A design was cut into the glass with only the aid of guide lines by pressing the glassware against a turning stone wheel. After the cutting was complete, the article cut was termed a "gray cutting". It was then acid polished to produce the brilliant surface known as Rock Crystal.
Cutting was done with rapidly revolving copper wheels of different sizes. Skilled workmen followed designs which were placed before them or previously stenciled onto the glass. When the piece came from the cutting room, the cuttings were "gray". Then they may have been polished by buffing wheels. Copper wheel engravings were earlier than Rock Crystal Engravings.