handmade glass pipes - Applying a hand-crafted Glass Sink within the Rest room - Combining Art & Function
handmade glass pipes
This article was created to answer some of the more common questions such as "What is a home made sink?" "Are they expensive?" "What are the differences in the glass sinks I see in the showrooms and online?" "Are they durable?"
Types of Glass Sinks
To better understand the three main categories of glass vessel sinks, it helps to understand the three main types of glassmaking:
Cold Glass -- Working with glass at room temperature. Examples are mosaic glass, stained glass, glass carving and etching.
Warm Glass -- The process of fusing, slumping or other kiln forming techniques at temperatures between 1100 and 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hot Glass-- The process of blowing glass utilizing a furnace that melts the glass at 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the glass is gathered on the end of a pipe, the artist forms the hot glass applying a "Glory Hole" (an oven that maintains a temperature of around 1200 degrees Fahrenheit). The resulting work is then slowly cooled in an annealing oven.
With the above in mind, there are three main categories of artisan crafted glass sinks you will find at Glass Artists Gallery:
Fused & Slumped -- Glass fusing is the process of joining together pieces of glass. When the right kind of glass is heated and then cooled properly, the resulting fused glass piece will be solid and unbroken. Using fusing techniques, the artist creates patterns and designs in color. The resulting sheet of fused glass is then slumped into the vessel shape. In the slumping process the glass is laid into, or on top of a mold and heated just to the point where it "Slumps" to fit the form of the mold. Once the glass reaches the desired form it must be cooled quickly enough to stop the movement that will result in cracking. Although this might sound simple, the resulting sinks can be quite intricate in their design and require hours of painstaking labor.
Blown Glass -- Hand blown glass sinks are created through a much different process. This "hot glass" process allows an artist to create myriad different styles, colors, shapes and sizes that are always unique. Layers of glass are "gathered" onto the end of a "rod" or "pipe" and formed, blown and worked into a vessel shape. Color is applied in many different forms at the beginning of the process. Once finished, the piece is "annealed" for a minimum of 48 hours for maximum durability. Due to variations inside the glass blowing process, every sink will be unique.
Mosaic Glass -- Pieces of hand-cut colored art glass are adhered to the inside surface of a 1/2" thick annealed glass bowl. Annealing is a process of bending the glass at extremely high temperatures to assure durability of use while in the most extreme temperature conditions. The sink is then grouted with a specially mixed blend of sand and tinted cement, then sealed and finished with a protective clear polymer coating to create a smooth surface which is colorful, sturdy, easy to care for and a breathtaking focal point for any rest room.
Handmade or Production?
As you can see from the types of glass sinks that are available, you have many different choices for incorporating a stunning centerpiece during the bath.