Volume 45, Issue 10 - October 2010


The Outside In
While acid-etched glass has been used for a number of years in interior applications, it’s now starting to surge in usage in exterior projects, too. According to fabricator Walker Glass, the versatile, semi-transparent substrate can be used to help reduce glare, diffuse light and provide privacy while maximizing daylighting. It can also be combined with low-E substrates in an insulating glass unit to create an energy-efficient glazing alternative. The etched surface can be used on any of the four surfaces of an insulating glass unit, each providing a different and unique visual effect.

Going for the Werks
Colorwerks custom-colored glass is the latest addition to Glasswerks Inc.’s decorative glass offerings. Colorwerks glass is designed to provide limitless paint color customization, which the company says is made possible through a specialized computer program that supervises paint mixing and adjusts color levels.

Colorwerks glass is produced on the company’s mirror conveyor line by back curtain coating PPG Starphire® ultra clear glass, heating the paint layer for strength, followed by a secondary back coating, and then bonding both paint layers through a final heat-curing process.

Digital Glass Printing Duo Develops
Joel Berman Glass Studios in Vancouver and DSG Custom Glass based in Langley, British Columbia, are working together to offer digital glass printing to the architecture and design community. Branded Berman Graphics: Print, the process involves the printing of high-resolution photographic images and graphic designs directly onto the surface of glass panels using ceramic frit ink, then fusing the ink to the glass surface for permanency.

“Glass as a teller of stories has been used for millennia,” says Joel Berman, founder and president of Joel Berman Glass Studios. “Stained glass windows have been used in cathedrals as storyboards and have withstood the test of time for centuries. Berman
Graphics: Print is a modern version of the ancient technique of permanently coloring the surface of glass to tell stories. With design that is relevant to the community, to the surrounding architecture, and to the users of the space, stories told in glass can sustain indefinitely.”

Distinctive Details in Glass
The recently expanded Viraspan Design Distinction Series from Owatonna, Minn.-based Viracon includes four standard patterns that can be used in interior applications. In addition to the new patterns, five new tinted translucent frits broaden the current offering that includes simulated acid-etched and sandblasted options. The new colors, fog gray, sage green, blue frost, spice and yellow moon, are tinted ceramic enamels that are silk-screened onto the glass and fused onto the surface during heat treatment.   

Viraspan Distinction Series patterns can be applied to clear or tinted glass substrates and can be combined with any of the company’s high-performance coatings. The patterns are available in any of the standard opaque or new translucent color options.

The Distinction Series and translucent color options can also be used in laminated glass, monolithic and insulating configurations.

Meltdown Glass Art & Design Announces New Studio
Meltdown Glass Art & Design LLC has relocated to a new glass studio in Tempe, Ariz., near the I-10 freeway. The new facility is in an 18,400-square foot building with 22-foot ceilings on 1.3 acres of land. The company says two years of architectural planning and a three-month renovation were involved in creating the new space.

As part of its move, the company also installed new equipment for the production of large-scale architectural kiln cast glass. Two new kilns were built specifically for the company and the studio is outfitted with an overhead crane system for moving glass, along with an Italian glass washer and an automatic laser double-headed drilling machine.

galleries and museums
New to Napa’s Art Scene
The Gordon Huether Gallery opened August 21 in Napa, Calif. The new gallery is dedicated to contemporary art and is located in 1,600 square feet of exhibition space, featuring concrete floors, steel beams, soaring ceilings, and expansive glass windows.

“It is a joy and a privilege to be part of the revitalization of Downtown Napa and to create work that brings storytelling and beauty into people’s lives,” said Huether, a Napa-based glass artist.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Chihuly Collection Designed by Alberto Alfonso Opens in Florida
The Chihuly Collection located at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., designed by architect Alberto Alfonso, AIA, is the first installation of artist Dale Chihuly’s art in a building specifically designed for that purpose.

“Early in the design process we discovered a shared affinity for the work of Italian architect and glass artist Carlo Scarpa. This became a common thread for the materiality and presentation strategies, which drove the richness of palette that includes western red cedar, Venetian plaster and raw steel,” says Alfonso.

Alfonso transformed an existing 10,000-square-foot concrete shell into 12 individual environments that respond directly to the theory and basis of Chihuly’s art. These “dreams,” first realized in delicate watercolors by Alfonso, are transitioned by a series of deep portals. As the announcement states, “Chihuly’s glass and works on paper exist on a pathway of apertures, anticipatory views, kaleidoscopic reflections of fluid light and undulating curves.”

“The opening of the Chihuly Collection is truly one of the proudest moments of my career,” says Chihuly. “The Chihuly Collection would not be the spectacular space that it is today without the hard work, vision and dedication of my dear friend and architect Alberto Alfonso who transformed the space into a spectacular architectural environment to showcase my work.”

GrayGlass Goes Digital

GrayGlass in Queens Village, N.Y., has installed a new system for digital glass printing. The system uses a proprietary, pigmented ink solution that the company says is long-lasting, UV-stable and resistant to water issues such as delamination. It is also capable of producing large formats on glass, 63 x 125 inches with edge-to-edge full bleed printing.   

The company says its new printer is suitable for rapid prototyping and requires no screens and no minimum runs. It also has a fast turnaround time and does not require coating or pre-treatment.

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