The process is intensive because not only does the crystal look like salt water taffy from an alternate dimension, but the ease at which the craftsmen execute their techniques makes the practice look effortlessly simple.
The crystal is made by melting down silica sand, lead, potash, and a few other ingredients in a furnace. When it comes straight out, the crystal is glowing at an incredible 2,280°F. A crystal blower gathers some of the molten blob on the end of a large pole called a blow plane and uses blocks and molds to sculpt the crystal into the desired shape. A channel is made through the middle of the crystal for electrical wiring.
Then, two crystal blowers work from either end of a piece of crystal, stretching and twisting it from both ends to create the chandelier’s arms one by one (as shown in the first GIF). Once the diameter and design are exactly right, the soft putty-like crystal is placed in a mold so that each arm is curved precisely the same. The excess is snipped off of the ends and the crystal is left to cool.
To make the bowl on the bottom of the chandelier, a glob of molten crystal is placed in a mold that goes inside a press. For the hurricane shade, the crystal is elongated with pliers and is then literally inflated to fit a mold by way of a worker blowing through a tube.
Watch this video from from Science Chanel to find out how….