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Studio 44 Mauritius Craft Workshops

AN INTRODUCTION TO WARM GLASS

A Guide to Kiln Forming (fusing and slumping)
- Glass forming & fusing -

The workshop is held over three sessions of 3 hours each.

I will show and teach you what I have learned over the past 25 years, working with glass.
Having seen the different type of glass, I will show you:
  1. How to cut and polish the glass.
  2. Choose your project and the molds.
  3. What you can and cannot do with glass.
  4. Paint the glass piece chosen.
  5. Add character to the glass.
  6. Prime the molds
I will supply all the raw material and tools necessary for the project.
The workshop for the three sessions is Rupees 5250.00.
We encourage students to use the facilities available at the studio until such time as they are ready to go on their own.
You can rent space at the studio for only Rupees 300.00 per hour;
you will have access to all tools and equipment necessary for your project.
The cost of the glass will be calculated according to the type of glass and paint used.

Looking forward to welcoming you to the world of hot glass.

THE ORIGIN OF GLASS:

 The discovery of glass some 5000 years ago was possibly one of the most significant occurrences in human history. Glass has delighted us with its unique qualities of transparency and brilliance and its ability to fulfill a broad range of functional and aesthetic possibilities and demands. Created by melting sand, glass changes from a fluid to a solid state as it is manipulated. Since the beginning of civilization it has been associated with the most precious minerals.

GLASS AS A MATERIAL:

Glass is a synthetic material that is surprisingly malleable because of its physical and chemical characteristics. Despite its solid appearance, glass is considered a liquid,  because of its amorphous and non-crystalline structure. To understand this concept, compare it with ice. When water freezes, very slowly, crystals form and change the liquid into an opaque solid. If the process is sped up (as with ice cubes) the water is transparent. Commercial glass is made up of silica, fluxes and stabilizers. There are a few different types of glass. We will be using the ‘leaded glass’ in our projects. One very important point to remember is that every sheet of glass has its own properties and coefficient of expansion. Always make sure you use glass from the same batch in a project to avoid disappointments like cracks or oxidization and discoloring.
 
Here at the Creative Quarter we will be using float glass and we will use a very special paint to colour our creations before placing them in the kiln to be fused and slumped. The paint is in powder form and must be mixed with water. It is then brushed or sprayed onto the glass. The finish is a shiny opaque one or a clear one if applied lightly.

TECHNIQUES:

Only a few tools are required for fusing and slumping glass.
The glass cutter comes in a few varieties, the pen type or the pistol type grip.
Breaking pliers, cutting compass to cut circles, pliers with smooth edges, ruler and tape measure cover the basics.
Equipment: edge polisher/grinder and kilns (oven), spray gun, compressor.

SAFETY:

Gloves (soft material with rubber insert). Thicker gloves for kiln work. Goggles, dust mask and a first aid kit.

GLASS SHEETS:

Window glass, 3, 4, 6 mm in thickness will be used in our various projects.

PAINT:

The paint we use is the same used in ceramic projects because this type of paint can withstand very high temperatures. The paint comes in powder form and is mixed with water to the desired fluidity. The paint can be applied with a brush or with a spray gun.

CHARACTERISTICS OF GLASS:

Glass is a beautiful medium to work with and you will be surprised what can be achieved once you have mastered its composition and reaction to heat. The glass we are using is window glass. Two sheets of glass that looks exactly the same to you may react differently once melted and then left to cool. The reason being that the coefficient of expansion of the glass varies with each manufacturer. The raw material used can be mixed in different quantities, depending on each manufacturer’s method of production. There is a very important point to remember when using glass for fusing and slumping. It is important to note that the sheet of glass has one leaded side. When fusing them together, avoid placing the two leaded sides together as a rule. There is a trick to know the leaded side, which will be shown in the course.
Examples

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