Thursday, June 30, 2016

Waterford: The Factory

We visited Waterford in 2009 to see the glass stuff. The company was in one of its periodic production going on, rumored to be moving to Slovenia or Vietnam, no tours; but the showroom was open. (It is a very old and troubled company and has gone under many times; now owned, seriously, by Fiskars, who also own Wedgewood). This year, showroom, production, and tours are all in a small centralized location in downtown Waterford, and we wanted at last to see the tour, which takes you through the major stages of production: blowing, quality, marking, cutting, gee-whiz, and, you guessed it, the showroom. I'm still looking for the outlet.
And there it is

Our pattern, Lismore; it's in boxes back in our storage unit
in Missoula...we don't carry it with us camping; same for the
Royal Doulton; but we do carry Fiskars scissors

Among the show-off molds in the blowing department; something
for President O'Bama; we'll see the finished product down the line

Deep in the blowing department; you can actually converse
with the workers as they work

More of the blowing department

Quality department; seriously

Now into the marking department


Marking in the marking department; Sharpy-like pens mark the
bowls, etc., so the cutters will know where to cut

Our guide; unbelievably knowledgeable about every aspect of

Doing the cutting for a basketball for the NBA trophy; they always
make several copies for things like this: the original, a copy to put
the names of the champions on, more copies for show in the
showroom, and a couple back-ups just in case (the guide noted
that the BCS championship trophy was shattered within ten
minutes of handing it to the University of Alabama a few years
back (considerable laughter among the Americans in the group)

So you walk through all this wondering, quietly, have they
heard of cad-cam? And then, at the end of the production line,
you see the one cad-cam machine...used not for production but
for "testing" new designs, etc. 

Now in the gee-whiz department, exhibiting particularly the
many unique items they make

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Mr. O'Bama

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