It amazes me what some people can do with glass, and at Waterford Crystal, they have perfected their craft. Below is a large bowl with etched designs of London tourist attractions. My friend and I made a trip to the House of Waterford Crystal on our Ireland trip and I really enjoyed the factory tour. They have wooden molds of their regular products, but because of the heat of the crystal and how productive this factory is, the molds last about 7-10 days.
The next step was the blowing area. It was mesmerizing to watch these men at work. They remove the hot crystal from the furnace, blow it into the molds and shape it to get it just right. This was very fun to watch but with the heat and hard work, they are probably very tired at the end of the day.
After cooling, each item must pass through the quality inspection. If it doesn’t meet the Waterford standards, it goes into the big blue bin you can see in the photo below then they get melted down and reused.
Once it passes the quality inspection, the patterns and designs are marked on the crystal so it is ready for the cutting area. They will follow the lines with great precision.
The last stop is the sculpting and engraving. If a mistake happens here, the item gets melted down and they have to go through the entire process all over again. After the tour, we ended up back in the showroom/store. There are a lot of matching patterns on display here so you can purchase everything at one time. This was a fabulous tour and the quality of crystal here is superb.