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How can glass enhance your project? Daedalian Glass Studios elaborates

Glass merchant, Daedalian Glass Studios, collaborates with leading architects and interior designers to produce innovative glass solutions for a variety of projects. Here, the Lancashire-based studio highlights the benefits and choices available when specifying glass for a project.

The glass industry in England dates back to the early Middle Ages with evidence of its established existence by 680 AD. Traditionally a craft industry, shortages of key supplies during the First World War saw a shift towards scientific production methods and improvements in efficiency.

Whilst this shift was essential, it saw the intricate and varied traditional styles of glass working – such as those seen in windows of periodic houses and churches – replaced by simpler, mass-produced sheet glass. Another further development was the pioneering of the float glass production method – used in most modern windows – by the Pilkington Brothers in the 1950s.

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Combining modern scientific knowledge with traditional glass working methods allows glass to return to its rightful place as a focal design element within a project. However, before we get to glass working; the proportion of ingredients used to create glass in its raw state also affects the properties of the material.

Examples of ingredients that are added to create a specific effect are:

Barium: to increase the refractive index
Boron: to improve thermal and electric resistance
Iridium: to make bright colours appear on the surface of the glass
Lead: to increase the brilliance
and weight.

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Applications
Methods of glass working utilised by Daedalian Glass Studios and its practical application within interior design projects include:

Cast glass
This is created by directing molten glass into a mould to solidify. The process allows for extremely intricate designs to be created and reproduced on the surface of glass. Almost anything can be made from cast glass.

Etched glass
Whilst etching glass allows for intricate and artistic detailing to be created, it also allows the transparency to be restricted.

Fused glass
This glass is heat-bonded together within a kiln. Fusing allows colours to be mixed and is often used to create glass wall art.

Laminated glass
The major advantage of laminating glass is that it forms a safety glass – holding together even when shattered. Whilst laminating fabrics, metal mesh, stone or wood veneers create an artistic laminated panel, this process is often also used as a toughening stage.

Painted glass
This can be used, for example, to create curved partitions, wall cladding and kitchen and bathroom sinks from glass. Paint can be applied in various ways – such as by brush, machine or spray gun. By painting on the back surface of glass, all the design applications of paint are applied with the added bonus of the forward-facing glass protecting the paintwork and being easy to clean.

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Stained glass and leaded lights
These traditional methods of glass making are best known for church windows. For interior designers, these glass working techniques are suitable for period homes and buildings – or can be used to add a traditional aesthetic.

Silvered glass
Silvering (or mirroring) is the process of coating glass with silver nitrate. Silvered surfaces bounce natural light around a room to brighten up the interior design – such as the silvered pelmets and clusters in our project in the Belgravia dining room at the Lanesborough Hotel.

Slumped glass
This technique reshapes glass in a kiln by heating it until it reaches a flexible shape. Gravity then causes it to slump.

The glass featured within this article was all created by the team at Daedalian Glass Studios. For more than 30 years, the company has been creating unique luxury glass from its studio in the North West of England.

daedalianglassstudios.com

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