What to look for while inspecting glassware

by Charles Upton
Issue No. 354 - October 2002

I found this paper while cleaning out some of my papers that I have accumulated over the past 48 years of collecting Cambddge Glass. I don't remember where it came from and don't know enough about the making of glassware to authenticate the terms. These terms may have been terms used during the years that the factory existed and may not apply to today's glassmaking. I found the terms interesting and pass it along to you for your reading.
- Charles Upton


What to look for while inspecting glassware
Explanations of numbered terms are given below
CRACKED                         WARPED                           NOT FULL (12)                        
CRACKED FOOT MISFITS IRON ON BOTTOM (13)
CRACKED HANDLE FINE GLASS (9) SHEAR MARKS (14)
CHIPPED EDGES TWISTED STEM ROCKY (15)
CHIPPED BOTTOM SUNK TOP PRESSED UP (16)
CROOKED OPEN MOULD (10) PRESSED OVER (17)
CROOKED HANDLE CRUSHED BOTTOM MARKED FROM TOOLS
CROOKED KNOB TOO HEAVY WAVY
CRIZZLED (1) TOO LIGHT BLISTERED (18)
CORDY (2) FLAT BAD BOTTOMS
DIRTY (3) FLAT FEET RUN DOWN(19)
SEEDY (4) NOT MELTED (11) ASBESTOS DIRT (20)
STONY (5) NOT POLISHED MELTED TOO MUCH (21)
STUCK (6) BAD EDGES PINCHED (22)
SUNK (7) BAD SHAPE  
SUCKED(8) BULGED OUT  

Explanation of terms: (Some terms are self explanatory. Others are listed below).

  1. CRIZZLED - Very fine surface cracks (with spider web-like effect) caused by the mould or plunger not being hot enough. Crizzle marks are not cracks running through the entire depth of the glass.
  2. CORDY - Fine wavy or distorted lines caused by poor quality glass that has a different density than the rest of the piece.
  3. DIRTY - Rough places caused by flecks of dust or dirt in the mould. Also caused by impurities on tools (oil, beeswax or dirt).
  4. SEEDY Minute bubbles caused by impurities in glass. Occurs when glass batch has not been cooked long enough to remove impure agents.
  5. STONY - Stones are caused by small chunks or lime or other impurities that were not dissolved or melted during the cooking of the glass.
  6. STUCK - A rough place caused by hitting the glass piece on something when warming it or re-heating the piece.
  7. SUNK - Glass piece has fallen out of shape. This is caused by the piece being too hot when turned out of the mould.
  8. SUCKED - Glass piece has been pulled up or sucked up and out of shape when plunger was too hot causing glass to stick to plunger.
  9. FINE GLASS - Tlny particles of powdered glass that fall down onto a piece of glass and stick to it.
  10. OPEN MOULD - A crease caused by a joint in the mould when the mould is not completely closed.
  11. NOT MELTED - Rough edges are caused by not getting the glass piece hot enough when warmed-in on the glazer.
  12. NOT FULL - Glass piece not filled out completely due to the gather of glass being gathered short.
  13. IRON ON BOTTOM - Iron (or scale) on bottom of glass piece caused by mould or plunger being too hot.
  14. SHEAR MARKS - A rough, irregular crease caused by the improper cutting of the gather of glass by the presser.
  15. ROCKY - Glass piece rocks on its foot or base. May have been caused by too quick a removal from the mould.
  16. PRESSED UP - Appearance of a thin edge of glass pressed up between the plunger and the ring.
  17. PRESSED OVER - Appearance of a thin edge of glass between ring and mould caused by the presser cutung the gather too heavy.
  18. BLISTERED - An unwanted bubble or air trap caused from air getting into the glass while being gathered.
  19. RUN DOWN - (Same as SUNK).
  20. ASBESTOS DIRT - Asbestos stuck to glass. Caused by putting the object on asbestos paper when it was too hot.
  21. MELTED TOO MUCH - Glass piece became lopsided. Caused by leaving piece on glazer too long and thus getting too hot. Could also refer to color burn out.
  22. PINCHED - A squeezed glass piece caused by too much pressure having been exerted by the pinchers (tools that hold a hot glass piece as it is carried from mould to lehr).