Sand casting is an old technique. It involves creating a mold and then pouring molten glass into the vessel. The casting mold is made of silica sand that is mixed with a binder or clean sand and a small amount of bentonite. It is a compacted mold that once used it is not usable again.
This method requires access to a furnace as well as a kiln and lots of safety precautions. Wear protective clothing such as high temperature gloves and cotton clothing. It is important that your eye wear is sufficient for the high temperatures of the furnaces.
The mold is generally supported by a template made of wood or some other object. The impression made in the sand forms the mold. Molten glass is scooped from a furnace and then ladled into the mold. The glass is well over 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. This high temperature allows the glass to flow freely into the mold.
During this process, other compatible objects can be placed into or on the glass to give the appearance of a floating object inside or on top of the glass.
Sand can also be used to add a design or texture to glass, although this is not actually casting. Place the mixture into the kiln and place the glass on top. Designs can be imprinted into the sand but keep in mind that any raised areas will become depressed by the weight of the glass, while any dented areas will allow the glass to slump into the shape. This is not actually casting, but using the sand as a designing and texturing material.
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