Hot casting is not for the novice. Although it is another form of casting glass, it requires not only a furnace to heat the glass, but other instruments that are not used in regular glass fusing. There are also safety precautions when working with glass that has been heated to this high temperature.
Glass is heated to a temperature higher that can be achieved in a kiln or even by blowing glass. The temperature is usually around 2350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once heated the glass is scooped out of the furnace with special large ladles and poured into a mold designed for this technique.
To withstand these sudden hot temperatures, the molds are made of ceramic and silica or resin, silica sand and a catalyst. These materials can withstand these high temperatures. The materials are mixed together and then hardened. Once mixed, they possess a sandstone consistency.
This material can be carved with various tools to design and achieve the desired depth or texture. This requires a free hand or sculptural talent to maneuver the material. There is no problem with undercuts and even the elaborate details are achievable with this method, because the molten glass is poured into the mold. As the glass is poured into the mold, it fills all the tiny areas even the fine details are obtained.
The molds are not reusable however, because they are destroyed in the final process. Of course, this makes each piece one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable. Because the glass is thick, it passes over 95% of the light that strikes it and it is a solid structural component that is almost unbreakable.
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