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NOTE: This section is intended for people who have never purchased custom etched glass, and for people who would like to learn more about Absonite Glassworks. The text is designed to briefly introduce you to products and terminology used in the industry, accompanying photos illustrate the text. After reading this section, a person should gain a greater sense of confidence in their understanding, and in their ability to describe the different glass types and etched products that are possible and available through Absonite Glassworks.
If you're already familiar with all glass types, etching techniques, products, terminology, etc. and would like to request a quote or contact us, click here for our Quotes/Email page.
Although glass appears to be a solid, glass is technically a supercooled liquid made of fused inorganic materials. Unlike water, glass does not change from a liquid to a solid at some fixed temperature. It is always in a "fluid" state.
Most people think of glass as they use it. To the glassmaker, it is a material he obtains by heating such things as sand, lime, and soda until they fuse into a liquid which can be worked to form useful or decorative objects. To the housewife, it is a heat-resistant pie plate or a sparkling tumbler. To the chemist, it is a reagent bottle or a chemical flask. To the young girl, it is a shining mirror.
Today glass products are made as light as a cork or almost as heavy as iron; strong as steel or fragile as eggshells; soft as cotton or hard as precious stones. Through engineering skill and scientific knowledge, the properties of glass can be controlled to a remarkable degree. <Overview>
For our purposes, there are basically three types of glass; annealed glass, tempered safety glass and laminated safety glass. Each of these glass types can be etched to differing degrees. The essential difference between these glass types is the processing they have undergone to effect safe breakage of a potentially dangerous substance.
Annealed- annealed glass is like fresh bread out of the oven, ready to be sliced and eaten. Annealed glass is the raw material which can be cut to any size, further fabricated to include specialized edgework, and possibly then made into safety glass. The process of annealing is the controlled cooling of moulten glass into a solid and stable substance. Annealed glass is commonly referred to as plate glass or flat glass and can easily be fabricated eg. cut, polished , drilled, etc. The beauty of plate glass is that it can be easily fabricated; cut to fit any opening size, drilled for holes and cut outs or polished for beautiful edgework. The down side of its workability is that if it breaks the pieces will be large irregular shards.
Mirror - is made from annealed glass, plated with a silver coating on one side of the glass, and painted over with a protective coating. The result is a mirror in which undistorted reflections are returned. Mirror can be made safer by applying Safety Backing, as an available option, which is designed to keep broken pieces of mirror stuck to the backing, an additional form of safety.
Tempered Safety - annealed glass that has been safety tempered. This Tempering process entails running the cut to size annealed glass through a tempering oven and then cooling it in a specific controlled fashion. This process effects the skin of the surface of glass. After tempering, the skin is hardened to resist impact, but also made brittle enough to force it to crumble into little pieces upon suffcient impact. When tempered glass breaks it crumbles into tiny chunks of glass. Tempered safety glass cannot be cut down once tempered.
Laminated Safety - essentially a process by which two pieces of (annealed) glass are attached to a plastic inner layer. The plastic inner layer is designed to keep the glass in place if broken. Custom laminating of different glass types and thicknesses is also entirely possible.
If you're unsure which type of glass is required, it's often better to err on the side of caution and use a safety glass of one form or another. <Overview>
Glass is available in many thicknesses ranging from single strength (1/16") to 1" thick or more!
Generally, for windows 1/4'' thick glass is sufficient for etching and even carving. For partition panels (eg restaurant booth partition glass) 3/8'' thick tempered glass is usually used. 1/2'' thick glass is used for large areas or walls of glass.
These are a few suggestions for glass thicknesses. This list of applications vary in their use of decorative and functional etched glass. Anywhere there is glass in your life, you could use etched glass. <Overview>
Architectural flat glass is manufactured in a variety of sheet sizes, and can be cut and fabricated to fit just about any dimension. Determining the size of the glass you need for a given application first requires accuracy in measuring to at least 1/16". (Most glass cutting tolerences are +/- 1/16" or more depending on the thickness of the glass. If you have any doubt in your ability to measure accurately to such tolerances, then call a local professional glazier or glass installer to review your opening and measure for the glass.
Basically, determining the correct glass size for a framed opening is accomplished by accurately measuring the given opening size, then reducing that size by a small amount for an easy fit. This small reduction (eg 3/8" off the total height and 3/8" off the total width) should be enough to permit the glass to be installed into the given opening size without binding at the edges and top, and also not too much of a reduction that the glass will fall through the given opening. Be sure to double check your measurements and write them down.
Once the opening has been measured, the correct glass size determined, ordered and fabricated, it must then be installed. This is where a professional glazier or glass installer is very proficient as wooden stops, or other necessary glazing materials may be required to safely install the glass and keep it in place.
