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What is the difference between mass-produced glass ornament and handmade glass ornament?
What is the difference between mass-produced glass ornament and handmade glass ornament?
Mass-produced glass ornament
1.In the factory, bulk quantities of glass are melted and flowed in a ribbon over a series of molds.
2.As each mold moves into position in front of the stream of glass, compressed air is blown into the mold to force the glass to uniformly take the shape of the mold. Clear glass is used, and sizes range from about 1.75-5 in (4.4-13cm) in diameter.
3.The ornaments move by conveyor to stations where they coated on the inside with silvering solution to provide the mirror-like reflective properties that will show through the exterior coatings.
4.Then, they are coated on the outside by dipping them into a white undercoat or base coat.
5.After the undercoat dries, the balls are transported by conveyor to the paint station where they are dipped in lacquer. Red and blue are the most common colors.
6.Decorations may be added by machine or by hand and may include painted designs, frosting, glitter, or glued-on decorations. Glass manufacturers can also produce spun glass or fiberglass to decorate the ornaments. Plain ornaments are also made for those who like to decorate their own ornaments at home.
7.Metal catches and hooks are prefabricated to the standard sizes of the ornament tops and are attached by machine after the ornaments are decorated; they are made of lightweight metal like aluminum or tin so they are not too heavy for the ornament.
8.The finished bulbs are then transferred to packing stations where specially designed packing materials are used to cushion and display the ornaments for sale.

Handmade glass ornament
1.The modern glass blower begins production of a handmade ornament with tubes of glass manufactured by suppliers. The craftsman can melt or cut the tubes into the desired quantity of glass needed for a specific ornament. By spinning the tube over a gas-powered torch, a portion of the glass is softened and kept at a relatively uniform temperature.

2.When the glass is ready to be molded, the operator depresses a foot pedal that opens the mold. The molds can be made of plaster, cast iron, graphite, or porcelain. They can have conventional or highly detailed shapes etched into the molds by laser beams. The soft glass is inserted in the mold as the blower puffs on the glassblowing pipe to expand the glass to fit the mold; the glass-worker has three seconds to complete this process because, as soon as the glass touches the mold, it cools and forms. The finished object has all the detail of the mold and is called a hard casting. It also still has a length of tubing called a stem attached to the top, like a rigid puppet on a stick.
Mass-producers of ornaments claim that hand blown 
ornaments  have an inherent disadvantage in that the thickness of the glass may not be uniform, making it subject to breakage. In fact, the skilled artists in Germany have so perfected the combination of glass and glassblowing skills that handmade ornaments may be more durable.
3.In the next step, silvering solution is injected down the stem and swirled to coat the inside of the ornament; the silvering solution can be omitted to produce a translucent ornament that only takes the color of the outer paint and has less of a reflective quality. The silvered hard casting is dipped in white undercoat and allowed to dry.
4.Designer ornaments use a palette of colors and details to achieve their uniqueness. The paints used for ornaments are slow drying and tend to run together, so the ornaments must be painted in a hop-scotch fashion leaving adjacent areas untouched until the painted areas are dry. The artist then paints the alternating areas later. Decorations including glitter and ballo, a glitter-like substance that resembles fine sugar crystals, are applied after paints have dried.
5.An ordinary glass cutter is then used to cut the stem from the ornament, and the metal cap or catch is snapped in place on the remaining stub. Tags and special packaging to identify and protect the individual ornament are added before shipping.

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