Our Period & Classic Glass Knobs are handmade in the same way that the originals were made. These classic pressed glass knobs are beautiful and Gloriously Not machine-made perfect. A bubble or two here or a slight imperfection there is a testament to originality and not a flaw. Period glass cabinet knobs that are cut or faceted are done so by hand, so each knob may have slight variations that are not particularly noticeable.
A pressed glass cabinet knob is made from molten glass that is “pressed” into a cast iron mold of the desired shape. Similar to making taffy, only at a temperature of 1500 degrees, the ingredients for making glass, mostly sand, lime and soda (not the Mountain Dew kind) are mixed into a furnace until the mixture is molten and the consistency of taffy. Different metal and mineral powders are added to make a desired glass knob color if it is to be something other than clear. Then, the glass is gathered onto an iron rod, held over the top of the glass-knob-shaped mold and an appropriate sized ‘glob” is snipped off with scissors and dropped into the open mold. The maker then pushes a plunger into the mold to press the glass into the shape of a glass knob. The glass cabinet knob is removed and slowly cooled. This technique was first patented by American inventor John P. Bakewell in 1825 to make knobs for furniture. Yes the very first pressed glass was glass furniture knobs!
Further work is often required. Cut glass knobs require that maker take the “blank” glass knob and grind the final pattern into the glass knob surface and then polish that surface to diamond like finish. Some of the glass cabinet knobs are dipped or sprayed with acid to create a frosted finish. Other glass knobs may be sprayed with metallic salts while the glass is still very hot to create that colorful light refracting carnival glass or iridized finish that so beautiful in the sunlight. Whatever the treatment, these glass knobs are a real treat to the eye!