Glass Art Studio & Gallery

Wild Roses

Examples of flameworked glass

 From left to right: hollow vessel, beaded necklace made from recycled wine bottles, sculpted rose.

Lampworking and glassblowing are two popular hot glass techniques involving melting and manipulating hot glass in a torch flame. Non-traditional enamellers (like me) use a torch to enamel metal, too. Hot glass work is also called flamework and torchwork.

  • Hot glass workers create beads, jewelry, vessels, tableware, various ornamental items like little animals, paperweights, marbles, and some incredible sculptures.
  • Once all laboratory glassware was blown by master craftspeople, requiring years of study and practice, expertise and precision.
  • Lampworking is usually relatively small-scale and carried out by one person with one torch.
  • Blown glass items can be miniscule or huge but, because of the equipment involved, true glassblowing is usually a team effort.  

Earrings

Torch-fired enamels over copper, lampwork beads, and silver wire and findings.

Fused Cabs

with dichroic inclusions.

Used in jewelry, mosaics, and

stained glass.

Warm glass work is generally considered to mean "anything done with glass in a kiln." This can be fusing, slumping, raking, glass casting, or a combination of several techniques. Since enamels are made from ground glass and minerals, you could even consider traditional enameling on metal to be a warm glass technique. While the maker handles the glass, it's usually cold. The glass is later heated to high temperatures in a kiln to manipulate it. Cold glass + hot glass = warm glass; basic bathtub science!

  • When designing a fused glass piece, the maker stacks glass in layers and then heats it in a closed kiln until the glass molecularly becomes one puddle of glass.
  • When slumping, a maker uses heat to manipulate the shape of the glass by draping it over, into, or through one or more objects in a closed kiln.
  • Raking is a subtechnique of fusing - the maker opens the kiln when it's at its hottest and uses metal instruments to move the surface of the fusing glass into different designs.
  • Glass casting involves heating glass pellets or frit (ground glass) to high temperatures until it liquefies, then pouring the glass into molds to cool.
  • Traditional enamellers prepare a metal base and then use a variety of techniques to layer the enamels onto it. The actual "bake" is done in a kiln. The process requires many steps of heating, cooling, cleaning, and polishing.

About Glass Art


Glass art is a general term for a variety of amazing techniques. These can be sorted into three groups - cold, warm, and hot. This list is meant to introduce you to some common glass art styles; it's definitely not all-inclusive. If you think I've made a mistake, or you'd like more information, please use the contact form on this website to zip me a note: I'd like to hear from you!
 

Glass mosaics and stained glass are both considered cold techniques.

  • When creating a mosaic, the maker glues pieces of glass onto a backing, and most often fills the gaps between them with grout. Traditional mosaics used rock and ceramic, but today's mosaic makers are likely to incorporate at least some beautiful art glass in their work.
  • When making a stained glass creation, the maker cuts glass into specific shapes and then pieces the work together like a puzzle using copper foil or lead strips, and solder. Solder can be leaded or lead-free.
  • Other cold techniques include etching, grinding, gluing, and beveling.