Glass casting is the process in which glass objects are created by directing molten glass into a mould to solidify. This ancient technique has many modern variations such as fusing and kiln-casting, or casting into sand, graphite, and metal moulds.
Direct Casting / Hot Casting
Pouring fully molten glass into a mould, usually from a furnace.
Melting glass billet into a kiln-washed mould and heating in a kiln until the glass flows and fills the mould. The glass is then soaked and annealed to cool over the course of days.
Lost Wax Casting
A pattern is made from wax and a refractory mould is formed around that wax. The wax is then melted out of the cavity allowing the cavity to be filled with molten glass which is annealed inside of a kiln.
Large slabs can be achieved with an even bubble pattern through the process of fusing stacked and fired sheets together in a kiln.
Kiln Casting Parameters
Largest kiln bed space: 88" width × 46" depth × 11" height
Tallest kiln bedspace: 48" width × 36" depth × 26" height
FUSED GLASS SLABS
Our Fused Glass slabs are limited in size by the size of art glass sheets we source. Clear sheets are typically 40"× 80"× 6mm (1/4").
The sheets are crystal clear; if color is desired, we offer a spray-lacquer option which is applied to the bottom surface. The lacquer can be opaque or transparent, and color options are also available.
Champagne bubbles natural occur throughout the sheets. Typically, there is a smooth or coarse refractory bottom surface texture which can be hand-ground and polished away as an additional service.
Standard textures on the bottom can be smooth paper, coarse paper, or polished. Sides must be polished due to the water-jet cutting process, and slabs are generally water-jet cut to size. With this process, we must allow for minimum 1/2" on all sides to be cut off. This will add at least 1" of material to any specs to accommodate.
Billets are a unit of glass in casting. They are approximately 3.5 lbs and 5 × 10 × 3/4" thick. Slabs are limited by the size of our kiln.
The appropriately weighed slabs are stacked within a mould and allowed to flow into one another. Because they are loaded to flow together, larger sizes can be cast than sheet glass.
West Supply can only offer billet-cast pieces up to 44" × 86". The same rule applies for water jetting dimensions. The piece must fit within a 46" × 88" slab with room to cut off 1" on either side. Thickness is generally limited more by process time than kiln dimension.
We offer a range of colors, as the billets are made in several shades, and spray-lacquer is also an option for custom color.
Bubble content can vary from very low to galactic.
Standard textures on the bottom can be smooth paper, coarse paper, or polished. Custom texture options are available, and plaster-silica moulds allow for a wider variety of texturing.
Sides must be polished due to the water jet process.
Billet Cast "Galaxy" Bubble Fields