cut glass

cut glass
cut-glass, adj.
glass ornamented or shaped by cutting or grinding with abrasive wheels.

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Glassware characterized by a series of facets, or patterns, cut into its surface.

A marked pattern is roughed out on a glass object with a revolving abrasive wheel; the pattern is then smoothed by a sandstone wheel and polished in an acid bath. The Romans introduced a crude form of glass cutting in the 1st century AD. Modern glass cutting developed in Germany in the late 17th century with the production of a heavy, colourless crystal glass. After Bohemian glass became popular, English and Irish glassmakers adopted the technique. The prismatic styles of their products, notably Waterford glass, became popular in the U.S. after 1780.

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      glassware characterized by a series of facets (facet) on its surface produced by cutting. The prismatic surface designs greatly enhance the brilliance and reflecting power of glass and so have made cutting one of the most popularly practiced techniques of embellishing glassware. The cutting process involves roughing out a marked pattern on an article of glass with a revolving steel wheel that is kept coated with fine wet sand or an artificial abrasive. The wheel's edge, which may be flat, convex, or V-shaped, leaves an incision that is smoothed by a sandstone wheel and then polished by a third, wooden wheel. A final polish is usually provided by acid dipping.

      The Romans introduced a rudimentary form of glass cutting akin to lapidary techniques of faceting and relief-cutting in the 1st century AD. Glass cutting, as practiced by modern glassmakers, developed in Germany during the late 17th century. Its development was promoted by the production of a heavy, colourless crystal glass that did not easily shatter under carving. Cutting was adopted by English and Irish glassmakers as a primary decorative technique during the late 1720s, and the prismatic styles characteristic of cut glass became identified with their products. Much fine cut glassware manufactured by the Irish glasshouse at Waterford (Waterford glass) was exported to the United States after 1780.

      All cut patterns are variations of three basic cuts: the flat, the hollow, and the mitre. The mitre cut, in which the incision is made at approximately a 60° angle, predominates in older styles of cut glass. The diamond pattern was one of the earliest to be adopted; it prevailed in the drinking glasses, bowls, basins, and chandeliers made by English and Irish glasshouses during the early 18th century. The star, relief diamond, and scalloped fan also were common English and Irish cut patterns.

      During the mid-19th century the pressed-glass (pressed glass) process was used to manufacture glassware that closely resembled cut glass in appearance at low cost. This development led to a decline in the demand for cut glass and eventually to practices aimed at reducing the cost of producing such glassware. Today much cut glass is partially molded and then finished at the wheel, eliminating the expensive work of marking out the design and making the rough cut.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • cut glass — n [U] glass that has patterns cut into its surface ▪ a cut glass decanter …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cut glass — noun uncount glass with designs cut into its surface …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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  • cut glass — cut′ glass′ n. cer glass ornamented or shaped by cutting or grinding with abrasive wheels • Etymology: 1835–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • cut glass — noun glass decorated by cutting or grinding facets (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑glassware, ↑glasswork * * * noun : glassware usually made of flint glass that is ornamented with patterns cut into its surface by an abrasive wheel and polished * * * cut… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cut glass — also cut glass N UNCOUNT: oft N n Cut glass is glass that has patterns cut into its surface. ...a cut glass bowl …   English dictionary

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