Capabilities of Decorative Glass
Allow Designers to Think Big
he biggest trend in decorative
glass today may be that there
isn’t a particular trend at all. In
other words, the trend is “custom.”
It’s not really one thing we’re seeing.
Instead it’s a combination of more and
more processes into one finished prod-
uct,” says Stephen Balik of GGI in Se-
caucus, N.J.“Everyone is trying to carve
out a unique,one-of-a-kind design,be-
cause almost anything is possible now.”
Balik says the combination of
processes is taking the market to the
next level. “You could have a digital
print on a textured piece of glass with Decorative glass has evolved over the years for both interior and exterior
backpainting,”he says.“Something like applications. Specialty glass manufacturers encourage architects and
that looks pretty wild.”
designers to think big, and this continues to drive innovations in the sector.
In decorative glass, even the concept
of “stock” isn’t really true to its word.
Advancements in technologies have
He says the trends in interiors“move
GGI, like other suppliers, has devel- also breathed life into exterior applica- around,” but backpainted glass and
oped a series of digitally printed pat- tions of decorative glass.
terns that are essentially stock items, Kris Iverson of Sandy, Ore.-based
white glass marker boards are popular.
Moon Shadow is doing a lot of lami-
but because of digital capabilities, fac- Moon Shadow Glass says his company nated work and recently completed a proj-
tors such as size, color and opacity can does an approximate mix of 65 percent ect in which it printed life-sized,full-color
be altered easily.
Even though we’re offering this However, he expects a 5- to 10-percent glass. Those kinds of high-resolution,
standard product line, if someone sees increase in exterior work this year. image-based jobs are becoming more
it and says,‘I like this pattern,but I want Balik says the ability to print digitally prevalent, and Iverson says his company
interior and 35 percent exterior work. images of elephants between large lites of
to make it my own,’ we can do that,” he with frit directly to glass has opened up is considering investing in another lami-
says. “There are varied levels of new applications for glass on exteriors nating oven to increase its capabilities.
because of its durability. GGI, meanwhile, is seeing more cus-
Lax adds that exterior decorative tom privacy applications for office
Balik says the idea is to allow design-
ers to“think bigger … Everyone wants glass is still in its infancy and is ideal spaces.
to stand out.” on the podium and street levels of “We can do a true fade from 100 per-
The industry continues to work to- buildings. He says designers are trying cent opacity to 0,” says Balik.“Because
ward solutions to open decorative glass to find ways to“put the cherry on top of it’s digital,they can say,‘we want 30 per-
to more applications, and that means the sundae.”
integrating with other functions. “We find our products help enhance then slowly break it up from there.’They
Los Angeles-based Pulp Studio, for exterior designs,but we don’t believe for can use patterns, logos, etc.”
cent of the middle to be opaque, and
example, recently completed a public a moment the whole building is going
Ultimately,it comes down to one thing:
safety building in San Francisco.“You’re to be decorative,” he says.“On the inte- “We encourage people to get creative,”he
starting to look at solutions such as, rior, it’s a different story. People spend says.“We want them to dream and think
how do you blend decorative materials money because it’s all about their big, and leave it to us to determine
with functional security materials?” image, whether it’s a restaurant, corpo- whether this can or can’t be done.” s
says president Bernard Lax.
rate law firm, or anything else.”
—Nick St. Denis
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | April 2016