Visual journalist Kevin Painchaud takes us inside the process
Creating the prototype: Sketching ideas: Annie draws new plate design ideas. Pictured, Annie lays out sketches on the floor. Based on the sketch, she’ll make a mold out of clay. The mold making process takes a lot of time. She needs to make sure that the mold is flat and doesn’t rock, and that the piece that will be made out of the mold is functional. To make a proper mold can sometimes take up to a month to create.
With a mold created, she’ll create a working prototype. If the prototype is approved, then she will proceed and make 20 of them. She does this to make sure there is consistency and that there are no production issue that come up when larger runs are made based on a mold.
The finished prototype with then be photographed to be included into their catalog.
Production: Clean the sheets of glass: Pictured, Master Artisan Ignacio Garcia Sr. cleaning a sheet of glass.
Cut the panes of glass into smaller size. Pictured, Garcia Sr. cutting glass into sheets
Stacking the small sheets of freshly cut glass. Pictured, Garcia Sr. stacking the cut glass.
A waterjet cutting machine cuts the sheets of glass into precise shapes and sizes. Pictured, the cutting of glass ornaments.
Grind the glass to make sure the edges are smooth. Pictured, Lloyd Lambert grinding the edges smooth on a Holiday Tree trivet made of Annieglass scraps with
Decorate the glass. Pictured, Raul Camacho-Aguilla painting glass circles with 24 k gold.
Clean and inspect the glass for any dust: Pictured, Raul Camacho-Aguilla checking for dust before placing the glass into the kiln.
Fire the glass items in the kiln.. Pictured, Raul Camacho-Aguilla loading prepped glass placed on top of the molds in the kiln.
After the glass is fired, the freshly molded pieces need to be cooled overnight. After each glass item has been cooled, the staff at AnnieGlass then hand signs each item.
Finished glassware is then stacked on shelves ready for shipping.
Each item to be shipped is individually wrapped and boxed.
A finished Annieglass platter on display inside their retail store in Watsonville.