When to use the lost wax kilncasting method, and when to consider other casting methods | Bullseye Glass Co. | Bullseye Glass Co

When to use the lost wax kilncasting method, and when to consider other casting methods

A glass sculpture made using the lost wax kilncasting method

The lost wax kilncasting method is highly useful for making detailed fully three-dimensional sculptural imagery.

Which kilncasting technique is right for your project?

Earlier this month, we released a new video lesson detailing the Lost Wax Kilncasting method.  If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s an amazing lesson that covers every step of the process from making the wax sculpture original to divesting the finished product.

The appeal of the lost wax kilncasting method is that it’s a very powerful technique that enables you to create all kinds of highly detailed three-dimensional imagery out of glass.  No question about it, it’s a technique that belongs in any serious kilncaster’s toolkit.

But depending on the project you’re making, other techniques may prove more practical.  So here’s a quick rundown of some other popular kilncasting techniques, a brief overview of what they are, and why you might consider using them.

An example of box casting by artist Ted Sawyer

Speak (2003) by Ted Sawyer is an example of box casting.

Box casting - Box casting is a method used to create reverse-relief glass imagery. It’s also a fairly simple technique that beginners can learn easily, and experienced casters should be able to use with a minimal failure rate. Box casting molds are also made of vermiculite board, which means they’ll often be reusable, making this method ideal for producing multiples of the same design. For more information, watch our Box Casting video lesson or read our Box Casting TipSheet.

Open Faced Kilncasting – Open faced kilncasting and box casting are similar methods in that they’re both used to create relief imagery by using a mold. The difference is the mold. Whereas in box casting, you may find yourself limited to the dimensions of your vermiculite box, open faced kilncasting allows you greater control over the size, shape and texture of the mold. For more information on this technique, watch our video lesson on Open Faced Kilncasting.

A day of the dead skull made using the pate de verre method

Our Day of the Dead Skull lesson is a fun and easy way to make yourself more comfortable with the pâte de verre technique.

Pâte de verre – Pâte de verre is a technique in which frit is mixed with a binder to form a paste. Pâte de verre means, literally, “paste of glass”. The paste is applied to a three-dimensional mold, then fired to create a piece is actually quite strong despite its delicate appearance. Additionally, because you’re using frit, the finished piece will have a uniquely rough texture. To see a step by step explanation of a simple pate de verre project, watch our video lesson Day of the Dead Skulls.

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