Lea's Studio

Leas’s Loft Glass Art Studio is a unique place where vibrancy and tranquility finds the perfect balance to create a comfortable yet energetic environment where people of all ages can unlock their creative abilities and have some fun!  Lea’s Loft offers a wide selection of Kiln-formed glass and Flame work techniques which allow individuals the opportunity to learn, create and enjoy the world of Glass Art at their own pace and budget.  It is also the ideal place to stop by for that unique gift you’ve been looking for – there are always stock of beautiful glass jewellery, bowls, plates and paintings for sale.

The studio stocks a wide variety of Bullseye Art glass (COE 90) for kiln work, including Transparent, Opalescent, Streaky, Textured, Iridescent and Dichroic glasses. These Bullseye glass types are available in sheet glass, powders, frits, stringers and confetti form and are imported directly from the Bullseye Glass Company’s factory in Portland, Oregon, USA.  Lea's Loft is currently the only recognized dealer and distributor of Bullseye Glass products in South Africa!

The studio facilities include:

  • UltraFurn ECO90 kiln with a maximum piece size of 40cm (L) x 40cm (W) x 20cm (H)

  • UltraFurn ECO170 kiln with a maximum space of 100cm (L) x 50cm (W) x 20cm (H)

  • UltraFurn BAK-1 desktop kiln for flame worked bead annealing

  • Nortel Minor bench burner (Propane and Oxygen) for flame working

  • Nortel Red Max bench burner (Propane and Oxygen) for flame working

  • Industrial sized diamond blade glass cutting saw

  • Gemini ring saw

  • Glastar desktop glass grinder

  • A large array of slumping moulds manufactured by Creative Ceramics in Europe

  • A cold working area with cutting, grinding, drilling and polishing equipment

  • Large wash-up area for washing and cleaning of glass

  • UV bonding facilities

  • The best Nespresso Coffee 

Kiln Formed Glass

Kiln-formed glass is the process of creating art glass pieces by applying controlled heat to reshape, bend and fuse components of compatible glass (same COE) together in a glass fusing kiln. The individual components could be glass powders, frit (glass chips), stringers (thin tubes), rods, confetti (thin glass shards) or most commonly sheet glass. The physical melting process of the art glass is called fusing, but casting the glass into moulds or slumping the already fused pieces into three dimensional shapes or draping the glass over a mould also forms part of kiln formed glass, sometimes called warm glass, fused glass or slumped glass.

In contrast to blowing glass or lamp / flame working, fusing glass is more a process of creative decision-making before energy is applied to the material. Based on knowledge and experience, the hoped-for end-result is envisioned, designed, planned and executed before it is placed in the kiln where extreme heat without the touch of a human hand transforms the vision into a reality.  The good news is that the kilns used at Lea’s Loft Glass Art Studio have built-in inspection holes which at least allows for a sneak peek during the firing process to monitor that the desired result is achieved.

Most kiln formed glass art pieces are fired in the kiln at least twice with a single firing taking between 18 and 24 hours to complete, which includes about 10 hours of natural cooling down to room temperature before the kiln can be opened.  The pieces fuse nicely (or sometimes not so nicely) at temperatures of up to 900°C, but mostly somewhere between 700°C and 820°C.  An important step during the cooling down phase is when the pieces are carefully annealed at 482°C for 30 minutes per 3mm thickness in order to allow the glass to regain its strength and toughness. Glass requires carefully controlled heating and cooling cycles in order to prevent breakage and weaknesses in the final piece.

Flamework

Flame- or Lamp work is the term used for working with glass in a hot flame.  The burner or torch is connected to a fuel supply of Propane and Oxygen which provides a hot and clean flame for melting rods / tubes of glass. Flame work is therefore the art of melting and forming hot glass into jewellery, figurines or ornaments by the use of temperature, gravity and various tools. It is very important for flame worked pieces to be kiln-annealed upon completion in order to strengthen the final piece.  Flame worked glass beads have a one-of-a-kind beauty, with no two being precisely alike.


info@leasloft.co.za | +2782 807 8074  // +2778 834 5413 | 39 Hoep Hoep Avenue, Rustenburg