How to Make Glass Art (Easy Guide for Beginners)

In the beginning, glass was a luxury material. Then it became a commodity. Now it is an everyday material that is affordable to most people, and it is used in hundreds of products from light bulbs to flat-screen TVs.

It is also a very popular medium for artists who create their own unique works of art using a variety of materials such as glass, ceramics, stone, and metal.

Different Types of Glass Art

In general, glass art refers to all individual works of art made largely or entirely from glass. 

Glass art can be divided into many types, and the differences between them mostly arise from the methods of manufacture. 

There are three different types of glass techniques: hot, warm and cold.

1) The work of ‘hot glass’ is born upon the melting of glass, which requires a temperature of about 2000 degrees.

2) By contrast, ‘warm glass’ works are simply produced by heating glass to manipulate its shape in a kiln or oven.

3). Glass can also be ‘cold worked’, which involves using tools or chemicals to change the surface.

As an example of a ‘hot’ technique, glass blowing is one of the oldest known and most traditional methods.

By blowing air into the liquid glass through a blow tube (or pipe), the glassblower produces a specific form which then slowly cools down and hardens.

From the 1st century BC, there is evidence of glass blowing in the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt, and on the outskirts of Western Asia, formerly known as Phoenicia.

The Romans quickly adopted it, spreading it throughout Europe and North Africa.

Egyptian glassblowers
Egyptian glassblowers from the 12th dynasty (approximately 2,200 BC)

In hot working, molten glass is poured into a mold and cooled. This technique is also used by artists who work with pâte de verre, a paste made of grit granules held together by gum.

A rich surface can be created on the surface of the glass by applying it to the interior of a mold.

hot working is glass casting
Art Noveau vase made by the ‘pâte de verre-technique’, 1925

As an example of a “warm” glass technique, slumping occurs at temperatures up to 1400 degrees. The glass begins to bend at this temperature.

It is possible to place them over a mold or let gravity carry them. A slightly higher temperature of 1600 degrees can also be used to fuse pieces of glass together.

It is actually an extremely common “cold” technique, which is why you are likely to hear of frosted glass.

It involves removing the surface of the glass using acid or sandblasting (hence why it’s known as etched glass).

Castings or molded pieces are often textured by combining cold and hot techniques.

The glass is first blown and then placed in an oven to shape it into the desired shape, combining hot and warm techniques.

How to Make Glass Art Step By Step:

Things You’ll Need

  • Glass
  • Tarp
  • Towel
  • Wooden backing board
  • Hammer
  • Epoxy

Step 1:

Find clear and colored glass items in local markets. If you have picture frames then you no longer need to collect.

Step 2:

Make a work space in your garage or on your property. Do not try to work in your home if there is broken glass around. Lay a tarp down to catch any loose fragments that may come loose during the shattering process.

Step 3:

Prepare the pieces of glass you want to break by placing a shop towel over them. Using a hammer, smack the glass against the counter.

how to make glass art
Source: ehow.com

If you use too much force, the piece may completely disintegrate and become useless.

Step 4:

Choose the pieces you think will add interest to the final product. To give them some visual interest, place them next to a wooden backing board.

Step 5:

Ensure the pieces are arranged on the backing board aesthetically pleasing. Place the pieces in different positions to see how different placements will affect the end result.

Step 6:

Each piece of glass should be coated with epoxy. Make sure there are no resin drips between the glass segments. Let the epoxy dry for several hours for it to completely set.

Tips:

Plastic is typically applied to one side of window glass to prevent it from shattering. Try cracking the entire pane if it is coated in epoxy on the untreated side.

It is best to let epoxy penetrate cracks before it is hardened. An art piece made from cracked glass will have more of an improvisational quality.

Warning:

While working with or cracking glass, wear eye protection and gloves. It is also a good idea to wear a sturdy apron to protect your clothes from glass fragments.

Shoes should not be worn back into the house as they may contain glass. After you finish creating the artwork, thoroughly clean the area.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you stick glass to canvas?

You can use any glue that is appropriate for the type of material you are using. If you are using a canvas, then a good option would be to use a spray adhesive or acrylic craft glue.

2. What are the different ways artists can work with glass?

There are many ways artists can work with glass. One of the most common is to use it as a medium for sculpture.

If you want to paint on glass, then you can use a process called fusing. This is where an artist will fuse two pieces of glass together and pour melted wax into the space between them.

The heat from the wax melts both pieces of glass together and creates a unique pattern on each piece that is seen when they are viewed from different angles.

Leave a Comment