The Modern Glass Craft of Slumping
Working with glass has gained in popularity lately. As recycling becomes more popular, pieces of glass are being incorporated into the world of crafts. These glass pieces come in many different colors and shapes. Many people have turned to the craft of glass slumping. They can take a piece of glass, generally a bottle, and create an entirely new work with a bit of heat and knowledge. It is an entryway into the world of working with glass without learning how to make glass from scratch.
When working with glass in this manner, it is important to understand the basics of how glass is made. It is a non-crystalline form of ceramic. This is the reason heat will make a piece of glass melt and slump rather than breaking. Ceramics treated the same way will break or explode and will not form any other shape. The beauty of learning a glass craft is the ability to make a new object from an old one without adding or subtracting any other materials.
Many crafters that are new to this area of glass formation choose to use electric glass kilns. Modern glass kilns come in various sizes and use the same electric outlets as other appliances. It is best to keep them isolated because of the amount of heat generated, but they are the safest type of kiln to use. Newer models have their heating elements in the top of the kiln. This makes them perfect for creating slumped glass, especially when a form is used.
Using a form while slumping glass is a basic skill that requires the crafter to understand how glass melts. Heat is applied, and the piece of glass will soften. It will not completely melt unless a much higher temperature is reached and it becomes molten. This is much more heat than most electric kilns generate and there is very little chance a modern glass kiln will produce molten glass. Because the glass softens, it will eventually flow into the shape of the form it rests atop. Forms are made in various designs to create unique shapes in the glass. Modern crafters can choose the forms they like best and use them repeatedly with different colors and sizes of old glass pieces.