Carving Float Glass to Create Texture
In an earlier article we talked about using recycled textured glass in artwork. There are also other ways to get a texture in your artwork. Carving the raw glass with a variety of diamond bits is an effective way to get a variety of texture.
These pieces were all carved using raw 3/8″ stock (broken table tops) and then slumped very slowly to 1385 degrees F. The slumping firing also fire polished the carvings for a more finished look. The texture was dictated by the shape of the bits that I was using.
I use a flex-shaft tool, similar to a dremel, in conjunction with a water feed to carve. The photo below is the water feed set up, I use very small surgical tubing and use gravity to pull the water down the tube (you need a small syringe or dropper to suck the air out of the tube and get the drip started). The water drips down the tube and I can position it just above where I am carving. The second tube, to the right, is doing the same exact thing, but using gravity to pull the water from the tray into a waste bucket. Even further off to the right is the GFI where I plug in the flex-shaft. If you are using electricity and water, you should also use a GFI.
This piece is 3/8″ thick recycled float glass, carved with a disc shaped bit:
This piece is also 3/8″ thick recycled float, two different bits were used to make this texture:
This one is one of my own personal favorites. This was carved with a drop shaped bit:
This piece also used two bits for texture:
This piece is 3/8″ thick recycled table top. The bit used for carving this one is a thin disk:
And, finally, another recycled table top piece with a carved herringbone pattern (also known as tire tracks.) This one used a thin round end bit.