All Eyes On ...
Las Vegas is a city known for its glitz, glam and over-the-top lifestyle, making it just the place for decorative glass—also known for glitz, glam and its ability to give any design application an extraordinary appearance. The decorative glass presence was strong among the many companies exhibiting at GlassBuild America, October 6-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Some of the big trends decorative glass companies displayed include color, textures and patterns and imagery on glass.
Colors and Textures
“We apply a metal oxide to our clear, patterned glass, and that creates a stunning look,” said Schiamara. “It creates a glass that gives both reflected and transmitted light.”
The latest launch for Goldray—a glass magnetic marker board—is so new the company didn’t even have literature on it at the show. Cathie Saroka, marketing director, said the product is made by laminating glass to steel. It’s painted and can be used for maps, calendars and is ideal for offices and hospitals.
“We’re seeing so much demand and interest in this product,” said Saroka, who explained that Goldray was trying to show more than just its products, but rather all of the ways that decorative glass can be used.
“Our [poured resin] process allows us to take the rondel and laminate it between the glass lites to create a safety glazing product,” said Watts. “Something like this can be used as a conference room divider where you want some level of privacy, but still want light to flow through.”
The company’s Helen Zhao said the glass, for use in both interior and exterior applications, can be laminated for safety applications. The tiles and mosaics are applied onto tempered glass so they, too, can be used as safety glazing. She added that attendees had a lot of interest in her company’s glass products.
“The glass has been very well-received,” said Zhao. “Attendees say it’s very eye-catching.”
Gardner Glass Products from North Wilkesboro, N.C., displayed its colored glass products as well as a newly-designed website (www.dreamwallscolorglass.com). The company offers 12 stock colors on Starphire® glass and its new website features a kitchen design tool that allows users to see how different colors would look on the application.
“You can click on the various colors and the [image] changes to what the application would look like with that colored glass,” said John Myers, senior vice president of the company’s DreamWalls product line.
“We’re getting a lot of interest from architects, designers and specifiers,” said Tangeman. “They want to know how they can get this type of glass.”
To learn more about where to get decorative glass products, visit the online buyers guide at www.decorativeglassmag.com. Additional information about decorative glass companies is also available through the Glass Association of North America’s website, http://www.glasswebsite.com/divisions/decorative/index.asp.
Decorative Glass Presentation
Also as part of the Las Vegas show, a decorative glass panel presentation moderated by Steve Schiamara of World Glass took place on the last morning of the event. The presentation included four panelists who each talked about the growth of the decorative glass market. Panelists were Belinda Bennett, principal with Bennett Design Group; Randy Brooks, president of Gardner Glass Products; Stew Langer a designer and founder of UroGlass®; and Victor Trnavskis, president of NGI Designer Glass.
Bennett, the designer on the panel, talked about the importance of communicating and working with interior designers.
“You [the glass supplier] don’t want to be just a vendor, but one who helps create the design solution,” said Bennett, who also offered some advice for glass companies interested in getting involved in decorative glass.
“Sponsor an event and open your showroom to get designers in firsthand,” she said. “Designers need to [be able to get to] know glass companies and we need to work with [glass companies] we know will follow through.”
Bennett encouraged companies that do not have a showroom, to open one as it can help establish a permanent presence within the architecture and design community.
Randy Brooks was the next presenter and he took a broader approach to the subject of decorative glass.
“The [glass] industry is dealing with a lot of scarce resources,” he said, referring to how in the past few months a number of float plants have closed, while others have been shut-down for re-builds and repairs. “All of this is changing the dynamics of the products we have available. Plus, the primaries [manufacturers] don’t want to make commodity clear glass anymore and we need to think about what glass is available and how we are going to use it,” he said.
When it comes to trends, Brooks pointed out that when home starts are down, remodeling often benefits.
“We’re seeing that consumers want authenticity and products that will give them a sense of ownership,” said Brooks. Some trends of late include the addition of color and providing green products.
In addition, he encouraged audience members to look for new customers and to build alliances. For example, he said granite and marble companies have started re-tooling their equipment lines to accommodate glass.
Stew Langer from Uroglass next talked about how the decorative glass of old relates to the decorative glass of today. He said that while decorative glass was first discovered during the Bronze Age (3000 B.C.), much happened between then and when the fist float line was invented, including the development of antique glass, stained glass and etched glass.
“But everything we know that’s new and exciting has happened since the first float line,” said Langer, who added, “We’ve expanded what we do by identifying all the places you can use glass.” This can include sinks and countertops, walls, dividers, railings, floors and stairs … the list goes on.
“If you’re only thinking ‘glazing’ you’re not looking at the big picture,” he added.
In closing, he echoed what Bennett had said earlier.
“Be a part of the architectural solution; push the envelope and get this stuff out there.”
As the final presenter, Victor Trnavskis shared a series of photos that showed many different applications and uses of decorative glass.
“It’s endless what you can do,” he said. “Look at what some of the big players are doing.” He also talked about a few trends. These include color, combining glass and stone, 3-D assemblies and digital technologies.
He said some companies shy away from working with decorative glass because they are afraid of running into problems, but this work can offer great opportunities.
“If you do [decorative glass work] you will become known in your area as ‘the company that does that type of work,’” he said.