as well as cutting and texturing are done to get added brilliance in the lead crystal products. The presence of lead in the product makes the product soft and easier to be cut into regular shapes. This is based on the craftsmanship of the processing unit and varies from model to model because there is an array of lead crystal products.
Uses of Lead Crystal
Owing to its beautiful look and delicate appearance, lead crystal has found its use in various decorative purposes. It is used to make home decor items such as vases and ornaments and grand items such as chandeliers and sculptures. It can be used to form miniature decorative pieces and jewelry. Another use of lead crystal is in glasses and dishes.
Taking Care of Lead Crystal
Although lead crystal lends an exquisite look to any product, its fragility is usually a problem. It must be handled with utmost care. Lead crystal products must be cleaned regularly using a blow dryer to avoid deposition of dust. Harsh cleansing agents should not be used on lead crystal. The best way is to use soft cloth for gentle cleaning of lead crystal surface. Delicate lead crystal products must be stored in glass boxes.
Quality Control of Lead Crystal
Quality control is important during the manufacturing process. The best quality control is provided by skilled artisans who give beautiful patterns, textures and final finishing to lead crystals. Strict procedures are followed, and inspections are made at each stage of the process. Minor variations during manual designing are acceptable as no two pieces can be exactly the same because they are handcrafted. High quality is maintained throughout the process, thereby increasing its value.
Deyanda Flint has been writing professionally since 2001. Her articles have appeared in “Spigot Science Magazine”. She holds a Master of Arts degree in creative writing from Georgia State University.