Artisan made glass is behind some of our most remarkable lighting and custom creations today, yet the practice began 3000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Through a series of techniques, some we’ll expand on below, molten glass can be made to take some truly incredible forms but understanding these processes and when they should be used is key. Our team has the know-how to pair your project with the correct tools and techniques. Have an idea? Let’s start planning!
Blown Glass – The classic image of the glass maker inflating a bubble of molten glass at the end of a blowpipe is as true and valid today as it was 3000 years ago in Egypt where glassblowing originated. The variety of forms made under this name are numerous, from scientific lab-ware to free-blown sculpture. In the world of lighting, we often use carved wooden or cast iron molds to make reliable, dimensionally-accurate shapes. When we have a wider latitude for organic shapes, we’ll move to free blowing which uses no fixed molds, rather it relies on the eye and hand of the artist and simple tools like the cherry block, jacks, marver, paddles, and shears.
Casting – In much the same ways that metal is cast, glass can also be cast. We make molds of plaster, ceramic, metal, graphite, to name a few. The style of mold may be open faced or completely encasing, as in lost wax casting. We pair the process and the materials with the quantity needed & desired result in crispness, surface features, optical quality and other factors. In every case we work with the process to accentuate its native characteristics.
Slumped/Bent Glass – We can take flat sheets of glass and slowly heat them over curved molds in a kiln to create domes, serpentine bends, simple radiuses, folds, and other interesting shapes. Sometimes the molds are complex and unique pieces of metalwork, sometimes they are as simple as a round bar. We’re always looking to pair the most efficient and ingenious means to the end.
Cutting and Etching – Once the glass is cool, we finish the surface with various treatments to frost it with acids or by sandblasting, cut and carve it with diamond wheels, or polish it to make the facets shine.