Volume 46, Issue 10 - November 2011

Decorative Glass
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.

Hot Stepper
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.”

Mirror, Mirror
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.

Etched Elegance
The Italian company Omnidecor featured its line of etched decorative glass products, which are sold in the United States through EFI in Kernersville, N.C.

“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.”

Colorful Options
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.

Printed Options
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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