Decorative glass wows attendees at glasstec
November 26, 2008
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, FABRICATION : DECORATIVE GLASS, MEETINGS AND EVENTS
In addition to solar technology and products, the 20th glasstec was a treasure house of gorgeous and innovative decorative glass. Other than decorative glass booths that looked like pieces of art, stunning decorative glass panels—painted, acid-etched, silk-screened, sandblasted and more--surrounded the glass technology symposium area. The eye-catcher of the show was a bent bridge of cold-formed glass with a thickness of just 3.7 centimetres and a carrying capacity of seven tons by seele, Germany.
“We see the continuing trend toward more decorative glass,” said Chris Mammen, president, M3 Glass technologies, Irving, Texas. “The halls are filled with colors and textures: painted glass; colored [laminated glass]; lami with various things inside; new acid-etch patterns and applications; glass with LEDs; glass in places you never thought of before, like bathroom partitions. U.S. companies should feel confident expanding their product line toward more decorative glass, as this value added sector is not just a fad. Educate yourself, your employees, and especially your customers in the use of decorative glass.”
Take away fresh ideas for how to display glass in the showroom, Mammen said. “Look beyond what the vendor is displaying and notice how it is being displayed,” he said.
Decorative glass continues to grow and become more diverse in the offerings and possibilities that exist, said Richard Balik, vice president and general manager, Specialty Glass Division, General Glass International, Secaucus, N.J. “Europe is at the forefront. There were some exciting digital printing technologies being shown that will change the way custom printed glass is made. There was also a wide range of pattern glass shown and tons of machinery for making decorative glass.”
Among the head-turning booths were: Cricursa. Made of low-iron, extra clear bubble glass with colored interlayers the booth has standard framing. “None of the panels in this booth are rectangular or have four sides,” said Joan Tarrus, director, Cricursa, Spain. “They all have clean, soft acid-etch treatment.” The booth signifies what the company can do, he said. “Our product is concepts,” he said. “We back the best architects of the world, challenge applications and offer customized architectural solutions and technology.” The company introduced Crimar, glass bonded to marble, at the show.
Dekormat, Spain, had another beautiful booth. Resembling a house made of various colorful and engraved panels, the booth stood out in the hall. The company produces ceramic painted glass that can be tempered or laminated, said Maria Trigueros, representative. “We can do any color and any design in 3 millimeter to 10 mm thickness and 2550-mm-by-3210-mm measurement,” she said. “Colored glass is selling a lot in Europe. Backsplash and glass worktops are popular. The popular colors are black, white, red, burgundy, green and metals.” The company introduced Dia y Noche glass for facades at the show. Made of low-iron glass, the product can be tempered and has ceramic dots on both sides, white on one and black on the other. So one can’t see through from the outside but can see out from the inside, she said.
OmniDecor of Italy had a booth with decorative glass on three sides. The company is developing a new DecorFlou collection by a Turkish designer, Defner Koz, said Domenico Tanera. Two of the five lines of the new collection, Fuzzy and Laurel, were displayed at the booth. The design is acid-etched, comes in 4 millimeter to 12 millimeter in thickness, and 79 inches by 126 inches in size, he said. “In Italy, patterns from the 1960s are coming back,” he said. “Acid-etching is popular. Black, white, brown and bronze are the popular colors. In the U.S., low-iron, extra clear glass is popular.”
Edgetech I.G. of Cambridge, Ohio, had a sample fanlight from the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, at the entrance of its booth. The sample, 70 percent of the size of the original fanlight of a sliding door driven by four motors at the mosque, is made of glass mosaic and UV curing adhesive.
Decorative glass is constantly evolving, said John Faour, president, Faour Glass, Tampa, Fla., who was walking the floors. The size of the decorative glass panels coming out these days impressed him. “The capability to produce [decorative] glass as large as 50 feet is novel,” he said. The other aspect that struck him is the reduction of metal components. “The seele bridge display, for instance, has no metal fittings. The floor and the side panels are bonded together.”