Hot glass (sometimes referred to as warm glass) is glass processes such as slumping and fusing that are performed at temperatures ranging from 1100 to 1700 degrees F.
You can manipulate molten glass once it has been exposed to these temperatures through a variety of processes.
This is widely known today as kiln forming and is done in a fused glass kiln.
Casting Techniques for Kiln Forming
Hot Glass casting techniques can transform molten glass into basically any shape that could also be done with wax or clay.
These techniques include:
Pate de Verre - This technique involves making a paste of glass to form your glass shapes inside the kiln. The paste is made from extremely small glass particles and this paste is fused inside the kiln with the help of a mold.
Glass Casting - You pour molten glass into a prepared mold with this technique.
Kiln Casting - This involves melting your glass into your mold, while it is in the kiln.
Combing Glass - This process involves raking a stainless steel tool partway through molten glass to create a design. The final results can be breathtaking with the colors streaked or blended in a unique pattern.
Hot Casting - This is achieved by heating the glass to about 2350 degrees F, with the help of a furnace. This is even hotter that glassblowing techniques. Once the glass is melted, it is scooped out with a large ladle and transferred to a specially designed mold. This mold is made to withstand the high temperature of this molten glass. This technique is not for the beginner at Glass Fusing.
Sand Casting - This technique has you pour molten glass into a mold made of sand. The mold is made from either clean sand and a bit of bentonite or silica sand that has a binder added. Once you use this type of mold, it cannot be used again. You will need access to both a kiln and a furnace.
Lost Wax Method - With this method, you first carve a pattern using wax. Then you make a plaster casting of it. Once the plaster is dry, you melt the wax from the cavity of the casting and fill it with molten glass. Then the whole thing needs to go through the annealing process.
Frit Casting - You place frit in a prepared mold and melt the glass until the mold is full. At times, this takes a number of firings to complete.
Word of Caution
Working with molten glass is not for the beginner.
The above are more advanced techniques than those of basic fusing or slumping.
People, who work with Hot Glass, need to have a deep understanding of how the various types of glass react, as well as thorough knowledge on using the kiln and a furnace.
As with all Glass Fusing projects, safety precautions should be used.
Making works of art with glass with the help of a kiln is a fascinating activity.
Go slowly and learn all you need to learn along the way.
You will soon have enough experience and knowledge to explore the Hot Glass techniques mentioned here.
If you already have experience, maybe we mentioned one above you have not yet tried.
Return from this page to one of the following pages:
Return from Hot Glass to Glass Fusing Made Easy