Hello all workers of glass crafts and arts.
I want to present you the results of 6 years experience with my authoring technology. This makes it possible to make by hand, without expensive industrial equipment, in a small studio, with little cost to the ingredients to make ceramic molds for large amounts of glass sculptures. The process does not take long, for example, a complex shape component parts 4-5 I usually can finish within 2,5-3 weeks. The finished ceramic molds can be used in a glass factory or studio 5-7 thousand cycles. Repairing the damaged mold is very simple, 1-2 hours max. Speaking precisely, the ceramic mold can be used an unlimited number of cycles, but after about 1000 may need a simple repair/checkup. For your glass blowing sculpture, glass blower does not require a very high skill level - items always work, surface is very smooth, clean and clear. All the fine details of the sculptures have a distinct relief and accurately replicate the geometry of the model. The quality of the glass product with a ceramic mold using identical metal make it even better. The advantages of this technology - ceramics inexpensive, quick process, hand-made and the process requires the participation of only one person. Weighing less than metal, you can use for an unlimited number of cycles, a simple repair, excellent quality of products - I hope I have not forgotten anything. It is important that you have full control of the whole process of creation and is definitely similar to the original. Realistic sculptures have such an unusual, beautiful, eternal material such as glass and is also more affordable in greater number. Such convenient creativity is not the artists of many arts.
What ingredients do we need - graphite powder, silica sand, wooden boards for valves, hinges, clay, gypsum, bonding and separating agents. All this can be bought in stores of building materials totalling less than $ 60 US for a single ceramic mold.
Tools and equipment - plaster spatulas, hacksaw, screwdriver, drill, screws and a kitchen oven chamber temperature of 270 C. I must say that now I use a professional manual air dryer with a working temperature of 300-500 degrees Celsius or a hand gas burner instead of a kitchen oven and the result is much better.
Now you need to prepare a model of the future glass sculpture. For example, look at the process of making blown glass sculpture "Seated lion" height of 48 cm. It will be a cover for floor or table lamp. The model must be plaster and must meet several requirements - the size and weight of the future glass sculpture should correspond to physiological capabilities of the glassblower. If you are a sculptor, try to achieve the maximum expression of the model of the future minimum number of pieces of ceramic molds required for replication. All these parts are in the process of the blowing glass sculpture and will have to move very quickly to each other and smaller pieces, thus the more control you will have. For example, the sculpture - compiling on "The head of David" complex, made with ceramic mold 5 parts, but "languor" sculpture only 2 parts.
Also remember that the basis, initially blown glass sculpture has a plastic ball of hot glass. That is, the allowable relief also has a limitation - for example, the splayed fingers of the hand or the ear of the technique of glass blowing do not work, however with the creation of the sculpture, that obstacle can be bypassed or done in a different style - that is sculptural craft.
Even these limits - the maximum size of a glass sculpture and the need to adhere to a particular geometry allow you to do this with close similarity with the original.
When the plaster model is ready, you can start making ceramic mold. The process itself is very similar to doing the usual plaster mold. First you need to draw a line on the model, which will be the boundaries of the mold. When you look directly at one of the parts, you need to see a delineated border, and the entire surface of this part. It is necessary that this part of the mold has left its mark without any problems. Then you need to isolate that part of the border thick plaster walls of the mold height - just 4 centimeters, this is necessary to make the guide slots for the proper fit of the other part. The entire surface of this part of the border including plaster cover separating agents.
Now prepar ceramic mixture - powder graphite, quartz sand, and a binding agent. Covers the surface of the ceramic layer of the mixture, dried in the chamber of the kitchen oven at a temperature of 270 C and hardness, this layer becomes thin. Repeat until you get the desired wall thickness of the ceramic mold 4 centimeters usually 10-15 times. Once this part of the mold is ready, it is necessary to destroy this border and gypsum to make it the same as the next part of the ceramic mold. Repeat the process consistently to all parts of the mold until the entire surface of the plaster model is covered with ceramics, in addition to the location where it has to blown glass sculpture. Now at this point you need to drive a wooden wedge to break the plaster model and disconnect all of the ceramic mold. Photos The detached pieces of ceramic molds for glass sculpture "Seated lion".
The process of blowing glass sculpture is very dynamic, typically 4-5 minutes per item. This is due tothe state of the molten plastic glass. The Glass Blower makes the right size glass bowl, while the glass cools and acquires a certain plasticity to no longer run, but nevertheless it should have a clear imprint of the inner relief ceramic mold. Then use a plastic glass blower, changing its geometry hot ball into the open mold and you have to very quickly shut it. When hot blown glass, in contact with the inner surface of the mold that gives its temperature and crystallized. The temperature quickly drops from 900 C to 600 C, and thus a need to open a mold to quickly remove the finished product - hypothermia is also unacceptable. For these manipulations you would need a hinge relative to each other to connect all parts of the ceramic mold. Also for better reliability ceramic molds need to strengthen every part of wooden planks, they set the hinges and handles. Ceramic mold is ready for use.
In the process of blowing your glass sculptures, they need to periodically cover the inner surface of the ceramic mold with vegetable oil - it smells good, it seems like you are baking pancakes. Touching hot glass, oil burning, giving the gas layer and a clean, transparent surface of the glass sculpture.
Now I want to say more about the possibilities that this technology provides. Imagine a statue of "David" by Michelangelo, made clear, transparent, sparkling glass life - size height of 2 meters! It seems impossible ...
