A special section of USGlass magazine
All that Glitters … and Sparkles and Glows
by Ellen Rogers
Innovation and ideas in decorative glass were something
to be seen on the floor of this year’s GlassBuild America, which took
place September 12-14 in Atlanta. Eye-catching examples, from colors to
flooring, could be found throughout the trade show.
And, while the overall construction market may be down, those catering
to specialty markets such as decorative glass say they’ve continued to
be steady—even busy in some cases. Here’s a glimpse at some of these trendy
products showcased in Atlanta.
Was it the Apple retail stores that helped spur the growth and interest
in glass flooring? Perhaps, as the trend to walk on glass, from flooring
to stairs, has seen major growth over the past decade. The latest launch
from Walker Glass probably had a few attendees thinking “Saturday Night
Fever,” as the company’s new flooring was a colorfully lit attention-grabber.
The new flooring was launched earlier this year at Neocon and, according
to Danik Dancause, the response was “beyond our expectations. There’s
been so much interest,” he said. “We’ve been meeting with architects and
many are now looking for projects to put it in or it’s already been specified.”
John Meyers with Dreamwalls Color Glass said they, too, had a good show.
Over the past few years the company has seen growing interest in its backpainted
glass, and while that demand continues, Meyers said they have another
new product that’s seeing a lot of interest: antique mirror.
“We’ve seen a big uptick in demand for it—and it’s been rare to see this
made in the United States,” he said. Meyers said they’re selling the product
for a large range of applications, including OEM accounts, commercial,
hospitality, hotels, restaurants and some residential.
Showered with Options
Cardinal Shower Doors had its line of high-end, cast glass enclosures
available in a range of colors, patterns and textures, but featured a
new option as well—glass towel bars. According to company president Greg
Abrams, the towel bars, which are 2 inches wide and made of 3/8-inch thick
glass, are constructed of glass remnants which otherwise would be recycled.
The Italian company Omnidecor featured its line of etched decorative glass
products, which are sold in the United States through EFI in Kernersville,
“We are seeing a trend toward low-iron etched and pattern glass,” explained
Brent Moore with EFI. “The quality of our etched product is certified
for Phase 1 exterior, and opens new opportunities in the architectural
and design industry. Our flexibility to produce custom proprietary patterns
allows a design signature for our project-based market.”
Moore said they were also featuring a number of new products.
“Our ceramic frit glass can be used as a marker board [and can also be]
magnetic,” Moore said. “We’re also introducing new etched glass patterns
to the North American market, which we’re featuring at the show.”
Also on the art glass scene was Paul Wissmach Glass Co., which has manufactured
art glass products for more than 100 years. The company is now offering
tempered colored glass products. A variety of colors are available, including
blue, green, violet and red, bringing even more opportunities for decorative
glass to the architectural market.
Interlayers are another way to add color and safety features to glass.
According to Geys Gomez of Interlayer Solutions, the company offers EVA
products for laminated glass and the architectural trend right now is
toward adding color. The interlayers are available in a range of colors
to meet any architectural aesthetic need.
Printing on glass continues to be popular and show exhibitors featured
equipment lines for this growing trend.
“It’s becoming more and more popular,” said Dennis Lew with Eastech, who
said his company’s machinery can print resolutions up to 1440 x 1440 dpi.
Lew also showed off a glass example that demonstrates the company’s capability
to print directly onto sandblasted glass.
Ellen Rogers is a contributing editor of USGlass
magazine. Follow her on Twitter @DG_magazine and read her blog at www.decorativeglassmag.com.
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