While I've been happily playing with glass beads in my studio, since I attended Glass Summer School, I've been wondering if it's possible for me to do any casting in there too?
I only have a baby kiln, which is perfect for my beads but could it deal with a higher temperatures and bigger pieces of glass? Only one way to find out!
So I bought myself some materials, and gave it a go. First I made a very simple design in clay, then made a mould with plaster. Then I let the plaster dry for ages.
Then I worked out how much glass I could need and smashed a blue bombay sapphire bottle that I'd liberated from someones glass recycling box and filled it up. It looked like something out of superman's ice cave!
Then I set the kiln to heat to it's very top temperature of over 1000 degrees and waited to see what would happen.
I love that my kiln has a small window, so when I went to check on it, I could see, first the glass slumping, then making massive bubbles before settling down.
It then took hours to cool down, it was actually the next day before I could take it out of the kiln.
It's not as smooth as I was hoping for - this might be becasue my kiln didn't get hot enough, or because I'm using a glass that I don't know the col of, but I still think it's pretty cool. It looks like ice.
I'd like to try it again with a different glass. I've got some offcuts of clear ballseye which would be a known entity, but I'm not sure I want to run my kiln that hot that often. Something to think on.
Also the edges were pretty uneven, so I'd want to be able to grind them down too.
So a positive experience, but not quite the finish I was thinking of. I still have some ideas I'd like to try, but I'm not sure my kiln is up to the task. Which means find someone with a bigger kiln which I could use or buy a bigger kiln....