Thursday, April 21, 2011
Do you like this Post?
What is Glass Art?
Studio glass or glass sculpture is the modern use of glass as an artistic medium to produce sculptures or two-dimensional artworks . This includes the creation of stained glass, working glass in a torch flame (lampworking), glass beadmaking, glass casting, glass fusing, and creating artistic shapes through glass blowing.
Glass art is usually understood to refer to large modern works of art, typically one-off creations, which are substantially or wholly made in glass. It is distinguished from "art glass" and "studio glass" which are typically smaller and often made in editions of many identical pieces, but the boundaries are not clear-cut. Glass art is more likely to be exhibited in public spaces rather than in homes.
History of Glass Art:
Rudimentary forms of glass blowing techniques have been recorded as early as 50BC. It was an art well promoted by ancient Phoenicians and Romans when they established one of the most prolific glassblowing centers in Germany during the first century BC! Glass art has come a long way since, with flamboyant artists like Dale Chihuly creating extravagant pieces for hotels and galleries.
If you ask any skilled glass artist, they will tell you that the best pieces of work can only be created by hand blown glass. These skilled craftsmen create astounding works like glass flowers, glass decor and other unique creations. Perhaps the most artistic venture was that of Dale Chihuly, when he created the glass flower lobby for the Bellagio in Las Vegas and the popularity of glass flowers soared.
Unlike any other form of glass art, glass flowers have the ability to be used as centerpieces and home decor because of their shape and color, without making a room appear too formal. How you want to use glass art for your home or work place depends on your own style. Some people like using single stemmed flowers while others like custom installations such as the one in the Bellagio.
Glass art is not restricted to flowers only. An online search will tell you that glassblowers have developed innumerable pieces of art with glass because of its durability and other physical qualities. Pieces as remarkable as glass flowers or glass figurines can only be created by hand blown glass, they are expensive because of the amount of hard work that goes in making each piece but glassblowers are striving to create budget friendly pieces as well.
Before purchasing glass art, you must ensure that you are not getting furnace blown glass art instead of hand made. Furnace blown pieces are less expensive and less durable. They also lack the beauty of a hand created masterpiece. It is always advisable to buy directly from the artist's workshop.
There are various styles in creating Glass art . Some of the most prominent ones are :
Collectible Glass :
Depression Glass and Carnival Glass are two popular antique art glass styles that came into production during the 1920s. Both glasses are similar in appearance. Depression Glass, produced during the Great Depression, was an inexpensive glass formed into practical items, such as dishware and serving trays. Retailers frequently gave Depression Glass pieces to customers as a way to entice them to their stores or reward their patronage. Depression Glass is recognized by its variety of clear colors and iridescent sheen.
|Collectible glass art|
Blown glass has found its way into many homes, hotels and offices as a decorative table-top piece, ornaments, jewelry and many other ways. It is now a fast growing hobby, with innovations and updates making it easy for the workers and small-scale industries.
Materials like limestone, sand, etc are used to heat the raw materials inside the furnace, heating it up to more than 2000 Fahrenheit. Once the glass is formed and is in a molten state, a blowpipe is used to shape it. The blowpipes measure to a length of about five feet and the molten glass is placed at one end to be blown into shape from the other. The shapes may be blown to make a whole item or decorative pieces to be used to make patterns in bigger panels of glass.
"Blown glass" is glass that has been mouth-blown by artisans working with molten glass gathered on long-handled blowpipes. Glass blowing is a technique frequently used to create decorative vessels, vases, goblets, stemware and intricate paperweights
Glassblowing is a glassforming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble, or parison, with the aid of a blowpipe, or blow tube. A person who blows glass is called a glassblower, glassmith, or gaffer.
|Blown glass art|
The transformation of raw materials into glass takes place around 2400 °F (~1315 °C); the glass emits enough heat to appear almost white hot. The glass is then left to "fine out" (allowing the bubbles to rise out of the mass), and then the working temperature is reduced in the furnace to around 2000 °F (~1100 °C). At this stage, the glass appears to be a bright orange color. Though most glassblowing is done between 1600 and 1900 °F (~870 to ~1040 °C), "Soda-lime" glass remains somewhat plastic and workable as low as 1350 °F (~730 °C). Annealing is usually done between 700 and 900 °F (~370 to ~480 °C)
Glassblowing involves three furnaces. The first, which contains a crucible of molten glass, is simply referred to as "the furnace." The second is called the "glory hole", and is used to reheat a piece in between steps of working with it. The final furnace is called the "lehr" or "annealer", and is used to slowly cool the glass, over a period of a few hours to a few days, depending on the size of the pieces. This keeps the glass from cracking due to thermal stress. Historically, all three furnaces were contained in one, with a set of progressively cooler chambers for each of the three purposes. Many glassblowing studios in Mexico and South America still employ this method.
