6 / 25

For polishing, a chalky substance is mixed in a basin with water and then applied to a textile wheel against which the glass is pressed. “Most of the big producers who do hand-cut crystal will cut with a diamond wheel and then acid polish,” explains Rath, who says he dislikes the shiny surface acid polishing imparts. “We cut with a diamond wheel, then fine cut, and then there are three steps of hand polishing. It’s more precious to hand polish, but it’s also 50 percent of the working time.”