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Techniques

Over the last 16 years Laurel has been engaged by the arts on a number of facets and has carried this commitment forward in how the studio is designed to accommodate many techniques.  The use of mixed media, predominantly glass and steel, began early in Laurel’s exploration of sculpture as a medium.  Having been the daughter of an accomplished multi media producer/film maker, she also incorporates the use of computer technology such as cad design for water-jet and laser cutting.  These techniques along with other large-scale production methods assist to stream line production, creative options, and custom design.

Off-Hand Glassblowing

The art of off-hand glassblowing originated in Roman times and has extended into present day contemporary art glass production.  Utilizing a high efficiency 400lb moly electric furnace, gas powered glory holes for reheating the glass, kilns for annealing of formed glass, and many historic and present day hand tools for shaping, sculpting, and blowing.

At Glassometry Studios we create a variety of functional wares and sculptural art glass utilizing hot glass applications.  This process involves maintaining a supply of liquid glass in what is called a glass furnace (mentioned above).  The glass is then gathered onto stainless pipes, color is added, the glass is reheated in a forge like piece of equipment called a glory hole, and is then blown and shaped.  This glass is then stored while hot in a kiln overnight and brought down to room temperature slowly in order to anneal (relieve the stress) the glass.  Glassometry Studios is frequently in production during open hours so glass blowing demonstrations may be seen on a relatively frequent basis.

Kiln-Forming

The process of kiln-forming encompasses a number of glass techniques including texturing, slumping, fusing, and casting.  Each delivers a different result and is based on the state of the glass at a variety of melting temperatures.  At Glassometry Studios we have several kilns for our kiln-forming use.  Our largest kiln is 8ft by 14 ft by 2ft and allows us to produce large scale architectural/sculptural glass such as cast glass counter tops or almost life size figurative sculpture.

Slumping is what glass tends to do first when the temperature is rising.  The glass will be formed flat, then placed over a custom designed or purchased mold, which could be for a bowl, sink, or sculptural form.  As the temperature rises, the glass begins to sag and will eventually come to touch the mold form placed beneath it.  Slumping is a wonderful way to get 3-D forms out of flat parts.

Fusing is when what it sounds like, when two pieces of glass fuse together.  This process happens between the temperatures for slumping and casting.  (Casting requires a more viscous form of glass).  Fusing simply happens once the pieces of glass loaded into the mold in the kiln have reached a temperature where they become tacky and begin to stick together.  Fusing can yield diverse aesthetics from slightly melted texture to smooth fully fused slabs of custom designed glass.

Glass casting utilizes an original model, which is then translated into a high temperature mold in which the glass is placed hot or cold, then melted into the detail.  Several examples of cast glass can be seen on this website as well as in the Gallery.

Metal Fabrication

At Glassometry Studios our fabrication area revolves around sculptural metal forming and basic fabrication.  Utilizing welders, torches, plasma cutters, a number of electric, pneumatic, and manual hand tools.  We are working toward having a forge for more intricate iron working and styles.  We frequently utilized CAD programming for laser cutting, and follow up our fabrication with powder-coated finishes for durability or color possibilities.   We have a 2 ton jib crane in the metal shop for producing large scale sculpture.  There are many examples at the studio as well as on our website of our metal work.  We are happy to design almost anything.

Model and Mold Making

Seeing that Laurel (the owner) has her degree in sculpture, the studio’s focus is truly sculpture design and fabrication.  With a love for the figure and hand sculpted style, Laurel is always working to fine tune her sculpting skills from the figure to architectural forms.  Clay, foam, wood, metal, wax, and many other materials are used in the production of models whether it be for a custom slumped sky light or for a figurative sculpture.  Depending on whether the end result is to slump or cast a form, many aspects must be taken into consideration in the development of a model.

The process of mold making utilizes still another set of skills and materials depending on the form and final process incorporated for production.  Mold making is necessary for lost wax casting of bronze and glass.  While we might also design our own bowl or sink molds, slump molds, etc for custom projects.

 

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