April '21

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2 2 G R A P H I C S P R O A P R I L 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M When at glass awards started to enter the market, they quick- ly gained in popularity. At rst only clear f loat glass (known in the awards industry as jade glass) was available, but in 1990 PPG Industries (now Vitro) in- troduced a new low iron glass known as Starphire. With its improved clarity and sparkle, this glass was seen as the perfect material for a new gen- eration of awards designs. is new clearer glass quickly be- gan to capture a larger portion of the awards market share. It also fueled the need for more innovative designs and created a need for better glass fabrication technology. In the early 1990s, the glass fabric at ion tech nolog y a nd machiner y used to produce these awards was also limit- ed. However, in 1993 the Slee Corporation installed new glass cutting technology, and the rst of ve new Italian glass edging, beveling, and variable mitering machines. ese huge machines were designed specifically for awards production and were pur- posely built to be able to produce smaller products, and to create a high-polished nish on all the edges. This in turn opened up a whole range of opportunities for the design and development of new glass and crystal awards with ultra-high polished facets and bevels to add that sparkle that many customers de- sire. Many of these new designs have since become awards favorites and are instantly recognizable. For example, one of the oldest original de- signs using glass that has stood the test of time is the JD Powers Award. It was intro- duced for the JD Powers Company by the Above: The JD Powers award has become one of the most famous awards on the planet, and it is recognizable with its 24k gold-plated metal stand and a beveled clear glass arch. (Image courtesy Southern California Trophy Compa- ny and the JD Power Company) Opposite: In the early 2000s, yet another ma- jor glass product line started to gain traction. Known as art glass, and initially handmade domestically, these awards allowed for complete design freedom. (Image courtesy CrystalEdge)

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