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Inside the secret world of glass

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Working with glass can be a scary concept until you’ve been taught the correct technique. There are many different methods so we spoke to professional studio BeachGecko Glass to explore one avenue of this unique world called kiln forming.

BeachGecko Glass is located in Joondalup and is run by Laurie Fossier-Mills. They offer a range of techniques to learn and try, including ‘kiln forming’ which is a relaxing method. Since opening in 2006 BeachGecko Glass have been creating blown glass vases and paperweights, which are available in “Aspects” of Kings Park, as well as at “Found” at Fremantle Arts Centre, and offering various kiln forming workshops.

What is kiln forming?

Kiln forming is the process of shaping glass in a kiln with heat and gravity. As it is heated in the kiln, it becomes soft and as the temperature increases, it becomes more liquid. The basic idea is to “score” the 3mm thick glass with cutters, and create a mosaic design out of various colour combinations. A second layer of clear 3mm glass is placed on top of your design and the piece is fused into one piece.

In a second kiln firing, the piece is then “slumped” into a mold which gives it the shape of a dish or a bowl – perfect for decorating your home and showing off at the same time. The exciting thing about kiln forming is everyone starts with the same choices, but the final product is unique to each person!

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Kiln carving

Kiln carving is a simple and easy way to create fused glass patterns. In this workshop there is no glass cutting which can be quite appealing for a first-timer. There’s a selection of 6mm thick pre-fired blank to choose from, and you then create your own designs using a variety of fibre paper – you’ll be using the concept of negative space to create an intricate design which has some exciting results. The 6mm pre-fired blank will be fired over your design and viola!

 Our workshops

Workshops are offered throughout the year on all of these techniques. Groups are kept to small numbers to ensure you get the most from your session. The introductory workshops such as the Mini Fuser, the Pendant Project and Kiln Carving, are 2.5 hours in duration. We also offer more advanced workshops which require 2-3 days and usually are a max of 2-4 participants.

Next workshop:

Kiln Carving: 12th August from 10.00am to 12.30pm. $125 per person.

Find out more:

Facebook: @Beachgeckoglass

Website: http://beachgeckoglass.com

Email: laurie@beachgeckoglass.com.