But consider this problem in detail. As I said, the size of the glass sculpture is limited to the weight of hot glass, how much can the glassblower keep up with, but, if you have a few sculptural pieces that in the preparation gives a single array, the total size of such a composite sculpture is virtually unlimited. To compile in a single array , there should be invisible ultraviolet curing transparent adhesive (UV glue). This gives a solid, invisible seam provided an exact match of all parts of the sculpture. As I said, the ceramic molds have a very high repeat accuracy geometry model and provide this opportunity.
That is the simplicity and short time of making ceramic molds and allow for a reasonable time to do even a glass sculpture of 2 meters high. This would make 6 or more ceramic molds. Recognizable sculptures of identical proportions of a life size human being.
To test this hypothesis, for a start I made a glass figurine - lamp "Nivea" of the two components using UV glue height of 100 cm.. Sculpture has turned strong, and looks like a single array glass. I did it from a graphic sketch of mounting the podium to one month. For example, my biggest size glass statue lamp "Naiad" already consists of three components using UV glue. The total height of the sculpture – 140 cm.. I did it from a graphic sketch to the installation on the wall about two months. Within these sculptures I installed lighting. For one day (6 hours) in the glass factory brigade 2 glassblower we made 50 components, ie as many as 15 statues "Naiad."
Now I'm sure to make, for example, a life-size statue of a panther stalking its prey, would require transparent black glass ceramic molds and would need 7-8 - four for the panther paw, another three or four for the head and body. This will require approximately 4-5 months to make ceramic molds and $ 400 - 500 US cost. In one working day at the glass factory we can make 5-6 sparkling, magnificent statues. Panthers, transparent, a clean black glass and life like.
Also, if you pour clear plastic such as acrylic into a large sculpture, when it will be hard, it will give the impression of a real single array of glass and give it even greater strength.
So, in 2008 I began to make to order two large glass statues of a life size - dancing a man and a woman. The customer is a jeweler, he wanted to make maximum use of precious stones and gold in this sculpture. These statues should be a podium, a mannequin for jewelry. In the hair of these statues there should be diamonds like sweat, in the torn breast there is a glass purple heart with rubies like drops of blood, and golden spines. Sculptural composition was called, it seems, "Dance of Love." Each statue should be from 12-14 parts and after installation it should be a stable and strong construction. The photo shows the main parts of the sculpture. When I was ready to make ceramic graphite molds, the customer had a misfortune and the work had to be stopped.
Featured glass - is its transparency, a variety of palettes and noble beauty. After all, the glass can be quite like any precious minerals - diamond, ruby, emerald, amethyst and opal. For example, I dream about the possibility of ever making a large glass statue of Elvis Prestley or Michael J.
I therefore hope that the technology of hand-made ceramic molds to give more sculptural use of this magnificent material. This process is quite challenging to explain the text, but I hope that dealt with this.
I must say that now I have to stop all projects of blown glass because of economic problems that do not depend on me. I think it will be a long time. Therefore, if someone wants to use or is interested in my professional knowledge, experience and skills, I will be glad to apply it to you in any forms.
I like this technology because it minimizes dependence on many circumstances - you do not need to order metal molds at the factory (for a lot of money and for a long time) - no, you make mold for sculpture of any complexity in the garage or even at home, cheaply, quickly and reliably. Blowing glass into a mold is one of the simplest and fastest processes of glass molding - this does not require high qualification - the whole process of creativity is already finished by you in the quiet of your workshop, at home. Near the glass melting furnace, only the process of replicating your creation takes place. You blow a glass or someone else does it - it does not matter - I repeat that even a beginner can cope with this work. An experienced master does this job only faster.
This method and its potential, maybe just a little as I think, can be compared with the invention of American glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, who first came up with connecting pieces of stained glass with soldering instead of the traditional lead frame. It is cheap, beautiful, fast and reliable. How many glass artists got independence from stained glass factories and their cumbersome and expensive equipment to create luxurious stained-glass windows in their home, in their workshop! The art of stained glass had a rapid development, many artisans had good business with minimal costs.
For example, in the US (info from the Internet), renting a work site in a glass studio is $ 50 per hour, hiring a single artisan of a glass blower is still the same. You yourself make a mold ($ 50-70), you yourself are the head of the process, so all your costs are for one work shift (8 hours of work) about $ 1000. For one work day you will make 90 - 110 single glass sculptures. If people like your sculptures, and they will pay for it at least $ 50 apiece, then your income is $ 5000 vs. $ 1000 costs for one day of work in the studio. Sure, much depends on your talent as a sculptor, but the income can be much more. Approximately such a proportion of the price (1/5) was in Russia in good times. Examples of my usual use of this technology are glass lampshades for Bolshoi Theater, Moscow (90 and 80 pieces).
Unfortunately, now in the country for people, art glass has become completely irrelevant because of the weak economic situation. I wonder how things are in other countries.
Strange, but two years ago I published this article and for all this time did not have a single question, comment or response. Although on this excellent site there are wonderful artists and it takes a very respected and well visible high level on the Internet (many thanks to site administrators).
I want to tell a little about my work the wall lamp "the head of the wicked wolf."
The size of this sculpture is a little more life-size. For this I made five ceramic graphite molds - neck, muzzle with upper jaw, lower jaw, two ears - left and right. All parts of the sculpture are made separately, then glued and sand-blasted. Then it is attached to flat glass and oak shield, pasted with glass crumb, inside the LED lighting. Three sets of sculptures I did with an assistant in a glass studio in less than 1.5 hours of work. That is, your costs for making molds and glass sculptures for example in the US would have been presumably - (the ingredients of molds are $ 60) + (studio rent - 75 $) + (Assistant salary - $ 75) = $ 210: 3 sets of sculptures = $ 70 = 1 set of glass sculpture. These are pieces of sculpture,
ready for gluing together. The finished glass sculpture is a wall lamp.