lost wax glass

Lost Wax/Cire Perdue
lost wax glassGlass from the
lost wax GlassGlass Encyclopedia

lost wax vase
above: detail from a
"lost wax" vase



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cire perdue (lost wax) glass
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Lost Wax Glass

Lost Wax (or Cire Perdue) Glass: A short explanation:

The "Lost Wax" technique of forming glass was used by the Romans over two thousand years ago, and is still used today by some glass artists. It is a method of making glass pieces with more intricate or elaborate shape than is normally possible with glass. The French name is "Cire Perdue", and the technique has been used for casting bronze statues as well as glass over many centuries.

When used in glassmaking, an original model for the glass item is first carved from wax (much easier to form complex detail as shown in the picture on the left, which is part of a vase by Rene Lalique). When complete the wax form is fitted into a frame and encased in a moulding compound such as wet clay or plaster. Rene Lalique used a mixture of plaster of paris, quartz, and water. When this casing has hardened, it is warmed so that the wax melts and can be poured out. A plaster mould has then been formed and this is either filled with molten glass (to produce a figurine or statue) or a gather of molten glass is blown into the plaster mould to form a vase.

In most cases the plaster mould has to be destroyed in order to release the "lost wax" item. Sometimes the artist succeeds in producing a design in wax which can be used to form a mould which will release its contents without needing to be destroyed. It is believed that Rene Lalique made some semi-permanent moulds for cire perdue models.

"Lost Wax" and Cast glass are techniques that have become popular with glass artists in recent years as they do not require the very high temperature furnaces needed for blown glass. See our page on Cast glass (click here) for more information.

If you would like to see more examples of "lost wax" glass, - click here to see if there are any for sale on ebay just now.
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References and sources:

Here are some books that you may find helpful. Click on any book cover or title to read more about a particular book.

Rene Lalique Lalique by Lalique Collecting Lalique Lalique by Hodge Lalique book, jewels Essential Lalique Lalique catalogue book Warman's Lalique book Lalique book






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INFORMATION about Bagley Glass!
Angela's book on Bagley Glass from Knottingley in Yorkshire sold out its first two editions quite quickly.

The 3rd Edition is now available and has received a rave response - more information, more and better pictures, new items identified as Bagley for the first time, a helpful index, and more compehensive coverage; - so much so that there is no need for a supporting CD, which brings the price lower! A truly comprehensive guide to help you identify Bagley Glass.
Click on picture for more details.





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