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The Craft of Crystal

What was started in 1996, by a group of Irish immigrants with a commitment to preventing an ancient craft from disappearing, has become a truly Canadian story of respect for tradition, beauty and fine craftsmanship. NovaScotian Crystal takes the craft of crystal making and elevates it to the realm of artistry. From the original design to the mouth-blown shape to the hand-cut pattern, every piece is unique and bears the mark of the maker.

Characteristics of Authenticity

Handcrafted crystal is seized from earth’s rare elements, fired to 1420 °C, and blown into life by masters of the craft. Like all works of art, individuality is embedded in its structure, like brush strokes on canvas.

First, there’s size. Because each stem is drawn by hand, each shape blown from our breath, pieces can have slight variances in shape, size and thickness. One wine glass may have a more tapered stem, one vase a thicker edge, and so on.

Then there’s “seeds.” As gases are released during the melting process, a small pocket of air will occasionally get trapped in the molten glass.

Next, the cord. As molten crystal is drawn from the pot, the void it creates is filled with the surrounding fluid. A slight variation in temperature can leave a fine line at the point of contact.

And on to unmelted sand. Even at temperatures of 1420 ºC, occasionally a piece of silica sand will not melt.

Finally, the cuts. They are applied to the crystal by hand. In the process, similarity and synergy are important. Exact duplication is not.

These are just some of the things to look for in your crystal as proof of its authenticity. If you find any of these characteristics overwhelm the beauty of your piece, we’d be more than happy to replace it. But sit for a moment, observe, and imagine the heat of the glassworks and the sounds of craftsmen toiling.

 

Hot Glass

A single piece of NovaScotian Crystal takes from three days to three weeks of production and may be touched by no fewer than ten craftsmen.