While approximate or Block Sizes are sufficient for quoting purposes, before placing your order for glass, Actual Field Measurements of the opening are essential.<Overview>
When glass is cut to size, the edges are very sharp unless some kind of edgework is requested. The roughest form of edgework is a seamed edge. Seaming the edges is mearly removing the sharp edges and minor irregularities in the cut edge. This simple form of edgework makes the glass safer to handle, fit more securely in its frame, and is most appropriate for glass that will be framed on all sides.
One of the most beautiful ways to finish glass is by polishing the edges. Glass can be custom manufactured to include edgework of all kinds. Glass that does not contain any edgework is often refered to as-no edgework-and the glass edges are unfinished and very sharp. If a client orders the glass "seamed", the sharp edge is removed from the edges of the glass, making the glass more user friendly for handling.
Fine edgework is accomplished either through the use of beveling machines or done by hand depending on the type of edgework being performed on the type of shape of glass. The most common type of edgework is beveled, in either 1/2", 3/4" or 1" sized bevels. The second most common type of glass edgework is Flat Polished Edges, or FPE, which is a machine polished edge with a high polish and mitred corners. There are also many specialty edgeworks available: large bevels of 2" or more, a pencil polish which is a round bull-nose effect, or waterfall edgework which is a multi-layered bevel that cascades over the edges of the glass.
Glass with finished edgework can be created into or from safety glass types. <Overview>
THERMAL INSULATED GLASS:
Thermally Insulated glass refers to the process by which two or more lites of glass are layered together to form a highly energy efficient Insulated glass unit. A descecant filled air spacer is sealed between the glass, inside at the edges of the glass, which removes any humidity from the air cavity when later sealed at the edges with a polyisobutalene (a weather proof sealer). Thermal refers to the insulating quality which Insulated Glass units offer.
Absonite Glassworks has created many wonderful insualed glass units with etchings sealed on the inside of the unit. The etched IG units are particularly useful in doors, doorways, or where the glass will be exposed to the exteriors. <Overview>
Etching techniques are methods of processing glass in a controlled and disciplined fashion. By combining skill and experience, the etching techniques span a broad range of possible effects and results. The methods for etching vary depending on the desired result. <Overview>
Carved Glass is the most dimensional of the etching techniques, usually intended for decorating the glass. The carved line in glass catches available light creating a three dimensional effect. A one stage carving has the appearance of a uniform depth. One stage carvings are good for text representation, or graphics designed for a single depth appearance.
A dramatic effect in carved glass is achieved by surrounding the carving with clear glass. The clear glass acts to focus the eye on the edge of the carved image. On the contrary, a subtle embossed effect is achieved by surrounding a carving with a solid frost. <Overview>
The Shaded etching techniques are the most difficult and time consuming to excecute, and constitute the "grey" area of etched glass. With etched glass, there is no black, only clear glass. So the ability to render a graphic using only varing intensities or shades of white is the goal. Shaded glass is neither a solid frost, nor is it clear glass. Shading is similar to airbrushing techniques in that areas of the graphic are gradually obscurred. Varying the amount of obsurred glass allows the etched artwork to simulate shadow and depth without actually removing glass. <Overview>
Frosted glass is glass that has been completely obscurred by a process known as etching. Frosted glass is great for privacy while allowing available light to pass. A fine satin frost provides a matte finish to an otherwise reflective surface of the glass.
The texture of the frosted surface can be controlled to result in a coarse textural, or fine satin finishes. The fine satin frost is the prefered Absonite Glassworks texture. <Overview>
Multistaging refers to the etched layering of sequential stages of a graphic to simulate or create true depth. A carved and multistaged image will be dimensional, each layer catching available light independently. A shaded and multistaged image will appear to have depth, primarily because the notion of shadows are possible. Multistaged shaded graphic elements are more subtle compared to the sharper edges of multistaged carved elements.
Multistaged carvings and shadings create a graphic third dimension, that of depth. <Overview>
With appropriate planning, combining etching and glass processing techniques can create wonderfully artistic and communicative expression. The enhanced effect of multistaged carving, shading and frosting, combined with the glue chipped surface texture, and/or fine polished edgework, has many elegant and stylized options which range from extremely subtle, to absolutely demanding attention! <Overview>
ARTWORK FOR ETCHING:
The sources for artwork are vast. The public library is an excellent example of a source for art that you find inspiring, or pleasing, or appropriate for a given setting. Establish a direction... choose a style of art that appeals to you. Generally, there are three types of art: still life, landscape, and portrait. With thousands of combinations and variations on those three major themes. Art for etching can be extracted from or used to inspire from virtually any source of existing artwork. From literature, magazines, architecture, and history itself, artwork for etching is plentiful, you simply must dig it up. Photocopy it, photograph it, or trace it.
