Like so many things today when we see glass in its finished state, be it vase, sculpture, bowl, window, etc. we are often very removed from the process of how it is made. So I am trying to document as much of my making process as possible to give people an idea of exactly how my work is made.
I'll start with a work that is in the kiln as the moment and will be annealing or cooling down for around two months. This is a picture of me topping off the mould with molten glass.
I started by taking a silicone mood of some old used work boots that I picked up from an op-shop/thrift store. I then cast the boots in a plaster silica mould mixture as seen above. The silicone moulds are amazing a picking up and transferring detail from the original object to the cast.
As the boots were cast individually I then built walls around them and poured more of the mould mixture around them to join them together.
The mould walls were then cast as separate slabs as you can see above. They were then placed around the boots and locked into place against the side of the kiln.
Now the kiln is ready to turn on and bring up to casting temperature which is around 840-50 degrees C.
There is a few was to cast glass, one way is to put cold glass chunks into the mould and bring them up to around 840 degree C and let the glass flow into your mould. Another way is hot casting, which is done by gathering molten glass out of the furnace on a punty (a stainless steel rod) and dropping/cutting it into the mould.
Here is Gab, Drew and myself filling the mould. Casting in this way is definitely a group activity.
The mould is filled and ready to start the long and very slow process of annealing (cooling down). With glass it is very important that it cools evenly and because the glass is so thick it takes a long time for the heat from the centre to reach the same temperature as the outside, so you have to cool it very very very slowly… At the moment this kiln is even having trouble coming down 2 degrees an hour and as such it looks like it might take almost two months to get down to room temperature.