Painting Crystal

Introduction Painting Crystal

Not many people think about painting crystal objects. Clear crystal has almost a holy status among the different types of glass, especially when it is cut.
But when crystal was 'invented' in 1670, almost immediately colored crystal was made. The main reason was an alchemistic point of view, making something expensive by mixing chemicals. In the case of lead crystal the goal was to imitate ruby. Ruby red crystal became very popular.

Making colored lead crystal is a difficult job. It is not only a matter of mixing the right amount of the ingredients, it has also to do with the right temperatures, during the crystal making process, for forming the desired colors.
Since the colorants in this case are mostly precious metals, it is very expensive. For instance, to make ruby red crystal the lead crystal components have to be mixed with gold chloride.

Although clear cut crystal has a high status, the trends are always changing. In the late 1990's the worlds trend changed in favor of colored crystal. Colored crystal drinkware became a trend and crystal companies, like Swarovski and Preciosa, used more and more colors in their cut crystal products.

       Blue cased crystal vase (Ajka)

Coloring Techniques

The most straightforward way to make colored crystal is to mix the colorant into the formula and produce tank colored crystal. 
Although this is still done by some companies, most colored crystal drinkware is produced as cased crystal.
Cased crystal consist most of the time of a clear crystal glass inner layer and a colored crystal or glass layer on the outside. Then parts of the colored outer layer are cut away and the characteristic designed glass piece is finished. Cased glass is already found in ancient times but became popular by the craftsmen from Bohemia at the beginning of the 19th century.

Crystal stones for jewelery, fashion and lamps are most often color coated. This coating takes place after the item is already produced, cut and polished.

Red cased Egermann vase and candle stands with etching
Very popular are the coatings where a metal vapor is damped on the surface 
of the cut crystal items. These coatings are very thin and through reflection of the light they become iridizing. A very famous example is the AB or Aurora Borealis coating. This coating is basically clear but gives the crystal a slight pearlescent effect.
To make these coatings you need a machine and these machines are costly.
The coating is hard and sticks good to the glass and most cut crystal stone producers offer a wide spectrum of colored beads, chandelier pendants and chatons color coated with this decoration technique.

Coating crystal drinkware can also be done by spraying. In order not to loose the sparkle it is advisable to use a thin coating with a high transparency. OrmoGlass is such a coating and can be easily sprayed. 
In the cases where the crystal drinkware is frequently used we advise however to spray with OrmoSol instead of OrmoGlass due to the fact that the coating is slightly thicker and hence stronger.  

AB coated cut crystal hearts (Swarovski)

Applying OrmoGlass on cut crystal pendants

OrmoGlass is a paint which makes a very thin layer. The paint itself is highly transparent.
That's why OrmoGlass can be very well used for cut crystal objects.
OrmoGlass is mostly used for crystal chandelier pendants and pendants for jewelery.

The application technique used for these items is 'immersion painting'. 
By immersion painting the object is dipped into paint in a reservoir. The object is slowly, with a constant speed, lifted out of the paint. To keep the same speed is very important because the lifting speed determines the thickness of the layer. When the speed changes during the lifting, then the thickness of the paint is not everywhere the same and this doesn't look good.

Flower made of colored crystal pendants

We have a device which can be used to make flawless coatings on crystal lamp pendants and jewellery pendants. The principle of the machine is based on immersion and controlled lifting.
This 'Crystal Coloring Machine' can also very well be used to color glass prisms and glass trophies (both made from optical glass or crystal).
The result for all colored objects is that they look like items made out of tank colored crystal or optical glass.
Important is that the crystal doesn't loose the important sparkle and the use of OrmoGlass keeps the sparkle just as it was before the coating.

A crystal lamp pendant coated with OrmoGlass will cost less than 0.001 usd on material costs. 
How many crystal pendants can be colored within an eight hour shift depends on the size. 

If you want more information on coloring crystal items with the 'Crystal Coloring Machine' and OrmoGlass then you can Contact Us. 

Optical glass prisms coated 
OrmoGlass, with the 'Crystal
Coloring Machine'.                                  
Crystal chandelier with blue painted bobeches
and crystal pendants (OrmoGlass)
The 'Crystal Coloring Machine'