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- Acid etching
- To stain and to lustre
- (Sand) Blasting
- Decals for decoration




Guilloché or pantographed - are there pattern differences?

Both machines have the same scope: to draw a pattern in a very thin wax coating on a (round) glass. The glass is then submerged in a bath of hydrofluoric acid (HF), sometimes combined with sulphuric acid (H2SO4). Where the glass is exposed to the acid(s), they will eat into the surface, and the pattern appears.

Like all other machines, guilloché machines come in different models. The one in the picture, like the two machines we own, can only handle one glass at a time. The machines were of different complexity, and could come with several accessories.
They have one thing in common: the patterns are created by a combination of cogwheels mounted in specific places. There is a handle to run the machine, and the cogwheels make the plate with the glass turn in both directions and also to move up and down. The drawing arm(s) also can move in different ways.
The character of the guilloché patterns are, of course, dependent of the construction of the machine: they are mainly geometrical, different combinations of circles are commonly seen - they have no "loose ends", the pattern consists of one (or several) continuous line(s).

The picture below left shows details of two different patterns. For the left glass, "Joel" from Kosta, was used one needle for the top pattern but three needles for the next. On the right glass there were nine needle in operation for the meander pattern.

Below right shows a detail from a pattern book manufactured by the German firm Kutzscher (from which one of our machines comes). It shows which wheels are to be mounted where to achieve the pattern pictured.

In the museum we show several examples of guilloché-patterned glasses.
old advertisement for a  guilloché machine
different number of needles in different parts of the pattern
detail from a pattern book

We have found a web site showing both patterns and drawings of different guilloché machines (some of which can handle up to 6 pieces at one time). Here it is - one has to click each page. There are pattern drawings, also drawings of various accessories and drawings of some of the machines available. We think one of our machines is the one pictured on page 36.


The pantograph: its first advantage is its capacity to handle many pieces at the same time - one of ours can take 24 glasses, the other can take 12.
A pantograph can have several needles per glass, each to produce one copy of the pattern. It is possible to mount a different number of needles, depending on how many pattern repetitions are desired around the glass.
The pattern is transferred to the glasses from a template: the template resides on the work table, and the operator follows the lines in the template with a stylus. The movements of the stylus are transferred to the glasses, in all directions simultaneously.

At the start position the needles are not in contact with the glasses. There is a foot pedal that needs to be pressed to get the needles "operational". This means that pantographed patterns can have "loose ends"/lines that stop.

template with pattern "St Erik", glass with 4 repeats around
detail of pantograph, five needles mounted
It is, of course, perfectly possible to "imitate" guilloché patterns with the help of a pantograph.
When we first saw the glass to the right, all of us were convinced we were seeing a typical guilloché-patterned glass.

So we were very surprised to find a template with this same pattern...
... and even more surprised when it turned out to be a glass from the "Etyd" series by Vicke Lindstrand...

our Etyd glass
from the Kosta catalogue