Sand Casting Story

How it is done

Take one willing glass blower with a full furnace of glass. Prepare a stainless steel box, some sand, glass powders and wires. Add a pinch of ideas, a glass fairy or two, a lot of patience and the ability to be surprised, with the flexibility of character to say a disaster is actually a wonderful success!

In this example I have prepared in advance a mix of special sand and Bentonite to make it sticky, sculpted the face which was then gently pre-fired to set it hard.

A mould is made using forms to press into the sand to create the texture and the pre-fired face added. A resist is sieved on top (in this case the black graphite powder). The molten honey coloured glass (@1100 C) is then poured slowly into the mould in layers, allowing me to add metals, other powders and/or colours in between. The whole box, with the sand and hot glass, is then put into a kiln for many days to cool down slowly.

The piece can then cleaned of any sand, sides can be cut or polished and in this example, the sand face removed leaving the hollow image.

But you never know how it will turn out: The glass undergoes alchemic, magical processes and the results are amazing, each piece is unique and can never be repeated exactly the same again.