Consider how you are going to fill the space. Are you interested in maintaining privacy? If so, then a solid frost with clear details may be a good starting point. What details should remain clear? Your name, a logo, an insignia, a border design? The fact that the glass is mostly etched with a solid frost, the result is increased privacy while permitting available light to pass.
Or is decoration the idea? By etching a design on a surrounding clear glass background, total visability is retained.
The most successful designs occur when solid direction from the client is provided in the form of art guides. Drawings, photographs, samples of other building materials often serve as art guides. Other examples include: wallpaper and wall covering details, mantle and wood trim details, rug designs and patterns, fabric and textile patterns etc., all can be carried through to the flat glass elements within an environment.
The most cost effective etched glass we can create is for the client that provides their own artwork.
You can research your own tastes and supply the artwork that Absonite Glassworks will etch. If you like it, we can render it in etched glass! Email or Fax the art to us along with the types and sizes of the glass, and we'll get a quote right off to you.
Custom designs take time, effort, energy, and resources. As soon as we receive your design deposit in the form of a check, we will begin creating artwork for you. We can start with miniature rough pencil sketches based on your concrete direction of what you would like your etchings to entail. The more information you provide to us, the better we can tailor our thumbnail sketches to your specific tastes.
When completed, these preliminary thumbnail sketches will be faxed to your location for your review. Once you have chosen the specific elements you would like to include in your etching, the final artwork will be revised for etching. This final artwork will also be faxed in the form of a scaled authorization document which you will have to authorize by signing in the place indicated, and returning (re-fax is fine) it to us. This signed authorization document serves as your purchase order instructing Absonite Glassworks to fabricate the glass to this exact size, and etch the glass according to authorization diagram.
Absonite Glassworks will design custom etched glass for your environments based on your direction and taste. We'll work with you directly on a design level, or via your architect's or interior designer's ideas to develop a coherent design based on your tastes and directions. With our thorough design process, we consistently produce high quality products for the most sophisticated tastes. We can create artwork suitable for etching from virtually any source. Artistically, our styles of design are unlimited.
For renovating your environment, or for new building, we make it easy to fulfill any request for unique glass design elements. Absonite uses only the most professional glaziers to provide convenient delivery and safe, high quality installation. The ability to supply and process all types of glass of any size, including all types of safety glass, makes Absonite Glassworks the source for custom etched glass and specialty glass of any kind. We welcome new clients and challenging projects.
GLUE CHIPPED GLASS:
Glue chipping glass is a process that results in a clear textural finish that obscures the view through the glass. The process begins with etching the portion of clear glass to be glue chipped. Once etched and cleaned a solution of warm hyde glue is applied to the etched area. The applied glue then sets and forms a strong bond with the etched glass. As the glue dries it begins to shrink and curl pulling off the top surface of the glass, thus the glue physically chips the glass. The depth of the chipping is very slight but the patterns achieved are quite dramatic in contrast with clear glass and etched patterns. The glue chipping process is truly a product of "nature's kitchen". The textures achieved vary from large striated relatively deep chips, to a delicate fern-like pattern resembling the way frost forms on a window pane. Regardless of the pattern, incorporating glue chipped areas into etched glass designs adds a unique texture that sparkles as it catches and reflects light. <Overview>
CLEAR TEXTURED GLASS:
A myriad of textured glass types are manufactured around the world. Patterns are rolled into the annealed glass while it is still hot and in a pliable or semi fluid state. These textured glass are created for both architectural applications and for the stained glass industry. Architectural obscure glass is generally 1/4" thick, while textured glass made for stained glass uses is generally 1/8" thick. Architectural glass is more suitable for tempering than glass designed for the stained glass industry.
Some clear textured glass are designed to thoroughly obscure the view through the glass, like Ribbed or Fluted. While other types are purely for decoation, like Floral, or Diamond. <Overview>
LIGHTING ETCHED GLASS:
Lighting etched glass depends largely on the installation. Incandescent light is much warmer in color than flourescent light, due to the direct vs. indirect rays of light. Frosted glass is enhanced by an even overall wash of light on the etched surface. Carved glass catches light in the multistaged layers of the design. This quality is most evident when carved glass is edgelit, that is the light is controlled to pass through the edge of the glass. Spotlighting glass can be achieved from above, on the side, or sides, or from the bottom.. The apparent success of edgelighting is relative to the amount of ambient light, and to the color behind the etchings. Edgelighting tends to looks best in dim light settings. <Overview>
MORE STILL TO COME......
Text STC about this choice. <Overview>
Etching - refers to abrading the glass surface; changing the surface of glass with a micro-abrasive; including frosting, carving or shading glass.
Frosting - an even, solid etch, frosted white; good for privacy.
Carving - a deep etch which gives a three dimensional appearance by catching light in the edges; bas relief.
Shading - an uneven frosting technique, usually used to create an image of depth without carving; a sophisticated alternative to frosting.
