April '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 A P R I L G R A P H I C S P R O 2 1 EVOLUTION OF GLASS Prior to the mid-1980s, it was hard to nd many award products that used glass. Glass plaques (mirror glass), a few lead crystal vas- es and bowls, plus some pressed glass prod- ucts were the only choices available. In the late 1980s, that all started to change when a few domestic glass fabricators turned their sights on the design and manufacture of award products using at glass. Unlike metal, wood, acrylic, and many other materials favored by awards design- ers, glass and crystal brought a whole new set of design rules and challenges into play. e material is extremely hard, dicult to cut, not easy to machine and polish, and worst of all, it shows every little defect. Yet with all of these constraints, the in- dustry over the past 30 years has devel- oped some of the most elegant and cre- ative awards designs. During the early days, the designs were simple rectangles, squares, triangles, and a few straight-line forms. Initially the use of at glass was more of a method to make ecient use of the ocuts and waste glass created from fabricating glass tabletops and glass shelv- ing. Awards using glass were mostly a by- product until around 1990. Left: It was not until 1995 that optic crys- tal award products entered the market. Initially the domes- tically produced Schott BK7 and NBK7 optic crystal was used to fabri- cate a new series of three-dimensional award designs. This was soon followed by the lower cost imported K9 op- tic crystal, which is now widely used by the industry. (Image courtesy St. Regis Group) Far left: The CrystalEdge Royal Diamond is a heavy thick flat glass de- sign. (Image courte- sy CrystalEdge) 2 0 2 1 A P R I L G R A P H I C S P R O more of a method to make ecient use of

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