How Rondels are Made
Genuine rondels are made in approximately
2 1/2" to 4 3/4" in size. Variations in diameter of +/- 3/16" are
inevitable because of the individual handmade production. The
thickness will also vary within one piece. The heavier center, call
the "navel" (which at times may be sharp) is approximately 3/16"
thick with the surrounding glass approx. 1/8" in thickness.
To create a rondel, molten
glass is taken from a furnace with a blowpipe. The amount of the
glass gather determines the eventual size in the rondel. The molten
glass is blown out into a small bubble. The circumference of the
bubble is the second important factor determining the final size to
be produced. The production of a uniform, high quality rondel
depends on the skill and experience of the "rondel master".
The small, still hot, ball of glass will now be attached to a pontil
rod and broken from the blowpipe, causing the characteristic
"navel". After reheating, the glass is opened with a pair of shears.
Using a special technique, the rondel master then folds the edges,
lending strength to the rondel, making it more workable. By spinning
the glass, a small, round rondel is formed. After reaching the
desired size, the rondel is tapped off the pontil rod and slowly cooled in an annealing oven.
Example of Project using Rondels