What Is Cast Glass?

Choosing a Company for Your Cast or Slump Glass Project

Glass is an incredibly versatile product that can be cut, shaped, and manipulated in many ways to create any number of design elements. One of these techniques is known as glass casting. Learn what it is and how to choose the right company to help you create your next cast glass creation.

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What Is Glass Casting?

Glass casting is a technique wherein molten glass is poured into a mold. It’s then allowed to solidify, resulting in a solid piece of glass in the shape of whatever mold was used. This cast glass technique dates back as far as the Egyptian period.

Glass casting commonly occurs through kiln casting, but it can also be done by casting into metal, graphite, or sand molds. There are actually very few people in the architectural glass industry who utilize this method today.

What Is Glass Slumping?

If few people are casting glass in the traditional sense, what is everyone actually doing? They’re using a similar but distinct glass creation technique known as “glass slumping.” This is when the glass is heated in a kiln over a mold and shaped around that mold, which can be metal, ceramic, or sand.

This process uses extremely high temperatures to get the glass to an “orange state.” At this point, the glass is flexible (but not liquid). Working with the assistance of gravity, the glass “slumps” into the mold. Using this technique, large glass panels can be created with tempered glass, laminated glass, or annealed glass.

This slumping technique has become so much the norm today that it’s practically synonymous with cast glass. Here at Jockimo we technically create slumped glass, but we, like everyone in the industry, call it “cast glass” to avoid confusion with the end user.

Selecting a Company for Your Cast Glass Project

Here are four things to look for when selecting a company to complete your cast glass project:

1. Technical Expertise and Experience

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Glass casting and glass slumping require a lot of technical expertise. To ensure your final cast glass project is aesthetically beautiful and physically sound, opt for a company that has a lot of experience and technical know-how in this particular type of glass production.

2. Customization

Every cast glass project is unique. If you’re looking for something very specific and individualized, make sure the company you choose can accommodate custom projects and custom-designed molds.

Customization has two important elements to it:

One, you need a company with the logistical ability to complete your project. This includes the equipment to make the molds, as well as the staff with the skill, experience, and knowledge to execute the project correctly.

The second important piece to customization is the attitude of the company itself. Customization means building a project from scratch to your exact specifications. Therefore, you want the glass company to be a partner with you. They need to be fully open to your ideas and input about design and the actual deliverable—while offering guidance based on their technical expertise about what’s possible with the glass. (This includes tinting, texturing, custom designs, hole drilling, notching, and more.)

Not sure what can be done with glass? Check out these examples of custom cast glass designs.

Looking for textured glass rather than a specific design? Here are just some potential options for cast glass textures.

Not all glass projects need to be clear! See some potential glass color options here.

3. Accommodating of Budget

Whether it’s a cast glass project for a private residence or a commercial space, budget is almost always a consideration. Make sure you’re working with a company that is not only upfront about what a project will cost but is also willing to scale a project or to creatively adapt a project to suit your budget. The final project needs to work on every level: functionality, aesthetics, and price.

4. Full-Service Company

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Whenever you undertake a design project, it’s always best if you can minimize the number of companies you’re working with. This keeps cost down, and it makes the process smoother, quicker, and more streamlined. Look for a glass company that is capable of handling every aspect of your cast glass idea. This includes the earliest brainstorming phase to the actual creation of the glass piece to the final delivery.

Have questions about cast glass? Whether you just want more technical information about how it’s made or you’re actually ready to order a piece, reach out. We’ve been providing this kind of glass to the architectural community since 1998, and we’d love to lend our expertise to your next project!