Functionality and beauty converge in glass. Serving a multitude of purposes, glass can serve as protection against the elements or as a portal into a home. Windows and doors are often times lackluster and unimpressive, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
While glass can serve well enough in its typical form as a smooth transparent article, it can also be fashioned into virtual pieces of art. Not just formed into beautiful vases and sculptures, glass can be manipulated and fashioned in such ways to form exquisite pieces for the home, office and other settings.
Gorgeous painted backsplashes for the kitchen sink, custom-designed tabletops, artfully carved vanity tops, or sandblasted doors can bring a unique feel into any space. While these items may not be considered art by traditional standards, custom designed glass can be just as beautiful and highly respected as any conventional art form.
Glass Artistry in Glenview creates artful glass masterpieces and is the area’s leader in the business. The company was formed in the early 1990s after breaking apart from its sister company, Glassworks, based in Northfield. “We needed to be separate because of the amount of detailing and service involved,” reflected Bob Helge, president of Glass Artistry.
Glass Artistry uses a number of different methods to create their pieces, excelling in all. With a wide array of tools at their fingertips, the company’s designers have no problem creating exactly what their clients are looking for. A project begins with the design, either brought in by the customer or designed by Glass Artistry. “We provide guidance,” commented Helge, by working with the requests of the client and turning them into a successful product. An artwork sample is then created and fabrication begins. The whole process, from design to installation, usually takes approximately a month.
If a rich, frosted appearance is desired, sandblasting is the way to go. While providing a beautiful texture, it can also serve to create privacy with its almost opaque quality. To create this abrasive look, a material similar to what is used to make the rough part of sandpaper is sprayed at the glass at a high speed. This causes the top layer of the glass to be blown away, leaving a plush-looking design in its place. To create an even more intense design, the glass can be carved utilizing an even more powerful force from the sandblaster.
Designs are not limited to transparent and translucent glass. Mirrors can be customized just as easily, made to any size, sandblasted or back painted with any number of colors, with several types of edges to choose from.
Looking for an antique mirror, but having trouble in the hunt? By means of a chemical process, Glass Artistry can transform a regular mirror into just that. The mirror can be cut into just about any shape or size to create the old-fashioned look.
Molded glass can be a beautiful alternative. Glass Artistry’s amazing selection can be created into numerous items such as cabinet inserts, backsplashes, mirror backings and more.
Color can be incorporated to add further interest. Glass Artistry is able to create nearly any hue in both solid and metallic colors. Paint can be added to a plain glass piece and coupled with sandblasting and carved pieces to generate a truly distinctive item.
Edging can further customize any of the glass or mirrors, one of the most popular being the chipped and/or sandblasted edge.
Other options include polished, beveled, flat, pencil or the O.G. edge, which looks like tiny stairs.
Glass Artistry serves a wide range of clientele. Primarily working on residential projects, commercial ventures make up about a quarter of their business. Overall design trends change from year to year, but currently, the company is crafting many custom backsplashes with “few if any seams.”
No longer is glass dull and uninspiring. Texture and color can make a world of difference to this humdrum material; with the help of experts, a beautifully crafted piece of glass can add a touch of distinctive character. We have “perfected our techniques” and “refined our craft,” asserted Helge, to bring the best of Glass Artistry to all.