Awards & Engraving

January '17

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48 • A&E JANUARY 2017 ETCH MASTERS by Ruth Dobbins WHERE IT BEGINS Many of you may not know, and that includes my colleagues in the art glass industry, that all finished pieces of glass, may they be tabletops or awards, start out on a rather large scale. Float glass is made in huge sheets that generally measure 96 inches high by 130 inches long, not exactly a size that anyone can handle. These giant pieces are delivered on huge trucks that have spe- cial racks on them capable of transporting heavy loads. Several of these large sheets represent a pack, which weighs about 4,000 pounds. One of our glass manufacturers receives deliveries of 45,000 pounds at a time. Naturally, no single person can handle that kind of weight and the truck is equipped with a spe- cial crane-like arm that removes the glass packs from the truck and onto the loading dock of the company. F or all of us in the glass business, it seems pretty normal to contact our suppliers to order any of the products we require for our work. We can look at catalogues and websites and pick what we need if we are buying awards and recognition pieces. But have you ever wondered how the wonderful item you received was made? How it got to be the shape it is and have those highly polished beveled edges? Even for us veterans of the business, we tend to forget about this, and newcomers may not know. I think it is a pretty neat process that requires a lot of equipment and know-how. Let me give you a brief overview of the process. From Flat Glass to Awards IMAGES COURTESY SLEE CORPORATION Commercial truck delivering a load of glass panels directly from the factory. With suction cups attached to a mechanical hoist, the glass panels are loaded onto a vertical, cushioned easel, which actually is an air-cushioned cutting table. The vertical shelf will tilt into a horizontal table.

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