Browse our selection of elegant hand cut lead crystal and delicate hand painted porcelain from Poland. A variety of shapes and sizes are sure to please. Many more items are in the store, so come visit and see the full collection!
GLASS HISTORY: The history of man made glass dates back almost five-thousand years, and was first used in the area of ancient Mesopotamia (currently Syria and Iraq). The first pieces of mouth-blown glass were created by the Phoenicians, in 50 BC. Phoenicia was part of the Roman Empire. It is said that the Romans made so much glass, that it took until the 1800s to exceed their production.
WHAT IS GLASS MADE OF? The most common glass formula is 70% silica sand, 10% limestone, and 20% soda ash. Metallic oxides are added to the glass to change the color from crystal clear to a full range of colors. For example iron oxide (commonly known as 'rust'), is used to color the glass green. Copper oxide makes the glass turn turquoise blue.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GLASS AND CRYSTAL: While cut glass has been around for over 2000 years, crystal has only been in existence since the middle of the 17th century. Crystal contains lead oxide which dramatically increases its weight as well as improves its luster and clarity. Lead oxide also softens the glass, allowing it to be hand cut with diamond tipped wheels, creating elaborate surface patterns to reflect light, with almost diamond-like brilliance. Most metal oxides color the glass, whereas lead oxide does not.
WHAT IS "FULL-LEAD CRYSTAL"? Full lead crystal has at least 24% lead oxide content, with the maximum being 33%.
HOW DO I CARE FOR CRYSTAL? Full lead crystal is softer which makes it easier for the artisan to cut. This “softness” makes it more prone to fine scratches on its surfaces. Crystal should be stored properly, so as to reduce the chances of scratching, chipping and other blemishes to occur. Additional tips to care are as follows:
• Never wash in a dishwasher • Never use a damp cloth for drying • Never stack one glass inside another • Never expose crystal to boiling water or the freezer
Put these simple rules into practice and your investment should increase steadily in value.
Polish Art Center
9539 Jos. Campau Hamtramck, MI 48212 (313) 874-2242