Andrew Westreich

Kiln worked glass is a way to explore light, heat, gravity, imagination and
time. Time is especially critical both in the art of fusing but also in the
design process. My studio overflows with assembled pieces and scattered
design elements, most of which get arranged and rearranged over the course
of weeks and months. Partly it is my nature to constantly play and change,
but it is also because I have come to respect glass as an unforgiving medium
- it is always a balance between what you imagine and what your skills allow
you to accomplish.

Fused and slumped glass is an old method of forming glass bowls, plates and
vases. Multiple layers of art glass are heated in a special glass kiln to
temperatures of 1450 to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 45 minutes. At
these temperatures, the separate pieces of glass fuse into a single sheet or
plate of glass. The fused plate is then slowly lowered through the
annealing temperature range to remove stress inherent in cooled materials.
Depending upon the design, more glass can be added and the plate is again
fused and annealed. The cooled, fused plate is then cut to the shape of the
mold and again heated to smooth or “fire polish” the edges and top. A
single heating and cooling cycle can take from 10 to 24 hours.

My interest in art goes back to my teenage years when my older brother got
me to play hooky from school to go into New York City to see a Matisse
exhibit. Galleries, art centers, art fairs and museums have been my escape
ever since. I began working with kilnworked glass around 1999.

My Website is kilnworkedglass.com