Torched Glass :
Torched glass, also called "flameworked" or "lampworked" glass, is created using oxygen and propane-powered torches, which are used to heat glass rods into molten masses. These masses are then wound around stainless steel rods called "mandrels" and shaped into beads or small sculptures. Popular glasses used in this process include reactive glass, which turns a variety of different colors in different levels of heat; borosilicate glass, which creates a marbled effect encased in clear glass; and "soft" glass, such as Moretti and Effetre, known for their low melting points and vibrant array of colors.
Lampworking can be done with many types of glass, but the most common are soda-lime glass, sometimes called "soft glass," and borosilicate glass, often called "hard glass." Leaded glass tubing was commonly used in the manufacture of neon signs, although its use has been fading due to environmental concerns and health risks.
Soft glass is sometimes useful because it melts at lower temperatures, however it does not react well to temperature changes like borosilicate glass does. Because soft glass expands a lot more than hard glass when heated, and contracts more when cooled, along with its brittle nature, during cooling or even while working it, soft glass is more prone to cracking due to thermal shock than borosilicate. If a piece cools too quickly in one spot, such as if cold water touches a thin piece of soft glass, that part would solidify immediately, and cause a crack. However, hard glass or borosilicate, would be more resilient. Borosilicate is just like regular glass, SiO2 , but it has a more flexible molecular structure from being doped with boron.
The colors of the glass must be selected for compatibility with each other, both chemically (more of a concern with soft glass than borosilicate) and in terms of coefficient of thermal expansion (COE) [CTE is also used for Coefficient of Thermal Expansion.] Glass with incompatible COE, mixed together, can create powerful stresses within a finished piece as it cools, cracking or violently shattering the piece. Major types of glass, e.g., borosilicate and soda-lime glass, are not compatible with each other. Chemically, some colors can react with each other when melted together. This may cause desirable effects in coloration, metallic sheen, or result in an aesthetically pleasing "web effect". It also can cause undesirable effects such as unattractive discoloration, bubbling, or devitrification.
Borosilicate glass is considered more forgiving to work with, as its lower COE makes it less apt to crack during flameworking than soda-lime glass. However, it has a narrower working temperature range than soda-lime glass, has fewer available colors, and is considerably more expensive. Also, its working range is at higher temperatures than soda-lime glass, requiring larger torches and the use of oxygen instead of air. In addition to producing a hotter flame, the use of pure oxygen allows more control over the flame's oxidizing or reducing properties, which is necessary because some coloring chemicals in borosilicate glass react with any remaining oxygen in the flame either to produce the desired final color or to discolor if extra oxygen is present.
|Torched glass art|
Simple process of making Torched glass art :
Lampwork glass beads and their colorful artistry have always fascinated people. Lampwork beaded jewelry has had a huge market in the 19th century and even today the appeal of the handmade lampwork glass beads is showing no signs of waning.
Over time, some changes have come over in the way these were made - previously spirit / oil lamps were used for making these beads but these days fuel torches are being used - but it still continues to be an intense labor based effort. The whole process is so skill-based that not many people eagerly get involved in it even though they have sufficient exposure and know how to make lampwork glass beads.
Beadmaking In The 19th Century
In the Venetian industry, huge quantities of lampwork glass beads were made for facilitating the African trade. The industrial process was mainly managed by the men, who were involved in creating the core from molten glass at furnace temperatures. Once the core was ready, the coloring and decorating part was handled by women.
Modern Way Of Making
These days, gas torch is being used for making the lampwork glass beads. A glass rod is heated in the flame; the resulting thread is spun around a metal rod covered in bead ware. After the formation of the base bead, other colors of glass can be added to the surface for the creation of various designs. This is the primary stage of the bead-making technique; later the bead can be further treated in a kiln to last you longer.
Modern bead making make use of single or duel fuel torches. The flameworking torches are usually "surface mix", where the oxygen and the fuel are mixed after coming out of the torch. This gives you a quieter tool and a flame that is less dirty. Unlike metalworking, flameworking keeps the torch fixed, with the bead and the glass moving in the flame.
Glass Types Used For Making Lampwork Glass Beads
- Dichroic Glass beads: For high-end art beads, this glass is excellent. The glass has a thin film of metal fused to its surface; this imparts the glass a metallic sheen that plays with two colors when viewed from different angles.
- Lead crystal: The high lead content of this glass makes it sparkle remarkably on one side and inherently fragile on the other side.
- Furnace Glass: This glass makes use of large decorated canes, enclosed in clear glass and finally taken out to create the beads with twisting as well as liner stripe patterns.
- Soda LIME: This Italian glass is the most renowned lampworking glass. The popular soda-lime glasses come from companies like Effetre.
