Today’s kiln-fired glass artists draw on both ancient and modern techniques for melting and manipulating glass. They require an in-depth knowledge of how glass reacts to variations in temperature and how the chemical composition of different types of glass enables them to anneal together. Creating beautiful objects requires combining this knowledge with an eye for color and shape.
Each unique piece in the gallery is was created through a multi-step process.
1. The desired shape, size and color of the piece is designed. Then sheet glass is cut into the required shapes and sizes and/or glass powders or granules (frit) are selected to create the desired look.
2. The pieces are fired until they reach approximately 1500 degrees, which is the temperature at which glass can merge into one piece, i.e., fuse. During this stage, some glass changes color in response to the heat, and other glass may change color in reaction to the chemical composition of other pieces of glass it touches. This is anticipated in the design process and creates added interest to the design.
3. The fused piece is cooled very slowly. (The number of hours required depends on the thickness of the glass, as well as other factors.) This is a crucial step. The cooling process must be carefully controlled to allow the annealing process to occur.
4. The cooled and now singular piece of glass is placed over a mold and heated again to soften the glass and allow it to “slump” into the mold. This gives the fused piece its depth and shape.
5. After cooling, the piece may be fired again to further adjust the shape and depth. Frequently, this involves reaching into the kiln to make adjustments, while the glass is at a high temperature and flowing into the mold. (See picture.)
6. Finally, some pieces are sandblasted to expose the various layers of color and provide a satin finish to enhance the design.
Glassware is easily cleaned with soap and water. It is not intended for microwave or oven use. Trays and bowls are ideal for serving salads and hor d’ouvers.