The Making of...

Cutting Overload - An English Rose for a Royal Prince

The event of the year has been and gone and Martin can now take a breath and relax! The Royal Wedding kept him very busy! We launched several different weights to commemorate this momentous occasion, some were LTD and others Unlimited. One of these weights – An English Rose for A Royal Prince was limited to 250 pieces. At the time I never thought very much about the size of the edition, it wasn’t until the orders started coming in and Martin’s work started to back up that I realised Martin would have to make most of this edition in a matter of weeks! Day after day Martin’s wheels kept cutting, grinding and smoothing, even at weekends! It is only now a few weeks after the event has passed that Martin can get back to normal. The overall success of this design was fantastic – thank you very much for placing your orders and becoming the proud owners of a beautiful piece that will remind you of the very special occasion – the Royal Wedding, but also each time you look at it remember Martin, working his fingers to the bone!

We decided to take a few images of the cutting process that Martin uses on this piece so please take a look below at the fascinating work that Martin performs.

Production from the day before is emptied from the kiln. Rows and rows of English Rose paperweights are emptied out onto the trolleys. After Claire has inspected them to make sure there are no flaws or making mistakes, they are put into baskets for Martin to start work on.

The first process involves a diamond embedded cutting wheel that cuts through the glass like a knife through butter. Water must be used with all glass cutting equipment or the glass will over heat and crack.

 

The same cutting process is carried out on each weight in turn.

The next stage is to smooth the facets that have just been cut. This is done on a stone wheel. Martin sometimes wears ear protectors when using the stone wheel, as the noise can be very irritating! A very high-pitched scrapping noise, which drives the rest of us, mad!

Next, Martin has to mark out where the smaller, thinner cuts around the base will go. The lines that are applied are only guides. Martin uses his expert eye to place each cut in the correct place.

 

 

 

 

 

Using another diamond embedded cutting wheel, the fan cut detail is applied.

The fan cuts are smoothed on the stone wheel and then polished on a cork wheel with a fine pumis or smoothing polish, the pumis brings the glass back to a shine.

The final stage is to grind, smooth and polish the base.

Once all the different cutting and polishing processes have been completed, the paperweights need to be inspected by Claire for the second time, anything that she is not happy with goes back to Martin for repair.

Each of the English Rose paperweights takes 50 minutes from start to finish, and the end result reflects this.

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