Multistaging - the layering of stages to create the image of one element in front of another element; e.g., some rose pedals being over other pedals to give a three dimensional effect. This process is used with carving or shading techniques.
Gluechipping - a surface process which resembles an icy frost on the surface of the glass; used to obscure the glass or as an artistic alternative.
Resist - a special coating on glass that will resist abrasion.
Absonite - 1) Among realities... of the transcendental level. 2) Things or beings that have no beginning and no end. 3) Things that take place which are not limited by time or space. 4) Doing the absolute best, in a finite world. 5) Quality carved and etched glass.
1) Among realities... of the transcendental level. 2)
Things or beings that have no beginning and no end. 3) Things that take place
which are not limited by time or space. 4) Doing the absolute best, in a finite
world. 5) Quality carved and etched glass.
Absonite Glassworks Comments:
Absonite Glassworks' dedication to the production of high quality etched glass remains unsurpassed. With each passing year the list of happy customers grows. Reliablility (and talent) has been key to our continued success. Accurate and timely quotes, dependable lead times and integrity in workmanship are the qualities of Absonite Glassworks upon which our clients rely. Whether designing a simple bathroom mirror or a huge corporate complex, the etched glass of Absonite Glassworks will greatly enhance the ambiance. Absonite's skill and expertise will ensure a successful etching project and an enjoyable enhanced environment.
The everpresent need for privacy has driven the corporate desire for etched glass. Many exclusive corporate conference rooms have been embellished by the tasteful combination of etching and clear glass, providing executives with the privacy they desire while maintaining the openess of clear glass. Logo reinforcement is always a prevelant theme in corporate environs and the reception area is usually where the corporate insignia blazes. Incorporating a carved or etched logo into glass in the reception area makes an elegant yet subtle statement reiterating corporate identity.
Adding etched glass to your decor will make you look younger and reduce stress. Only kidding. But it will make your office look fresh and new. Without the cumbersome bulk of traditional light stopping materials, your etched all glass walls will glow with ambient sunlight (if available) or can be easily lighted to appear as if illuminated by natural sunlight. Either way, your mood is sure to improve. Let Absonite help brighten your day by incorporating custom etched glass into your office environment.
On a design level, for the creation of custom artwork we require firm direction before the creation of thumbnail sketches can begin. We can generate etchable artwork from virtually any source material, photos, magazines even the roughest of sketches will help guide our R&D efforts and aid our understanding of your intent. With your clearly communicated ideas and source material, Absonite Glassworks will realize the design.
People are generally becoming more aware of the role of glass in their environments. Many are discovering that glass can be enhanced to serve as a unique design element. Everyday, people in Connecticut are using Absonite's skill and craftsmanship to transform ordinary mundane glass into extraordinary glass art. Be it complex carvings or a solid satin frost Absonite Glassworks will provide our high level of service to see your project through.
What makes glass such an interesting design element is it's interaction with light. When glass is carved, light is captured in the depth, brilliantly illuminating the carved image. Creating three dimensional sand carvings that capture light in it's sparkling iridescence is Absonite's specialty.
We at Absonite Glassworks will design custom etched glass for your home environments. We create sand carved and etched glass, and supply all specialty glass types like antique style glass, rolled glass, or any of the various highly detailed glass textures available.
We'll work with you directly on a design level, or via your architect's or interior designer's ideas to develop a coherent design based on your tastes and directions. With our thorough design process, we consistently produce high quality products for the most sophisticated tastes. We can create artwork suitable for etching from virtually any source. Artistically, our styles of design are unlimited.
For renovating your home, or for new building, we make it easy to fulfill any request for unique glass design elements. Absonite uses the most professional glaziers to provide convenient delivery and safe, high quality installation. The ability to supply and process all types of glass of any size, including all types of safety glass, makes Absonite Glassworks the source for custom etched glass and specialty glass of any kind. We welcome new clients and challenging projects.
The ABSONITE SHIP: Portraying the fine techniques of multistaged deep carving, frosting, and shading glass to a fine detail.
[Photograph of Large Spanish Sailing Ship as seen from the Stern. Using multistage carving, frosting and shading techniques, the ship's sails are full and the sea is swirling. The ship's multiple masts and rigging are brilliantly edge-lit creating a three dimensional glow.]
Absonite Glassworks - "The Long Story"
Absonite Glassworks is located at 480 Barnum Avenue - Suite 8, Bridgeport, CT 06608. Authors and Staff writers are: Victoria Mullen and Daniel Nemec. Advertisers inquiries welcomed. Published from time to time. All photographs taken by Absonite photographers. © 1992-2008, Victoria L. Mullen and Daniel A. Nemec, All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language, in full or in part without the written permission of the authors and copyright owners. Absonite and Absonite Glassworks are protected trademarks. <Overview>
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