Engraving Glass

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  • Catalogue Essay

    Engraving is the slow, delicate and highly skilled process of cutting into the surface of the crystal in a very controlled way creating pattern, image and even text. An engraved letter requires an average of one hours work. Pieces demanding over 1000 hours of engraving are no exception. The more elaborate and time-honored the engraving the more expensive the finished glass. To represent the value of the engraving process I am presenting a series of crystal glasses that systematically increase in price in relation to the amount of engraving applied. I selected Lobmeyr’s popular Achtel glass to manifest this idea. The simple spherical ‘kugel’ shape is engraved onto each glass using a stone wheel. The first glass has a single engraved kugel, the second glass two and the third glass three kugels, each positioned at random by the engraver. The engraving process continues until the final glass, number 641, has 641 kugels randomly engraved over the entire surface of the glass and there is no further space for more kugels. As each glass becomes more highly populated with kugels and the pattern more decorative the cost also increases, thus demonstrating the added value generated by the labour-intensive and highly skilled engraving process. The pricing structure of each glass is transparent and a direct representation of the cost of engraving, which ultimately comes down to time. Both functional and material value of each glass is identical but the intrinsic value varies according to the engraving.

61

Max Lamb

Engraving Glass

2009
Mouth-blown crystal.
Dimensions vary
From Cutting, Blowing, and Engraving. A project by Max Lamb for J. & L. Lobmeyr.
Series of 641 unique pieces.
Edition No. 640: $550

SHOP

7 March
New York