Lathe-Cut Glass

Left: Hemispherical cup
Mid 1st century A.D.

Right: Beaker
Latter part of the 1st century A.D.

Left: Conical beaker
4th century A.D.

Right: "Blue blob" cup
4th century A.D

A thin-walled glass beaker could be mounted on a lathe and its surface scored with the edge of a wheel or a scribing point to create delicate patterns of lines spaced in any rhythm the glass-cutter chose: a thick-walled one could be decorated with grooves with all sorts of depth of cut, width and spacing.

Because of the versatility of this means of design, lathe-cutting remained a popular technique for glassworking all the way through to the early 5th century A.D.