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Types of Glass Art to Decorate Your Home

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Glass art makes a great decorative piece. Most decorative glass art features multicolored glass that illuminates the room with rainbow lights. Virtually all types of handcrafted glass art are made from hot glass, warm glass, cold glass, and flame working techniques. The method of creating these beautiful art pieces is a long, arduous process.

If you are a fan of glass art and you’ve always wondered how these stunning decorative pieces are made, continue reading below:

Hot Glass

Glass art made from hot glass involves shaping a ball of molten glass. The molten glass has a temperature of 2000°. At this temperature, the glass is malleable. It can be sculpted and molded by manipulating the blob of glass or hand blowing the molten material into shape. Glass sculptures, bowls, vases, goblets, and decorative ornaments are typically made from hot glass.

Apart from hand-blowing or manual manipulation, hot glass can be shaped using pre-made molds too. The molten material is ladled into the mold and the molds are pressed together, creating a glass art piece. This method is called glass casting.

Warm Glass

Unlike hot glass wherein the material is superheated in a furnace, warm glass involves heating the glass in a kiln or oven. The material is then shaped using a variety of methods, including slumping, fusing, or kiln casting.

Slumping involves heating a sheet of glass to a temperature between 1250° – 1400°. At this temperature, the sheet of glass is malleable enough that it bends or moves with gravity. Usually, the material is placed in a mold to create the desired shape. On the other hand, fused glass involves heating several pieces of glass to 1400° – 1600° degrees. Then, the softened glass is melted or “fused” together. Finally, kiln cast glass involves heating glass to a molten state and then laying it on a mold inside a kiln.

Cold Glass

This method involves working the glass material that is not hot. The cold glass technique is often applied in conjunction with either hot or warm glass technique. Engraving, polishing, grinding and etching the glass art are examples of cold glass technique.

With etching, the glass achieves a frosted appearance. The surface of the material is etched away to create a pattern. An acid can be used to etch the glass surface too. Usually, a thin layer of hydrofluoric acid is applied on the surface of the glass to create a matte finish with a hint of translucency.

Sandblasting is another technique that generates a beautiful etched glass surface. Aluminum oxide or silica carbide is used to sandblast glass using a sandblaster. The effects of these grits are similar to an acid etched glass.

Flame Working

Flame working is a glass art technique that involves using a handheld torch to soften and shape pre-made borosilicate glass tubes. This technique is used to create small figurines, beads, jewelry, and ornaments. Because the glass is tempered, borosilicate glass is able to withstand extreme temperatures without cracking. The end result of flame working is a beautiful piece of glass art that’s extremely durable.

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