There are many steps in the process of cutting designs into kiriko glass:
1, Drawing Design
To trace the cutting design, artisans draw lines and dots on the surface of the glass with a special pencil.
2, Rough Grinding
In this step, the basic cutting pattern is roughly ground with a cutting stone.
In this step, the cutting pattern is smoothed until it is fine and sharp.
4, First Polishing
This is the second to the last step, in which the cutting pattern is further polished and smoothed.
5, Final polishing
In this step, the opaque surface of the glass is polished to bring out its clear brightness.
There are two types of polishing methods: “acid polishing,” which uses chemicals (a mixture of acids) and traditional “hand polishing,” which uses wooden boards and polishing powder. Satsuma kiriko artisans in Osaka use only hand polishing.
Acid polishing dissolves the surface of the glass but doesn’t bring out high quality of its texture and brightness. Hand polishing makes the glass naturally bright and brilliant without damaging the sharp edges of subtle cutwork.