Fused Glass :
Fused glass, or "kiln-formed" glass, is glass that is pieced together into artistic designs and placed into pre-formed molds that are kiln-fired. The glass fuses together during the firing process. Fusing is a popular technique for making decorative platters, elaborate display pieces and jewelry.
|Fused glass art|
Fused glass is a term used to describe glass that has been fired (heat-processed) in a kiln at a range of high temperatures from 593 °C (1,099 °F) to 816 °C (1,501 °F). There are 3 main distinctions for temperature application and the resulting effect on the glass.
Firing in the lower ranges of these temperatures 593–677 °C (1,099–1,251 °F) is called slumping. Firing in the middle ranges of these temperatures 677–732 °C (1,251–1,350 °F) is considered "tack fusing". Firing the glass at the higher spectrum of this range 732–816 °C (1,350–1,501 °F) is a "full fuse".
All of these techniques can be applied to one glass work in separate firings to add depth, relief and shape.
Fusing methods and techniques used :
Most contemporary fusing methods involve stacking, or layering thin sheets of glass, often using different colors to create patterns or simple images. The stack is then placed inside the kiln (which is almost always electric, but can be heated by gas or wood) and then heated through a series of ramps (rapid heating cycles) and soaks (holding the temperature at a specific point) until the separate pieces begin to bond together. The longer the kiln is held at the maximum temperature the more thoroughly the stack will fuse, eventually softening and rounding the edges of the original shape. Once the desired effect has been achieved at the maximum desired temperature, the kiln temperature will be brought down quickly through the temperature range of 815 °C (1,499 °F) to 573 °C (1,063 °F) in order to avoid devitrification. It is then allowed to cool slowly over a specified time, soaking at specified temperature ranges which are essential to the annealing process. This prevents uneven cooling and breakage and produces a strong finished product.
This cooling takes place normally for a period of 10–12 hours in 3 stages.
The first stage- the rapid cool period is meant to place the glass into the upper end of the annealing range 516 °C (961 °F). The second stage- the anneal soak at 516 °C (961 °F) is meant to equalize the temperature at the core and the surface of the glass at 516 °C (961 °F) relieving the stress between those areas. The last stage, once all areas have had time to reach a consistent temperature, is the final journey to room temperature. The kiln is slowly brought down over the course of 2 hours to 371 °C (700 °F), soaked for 2 hours at 371 °C (700 °F), down again to 260 °C (500 °F) which ends the firing schedule. The glass will remain in the unopened kiln until the pyrometer reads room temperature.
Note that these temperatures are not hard and fast rules. Depending on the kiln, the size of the project, the number of layers, the desired finished look, and even the brand of glass, ramp and soak temperatures and times may vary.
Making brief :
Glass consists mainly of silicon dioxide, which can be melted down to create artwork, home decor, glass pieces or instruments. Fusing glass together is surprisingly easy to learn; start by fusing different colors and sizes of glass pieces into an artwork design before you attempt to make trickier glasswork such as pressed, blown, molded or poured. You need a kiln in which to melt the glass at around 1300 degrees F or more. These can be hard to obtain and very expensive.
Stained Glass Art:
Stained glass has been used to create beautiful works of art for centuries. Over the centuries, stained glass techniques have evolved, and stained glass has been used for many different applications. From religious images to Tiffany lamps, the history of stained glass art is long and filled with beauty.
Stained glass is created by adding metallic salts during the creation of ordinary glass. Stained glass can also be made by painting glass with translucent paint and then firing the glass in a kiln to set the color.
|Stained glass art|
Instructions to create basic Stained glass art :
Things you will need to keep ready : glass,glass cutter,cutting oil,copper foil,flux,flux brush,solder (60/40 or 50/50),soldering iron,rheostat,pliers
- Purchase the tools and supplies necessary and establish a clean and clutter free area to work in. See the "Things You'll Need' section of this eHow for a list of tools and supplies required.
- Mark and score the glass (slowly and evenly) with glass cutters. Snap the glass carefully from below with thumbs, or use pliers to snap and chip smaller areas.
- When all cuts are complete, remove rough edges of the glass with a grinding wheel. Proceed with wrapping all edges of each piece with the copper foil.
- Align pieces and join with soldering iron and solder. For complex assemblies, tack in place with solder to hold until finish soldering can be done.
- Apply finish solder to all joints and when solder is dry, wash thoroughly with hot water and laundry detergent. Enjoy!
Some of the most significant stained glass art found in Churches . This is mostly done by makeing curves on Stained glass art . When you look at the absolutely magnificent stained glass windows found in many cathedrals, you are often inspired to learn this beautiful yet challenging art. It takes a lot of time to master the art of cutting stained glass, and the best way to do it is start with simple shapes. Once you have mastered the skill of cutting straight lines, you need to progress to cutting curved lines.
Selling Stained Glass Art:
Creating and selling stained glass art, whether sun catchers, window pieces or decorative items, can be daunting. It can also be immensely rewarding, particularly if your business takes off and you are able to base your sole income on sales and commissions.
This post was written by: K.kaviraj
K.Kaviraj is a professional Blogger, Web Designer Web Developer and Entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter