There are a few different types of glass art we produce. They can be broken down into 2 main categories:
- Lead light and stained glass
- Fused and slumped glass
The techniques used for these processes are vastly different so we will try and explain them in lay terms for you.
Lead Light and Stained Glass
This is probably familiar to most people. but once again there are different processes used here. Think about the windows in an old church or federation style home. There is a coloured glass window that has a design or picture in it. The glass is cut to shape and placed in lead strips to create the image. The lead strips are called came. The came is joined together using solder and then the whole image is framed into a window. This is predominantly a 2 dimensional form.
Another method used to create this is using copper foil and solder. A Tiffany style lamp is a copper foiled lamp. Each piece of glass is cut and ground to remove sharp edges and then a copper foil strip is applied to the edges. Once all the glass pieces have had the copper applied, they can then be joined using solder. This allows for a 3 dimensional artwork. This method is very labour intensive, and this can be reflected in the price at times. Some Tiffany style lamps can sell for thousands of dollars because of the amount of work and individual design. Unfortunately there are cheap imported foil lamps on the market, but the quality is inferior to a properly constructed piece.
Fused and Slumped Art Glass
There are two distinct methods used here. Firstly we will cover fused. This process involves cutting pieces of glass and placing them in a design. The design is then carefully placed in a kiln and fired to a temperature of up to 800 degrees C. The glass can be placed on several layers often requiring multiple firings to achieve the desired effect. Depending on the level of fusing required the temperature may vary. A lower temperature will give a contour to the art whereas a full fuse will make the design all one level.
The other method is slumping. Slumping is placing the fused glass in a mould to create a 3 dimensional shape such as a bowl. A piece of glass art can be fused and slumped.