7 Types of Decoration/Techniques on Glass

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1. Cutting

Glass is usually cut with a glass cutter, which controls the breaking of glass. But sometimes smaller glass can be cut by hand. Cut facets reflect light and create sparkle for special effect.

2. Enamelling

This method of painting on glass was popularized in 15th century Venice. Powdered glass was fused to a substrate by firing. This powder is hardened to a smooth coating when put on glass.

3. Gilding

Metals such as gold, silver, or bronze decoration are added to glass by firing gold onto a glass surface. This method was used by ancient Egyptians and Greeks.

4. Etching

Usually used on clear glass; acidic, caustic, or abrasive substances are applied on the surface of glass after the glass is blown or cast. It is essentially a process of dissolving glass with acid. This type of decoration goes not deep into the surface of the glass. Areas of glass that would not be decorated are protected using grease, wax, varnish, or tar. Then, unprotected areas are decorated with acid such as hydrofluoric acid for a frosted look. The longer the acid is left on the surface, the deeper the etching is. Afterwards, hot water is used to remove the residuals.

Originally, artists had to handle each piece separately, but later a way to mass-produce etched glass was developed. The artist would scribe the design on a steel plate, and the plate could be used over and over again.

5. Engraving

This method began around the 16th century. Tools such as diamond or hard metal were used to scratch the surface of the glass. However, at the time the method was limited since the artist could not make deep cuts or wide scratches; only surface decorations could be made. Later, kick-wheel spindle tools were used as a cutting device, in which abrasive liquid cut the glass.

6. Battuto

This means “beating” in Italian, and is a style of wheel-cutting. The surface is cut to produce innumerable small irregular markings running in the same direction.

7. Slumping

This is shaping glass by allowing it to sag through its own weight into or over a form during heating in a kiln.

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Source by Milena MJ Kim