The Path to Cast Glass

In the early days of working for Lee, I had anywhere from 5 to 10 other jobs.  Being a ski bum in Aspen does not come cheap.  I was waiting tables, babysitting, gardening, consulting at Habitat Glass Gallery, and working for Aspen Ski Company to name a few.  Until one day, Lee was fed up with watching me exhaust myself and gave me a full time position in the studio. 

This was a big change for me.  Instead of being scheduled by other people every week, I was now in charge of my own time and commitments.  The most difficult part was learning how to be disciplined about getting to work and getting my work done.  Lee always had ideas and projects happening, so there was plenty for me to do.

It was around this time we met a bronze caster who turned us on to a resin-bonded sand casting technique.  Lee was absolutely fascinated with this process.  Sand bonded with resin sets up like sandstone.  It is strong enough to hold heat, but soft enough to carve into the sand mold.  He immediately wanted to cast glass into this material.  We used the formula the bronze caster gave us.  When we cast the molten glass (2350F) onto the sand mold, the final product had black gaseous bubbles all throughout.  This did not work. So we decreased a bit of “this”, increased a bit of “that” and try, tried again until we were casting clear glass into beautifully carved sand molds. This process put us on our path to making beautiful, one of a kind, works of art.