What is Blowing & Casting Glass?
Most of our product collection consists of hand blown glass. Blowing glass involves blowing air into molten glass through a long metal pipe, creating a void within the glass. This technique is used to create hollow objects like vases, bowls and lighting. Several experienced glassblowers – each playing a different role – work in unison to craft each piece. It’s a beautiful process to watch, and the resulting pieces capture the movement and energy of their choreography.
Casting glass involves pouring molten glass into a mold, where it cools and solidifies over the course of days or weeks. This process is normally used to create solid objects that may have intricate details on the outside. Depending on the type of casting process used, a mold may be used multiple times to create a limited edition set, or destroyed after the first use in the case of a single-edition art piece. We are proud to feature a small collection of cast glass sculptures on our website.
To create products for the AEfolio collection, we partner with a glassblowing workshop that is one of the few in the world with expertise and equipment to support both blowing and casting processes for glass.
What kind of glass does AEfolio use?
There are lots of different types of glass and infinite ‘recipes’ for making glass! For example, the glass used for windows, wine bottles, lighting, and eyeglasses are all very different. The main ingredients in glass are silicon dioxide (like pure sand), soda and lime. Small amounts of other materials like metals and oxides are added to change the characteristics and color of the glass, affecting its aesthetics and functional properties.
At AEfolio, we consider each product in our collection a piece of art, so it’s important to use high-quality raw materials that enhance the clarity and color in the glass. Currently, the best raw materials for glassblowing come from the United States and the EU; we source from both regions to ensure that our materials meet rigorous certifications and purity standards. This enables our products to achieve crystal-like quality.
All of the handblown glass we offer is made with lead-free glass. The small collection of cast glass sculptures contains lead, which enhances the brilliance and clarity of the glass, as well as lowers the melting point to enable fine details in the cast piece. The lead is chemically and physically bound in the glass so there are no health issues in handling the glass.
Are the colors painted on the glass?
The colors you see in our products are inherent to the glass, and never painted on. The magic of color in glass is as much an art as it is a science: small amounts of minerals and oxides are added in varying amounts and proportions to affect the wavelengths of light – and thus the color – you see in the piece. Sometimes the colors even look different depending on the lighting source in the room. But, that’s why we love glass – it’s predictable in some ways but variable in others, and that leaves room for experimentation and discovery. It takes a lot of knowledge and testing (and trial and error) to develop beautiful and vibrant colors that are suitable for glassblowing, and a lot of skill to work with the ingredients (and very hot glass) to execute a color vision!
Why do products have a size variation?
Each piece will have some variation in size, color, and pattern that is inherent to handmade products. We feel that this unique character gives life to each piece of art that is truly one of a kind. Rest assured that the variation in aesthetic does not impact the overall function or quality of the piece; we take pride in ensuring that each piece meets our high standards before it is shipped to the customer.
Do you have a corporate gifting program?
Yes! Handblown glass is a very special gift. Our gifting options include – but are not limited to – product customization options, wooden or bamboo gift boxes, handwritten thank you cards, and more. Let us know what you envision and we’ll do what we can to make it happen for your employees, clients, or guests.