KILN FORMED GLASS: PROCESS
IV Fab Lab offers a range of kiln formed glass options for fine art, design elements, architectural components, and furniture design.
Kiln formed glass is shaped through carefully controlling its temperature in a specially designed kiln. This shaping can range from slumping glass over another form to fusing multiple pieces to casting sculptural objects. Understanding how glass behaves at different temperatures plays an important role in the fabrication process; this varies depending on the type of glass, process used, and intended application. Here’s a quick overview of some of these processes.
Fusing is the process of combining multiple pieces of glass into one cohesive object through the application of heat. The glass can start in many forms- flat sheets, ground up glass, or thin rods- which are then carefully assembled and heated to achieve the desired look. This incredibly versatile process can produce an infinite range of styles from minimalist to abstract expressionist.
SLUMPING & KILNCARVING
Slumping is a forming process where a sheet of glass is laid over a ceramic or metal mold and then heated so that it softens and assumes its shape. The amount (and timing) of heat used determines how the glass conforms to the mold, creating a wide range of effects. Kilncarving involves cutting a pattern in ceramic fiber paper and then slumping a block of glass over the paper to create a design through variation in depth of surface. Carving can be done by hand, or with the aid of a plotter.
Kilncasting is a multi-part process where a refractory mold is made around a wax or clay object. Most of our casting projects involve silicone rubber molds taken from either a found object or a sculpted clay positive. Wax is then poured into the silicone, and pulled out to create a wax version of the object. This wax form is then covered in refractory material that will withstand the heat of the kiln when filled with glass. The wax is then melted out, and the mold is filled with glass and fired in the kiln.