Fine Glass Kiln Casting - Our Manufacturing Process
Our Special Thanks to our Teacher Leon for the Pâte de Verre Techniques at the the C.E.R.F.A.V ( Centre Européen de Recherches et de Formation aux Arts Verriers ).
Each model is carefully thought through from it’s original conception to the finishing process.
While letting our imagination flow freely with our creative thoughts and designs.
We are living in a New World of modern techniques and manufacturing possibilities, therefore our artistic creativity is a mixture of modern technologies and traditional ancestral techniques.
THINKING AND VERIFYING MASTER MODEL
Before we get to the process of duplicating our Master.
We need to evaluate if our model will give us a perfect Kiln Casting in Glass.
We use the lost wax techniques in our manufacturing process.
Although being the same technique, a glass fusion is different from a metal fusion.
When Casting in metal, the flow of metal rushes thru the entire mold and solidifies almost instantly.
Glass fusion is a slow melting process, we have to mindful regarding the rising of air bubbles during the melting process.
This is done using vents and other additions to ensure a perfect Piece.
DUPLICATING OUR MASTER MODEL
When we are ready make a duplicate of our Master model, we will make a mold in Silicon or Elastomère.
After the Curing of the mold, which generally takes a several hours.
We carefully open the solidified mold without damaging our master model. There is a variety of techniques used to make different molds, this varies with the size of the Master model as well as Intricate designs.
In our customization and manufacturing process, the objects can be small and medium size.
We primarily use a one part mold or a two part mold, however molds can be made in various possible ways from multi-part molds to High temperature 3D molds.
MAKING A REPLICA IN WAX
Now our rubber like Mold is ready, we warm up the wax to a suitable pouring temperature.
Having a Background in manufacturing precious metals, we also use a Wax Injector for our specific needs.
We then pour or inject the wax into the Silicon mold and let it cool down until solidified.
Then, Carefully remove the duplicate, alter repairs if necessary, and clean the item to obtain a perfect duplicate from the original.
It is important to mention, there is a small reduction in size compared to the Master Piece of 3% to 6%.
REFRACTORY PLASTER AND STEAMER POT
One of the most incredible things in the process of Kiln-Casting Glass is how Intricate, Fine and Small details will show on your finished piece.
Therefore a perfect smooth and clean wax is Imperative.
We fix the model on a base support and cylinder into which the liquid plaster will be poured.
The plaster is made essentially with Crystalline Silica, a natural mineral from earth.
When the Plaster has solidified, we steam, dewax the plaster mold leaving it clean from wax and residue.
PREPARING THE PLASTER MOLD WITH GLASS
Glass comes in Various Ways forms and Colors, we use an assortment of glass suppliers Depending on the colors we are looking to achieve.
Fine Glass can be purchased as powder frits of different sizes but also as a billet ( block ) that we manually break apart or saw for a specific size requirement.
We fill the mold with powder of glass directly inside the plaster mold, for larger pieces we put them inside a clay pot.
LOADING THE GLASS KILN
Each plaster mold is placed with optimization in a Glass Kiln.
The cooking program extends over 2 to 3 days.
After numerous tests, our results have shown that a slower and longer cooling time increases the solidity and resistance of our Items.
BREAKING THE MOLD
This is the exciting time to see the results of our Molds.
We usually manufacture small to medium size items.
The molds need to be open very cautiously and carefully to avoid any breakage.
The Items usually have a dull appearance at first, we sand blast off the remainder of the sticking plaster, leaving the item smooth and free from dust.
Moulded Glass or Fine Glass Casting offers an unparalleled feeling to the touch.
The finishing process gives life to the color of the Fine Glass, in french Pâte de Verre.
Depending on its finish, it can be polished shiny or smooth sanded.
Each creation has its own Individuality, there can be flat surfaces, round surfaces, sculptured with patterns.
We must adapt our polishing techniques according to each piece individually.