Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/176

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be washed and placed on sale. It is that of brushing. The brush is made of spun glass, and is applied in the form of a wheel as a burnisher. Those who have seen gilt used in china-painting will recall the pencils of spun glass with which the gilding is burnished after being fired. The rapidly revolving brush of glass cleans out the cuttings more perfectly than could be done in any other way, and adds the final luster to the facets. The carafe is now completed. Other articles are cut in much the same way, slight modifications being made to suit different shapes and patterns.

At the present time very good copies of cut-glass articles are made in pressed goods, and at about one twentieth of the cost; but the difference between the two products can readily be detected. Not only are the pressed goods less brilliant, but the edges of their facets are visibly rounded from the fusion, and fail to give the sharp, clear faces of the genuine cut glass. One can tell the fine article at once by simply rubbing his finger over the cutting. The sharp edges of the genuine article are unmistakable. Another attempt to combine beauty and economy is made by cutting some prominent feature of a pressed-glass article, and letting the brilliancy thus obtained make amends for the duller facets of the less exposed portions. In this way pressed-glass decanters are made quite presentable by being supplied with well cut stoppers, and covered dishes pass muster through the merit of their brilliant knobs. Still another device is that of grinding off the faces of pressed-glass goods, and thus securing, as the result of a much cheaper process, the sharp edges and well-polished faces of the real cut glass. The process, however, is not a very successful one. It sounds better than it works out in practice. Wares treated in this way have the serious defect of lacking brilliancy when compared to the air-blown glass and entire cutting. They are now made in but small quantity, for they can not compete in public estimation with the ordinary pressed goods, since they cost about five times as much, and are far from being five times as effective.

In the most artistic circles there is at present a slight reaction against cut glass in favor of the light and graceful articles made in blown glass. But meanwhile the sale of cut glass grows larger each year, for the improvements in the method of production bring it within reach of an increasingly wide circle of buyers. It promises to remain a standard article of manufacture, for its brilliancy will always attract admirers, and any disappearance will be but temporary. The old-fashioned chandeliers and candelabra, made with pendants of cut glass, are pushed out of the market by newer metallic goods, only to periodically reappear from their obscurity.