Tag Archives: dichroic glass

Teaching fused glass in Sonoma

Leland teaching a fused glass class, wwwlelandglass.comStacey & I taught a fused glass class at the Lodge at Sonoma this past January. Normally my classes are in my Sebastopol studio, however,  my new business card should read;  Have Glass Will Travel. Participants made a tile, or pendants in just three hours. Super cool!

You guys are awesome and were so much fun. Thank you! Nils, workshop participant

 

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Intro to Glass Casting

A quick overview of how to cast glass

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Glass casting begins with an original clay sculpture with as much detail as possible. A damn is made around the sculpture so that liquid latex can be poured into it, over the clay, to create a negative mold.

Plaster is poured into the resulting latex mold, creating a positive mold that can withstand the heat of the kiln.  The plaster cast is carved to smooth out any bubbles or other inperfections and for any embellishments such as added texture.

It’s then filled with sand, which is weighed to determine the exact amount of glass to exactly fill the mold.

The plaster mold is placed in the kiln, and filled with chunks of glass, broken billets.  The “Reclining Buddha” required just under 20 pounds of glass.  The kiln is  heated to around 1500 degrees and annealed (cooled to room temperature) over a period of three days or more.

Once the piece has reached room temperature the plaster is carefully broken off and discarded. The glass is then cleaned with dental tools, toothbrushes, and lots of elbow grease. The final step is polishing. The latex mold can be reused.

Cast glass Buddha by Leland Dennick

Cast glass Buddha

For info on fused glass, see my blog post.

© Copyright Leland Dennick 2015
All rights reserved

How to Fuse Glass

Leland Dennick working with frit

Working wtih frit & stringers

Fuseable glass is handmade by a handful of companies to expand and contract at the same rate.  It comes in many forms including powder, sheet and stringers (long and skinny).  This specially formulated glass is hand cut, assembled in layers and then melded together in a kiln at 1480 degrees or so. Paintings made from frit (powdered glass) may have many firings as images are built in layers.

A second firing is done to shape (slump) the piece from flat glass into a bowl or other three dimensional piece.

A third firing is done on pieces that are painted with glass paint.

“I feel like an alchemist when I open the kiln and see my layers of glass transformed into a luminous image.” – Leland Dennick

WHAT IS DICHROIC GLASS?

Dichroic glass Buddha mask by Leland Dennick

Dichroic glass Buddha mask

Dichroic glass is beautiful sparkly glass that was originally developed for the aeronautics industry. It must be manufactured in a vacuum chamber where an electron beam deposits many microscopic layers of metallic oxides, such as magnesium and titanium, on glass. This metallic coating absorbs and reflects different colors of light at different angles, making the glass multi-hued.

Because of the complexity involved in making it, dichroic glass is quite costly. It was originally created for satellite mirrors, but it now has many high-tech applications in fiber optics, infrared lasers, motion picture equipment and even sun glasses.

For more information on fusing and slumping, Warm Glass has free tutorials, an active bulletin board and an inspiring gallery.   I also recommend Bullseye Glass Company’s online education program.  Here’s a blog post with a link to a movie my wife and I made about raking glass.

© Copyright Leland Dennick 2014
All rights reserved