the Process

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David Ruth and Glass Sculpture Studio specialize in casting, fusing and polishing of glass for sculpture and architecture. Over the years Ruth has manipulated glass in many ways, hot, warm and cold. In these pictures, his early casting of sheets of stained glass at Ruthglass, as small sheet glass casting operation started by Ruth in Santa Cruz, California in 1978, is shown, along with filling the large fusing kilns with cold bits of glass for fusing. Both the Zambon surface polishing and hand work with angle grinders is demonstrated, as well.

Most sculptures are made in a simple combination of processes. Glass is hot cast to make parts. These are relatively small pieces that are combined in molds in the large fusing kilns. These pieces are fired to a barely molten state to fuse the bits into a solid mass. Any color or images contained in the smaller bits is then visible, almost undistorted, in the larger, complete piece. The fusing, annealing and cooling process can take from a few days up to several weeks, depending on the thickness.

Polishing is done with diamond grinders, either flat or by hand. The size of the tool depends on the area to be ground and polished. The Zambon surface polisher is used for flat surfaces, like original plate glass.