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