The Cost of Art Glass
There’s no two ways about it, art glass is expensive. Some glass colours are more expensive that others due to the different metal oxides added. Pink is extremely expensive as it has gold in it. After a recent glass shopping experience, I had a bit of a shock when I saw a 51cm x 44cm piece of deep pink cost over $170. I use pink fairly sparingly because of the cost, mainly using it for petals or accents. Any scrap pieces are made into dots then used as design elements.
For fusing, I use Bullseye glass. It’s taken awhile but I’ve built up a good colour palette and there are certain colours I like to use. As this glass is made in the USA (no coloured glass is made in Australia), I also face the added cost of bringing the glass into Australia and our ever fluctuating exchange rate.
As well as purchasing glass, other expenses need to be taken into consideration. A kiln is vital for working with warm glass. Kilns can cost a lot of money for the initial purchase. With my particular kiln, I needed an electrician to fit in a special power point. Plus there is the cost of running a kiln. Then you also need tools such as a glass cutter, circle cutter, groziers, a grinder etc.
Cutting glass can be labour intensive. This beautiful featured plate (containing my expensive deep pink glass) involved a lot of time spent cutting and cleaning glass. On top of a base layer of clear glass, I placed 31 individual pieces of pink, lilac, french vanilla and clear pieces. Once they were laid to my satisfaction, I decorated each piece with either dots or stringer (thin spaghetti like pieces of glass). All this took significant time. The piece then went into my kiln to be fused overnight into one piece. Once fused, the piece was washed and then returned to my kiln to be slumped overnight into a mold.
Next time you’re looking at a handmade glass creation, please take a moment to consider the cost of the glass, the equipment required and the time taken to make a unique piece. It’s money well spent.