Read about the individual phases of glass production or accept our invitation to the guided tour and come see the glassworks for yourself.
First, we prepare the sandy mixture used to manufacture glass, which is called the “glass batch”. It basically consists of glass sand, soda, potash and limestone. The glass’ colour is determined by various other additives which the technologist must carefully weigh in the laboratory. How to get a particular colour is a carefully guarded secret, handed down between glassmakers from generation to generation.
Mould-making is an integral part of glassmaking. A stump of beech wood is cut according to the designed template. The mould is then fired by the first product, which make a charred crust on the inside. In combination with water, this creates steam and gives the glass product forming inside its smooth surface.
The mould must stay wet, so it must constantly be wetted and stored in a humid environment. Each mould can last up to 50–70 blowings, depending on the final product’s complexity. Apart from wood, the moulds are also made of plaster, cast-iron, aluminum, and graphite, as well as the special “expendable moulds” which get burned up in the manufacturing process, for example made of wax or paper.
The smelter is the heart of any glassworks. It is made of fireclay bricks which have been used for glass smelting since time immemorial. During the smelting process, the temperature inside the smelter can reach 1 500 °C, and while the glassmakers are working the glass it is around 1 200 °C inside the smelter, and around 40–50 °C just outside. The glassmakers start their day at 5:50 AM, and finish at 13:45 PM. The glass is melted on six glass-melting pots from which the glassmakers draw the glass for blowing and processing. Each pot can also contain a different colour, which can be layered to form interesting effects. The glassmakers work in separate workshops where each is directed by a gaffer assisted by other glassmakers who each have a particular role to play in the production process. After being blown, the glass must slowly cool in special furnaces. Each product is cooled for a different amount of time, according to its thickness. Usually, it takes between six hours and two days to cool, but some special products must be cooled for several weeks. After it cools, the glass is ready to be cut.
The cutting shop represents the “cool” side of the glassworks. This is where the cooled glass becomes refined. The cutting and grinding is mostly done with diamond disks of various diameters and profiles, and grinding abrasives of various granularity. The cutting process also uses much water, which cools the refined surface and carries away the remains and glass particles.
The cutting process gives the glass product its final shape.
We can even come to you and blow some glass together.
The mobile smelter can be transported whenever and wherever. It was designed by the glassmaking masters of Ajeto company for various glassmaking presentations. It is often used at company events, teambuilding sessions, farmers’ markets, Easter and Christmas markets, and so on.