Stew Langer says it’s an idea that’s been 20 years in the making, one driven in large part by a growing interest in decorative glass products.
Langer and Keith Elliott, good friends and industry veterans, made their dream a reality this summer when they formed the consulting group, Surface Elements LLC. They and a group of collaborating partners with distinct technical expertise hope to bring their years of industry knowledge on site to “advise and assist” glass shops and fabricators in production of decorative products.
“It’s a whole lot easier to begin a business with little overhead and with your knowledge as capital,” Langer says. “We’ve essentially formed a consulting group helping out those folks who want to pay an expert to come on-site to help.
“To the best of my knowledge, there is not another service like this in the industry,” Langer says, “and I don’t know two people more qualified than Keith and myself to do it.”
Langer and Elliott are both deeply connected and extremely knowledgeable of the decorative glass field. Langer is the founder of UroGlass Design LLC and general manager of Stained Glass & Design Co. of Kansas City, Mo. Elliott founded both the Cast Products Group Inc. and Coral Decorative Products Inc., while also serving as production manager for both Joel Berman Glass Studios and UltraGlas.
The two men “bring to the table years of experience in cast glass technique and mold making, glass paint and coatings process, lamination, glass etching and carving, fusing glass slabs, edging, quality control and more,” according to a company release.
“We think it’s a good move,” Elliott says. “What we offer could put you in business a lot quicker, so, hopefully, there’s a need for this sort of thing. It’s just one more thing to add to the repertoire of things we do.”
The firm will offer assistance in equipment sourcing, set-up, process, troubleshooting, sales, and scaling for optimum profitability as parts of its portfolio of services.
Chief among Elliott’s primary aims is to make the growing field of decorative glass more affordable.
“The only way to do that is to have more people doing it,” he says.
“I’m hoping we can really make a difference,” Elliott adds, “and also enjoy ourselves because we like what we do.”