At Downing Designs glass studio in Tampa,Fl we have pioneered a highly interactive process whereby our clients have direct input into their textured glass designs. With this process, we create beautiful glass objects that have both an artistic form and function. When infused with our clients personality, textured glass becomes a luxurious, tactile relic of our creative endeavor…used and admired every day. More and more of our clients define luxury with terms such as “simply beautiful”, “low maintenance”, and “styled to their particular taste”.
Our mission has always been to offer maximum value to our clients, and we realized that opening up our design studio to clients has offered them something that no other facet of their home design can offer…an immersive experience with direct creative input into their glass countertop masterpiece. Something to always be proud of in the daily usage of their glass countertops. This interactive conversation offers a “free preview” and instills confidence in our clients that their voice is heard at each step from concept to visualization to glass fabrication. They can easily see how our proposed textural design fits atop a scale model of their kitchen design and layout. Our designs are centered around creative brain-storming sessions. While we do have certain engineering limitations in creating glass countertops, we discuss these upfront which enables creative freedom by solving any issues before they crop up. This reduces friction throughout and allows a more enjoyable design experience.
Our journey into this design process started we realized we were not the only ones with innovative design ideas. Many of our clients had incredibly creative ideas…and no way to express themselves. We found ourselves learning a lot from our clients and their design innovations. Many of our current products are collaborative result of our clients ideas and ours melded together to create a new glass texture for their kitchen or bath countertop.
Downing Designs Glass Design Process:
- Discussion with Client.
- Connect with your Lifestyle, Motives, Style Intentions, Brainstorm Ideas
- Visit Site, Draw Physical Layout
- Sketch Design Options
- Refine & Accept
- Produce Texture in Kiln
Of utmost importance is the ability to visit the site and get a feel for the way the kitchen or bath space flows. How do you enter the room where the glass is located? (Initial Viewing Angle is critical). What is the purpose? Are there sinks, grills, faucets, etc.? How busy is the rest of the decor? We then review our extensive web catalog of previous design solutions and see if anything looks close to what they want. Some people want to infuse life into their space with a tempestuous, wild Category 5 Hurricane design…some people want a calm, light drizzle. To each their own. Our strength is to take these parameters and use our experienced design eye to offer a creative glass texture that fulfills our clients dreams. We offer a series of sketches that incorporate a thoughtful “flow” whereby we stretch the apparent volume of the room.
Once done with the drawings we also offer our clients the ability to join us, elbow-to-elbow, in our glass fabrication studio to watch as we transform the 2-D design into a 3-D work of glass art in our kilns. Where else can you have such direct input into the creative design process? This is always made more fun with the opening of a nice bottle of wine (aka Artistic Aiming Aperitif).
If the client wishes to participate, we train them on the technique, and cut them loose on the design. Many wish to just watch and encourage the Artist with suggestions for the overall curvaceous form of the design. All must at least “sign” the sculpture with their finger… carving out the eye of the hurricane…at which point the kiln carving becomes a “Named Storm”… (Worthy of non-stop coverage by the Weather Channel).
We then fire the piece, cut, and polish the glass countertop and back paint the glass. Metallics, whites, pastels all are judiciously used to complement the room decor.
Installation, often using LEDs to illuminate the glass further enhances the depth of the textures created. We admire Tiffany’s and Swarovski, and have learned much from their technical prowess in using point-source lighting to maximize the depth and beauty of their diamonds and crystal sculptures. Finally, the sinks, grills and faucets are mounted to ensure everything fits and is exactly the way the owner envisioned. Pretty simple really, but thorough, and designed to make sure that the implementation is 100% executed to the best of our ablities. See the sketch below produced for Cabinet Genies.
We hope this blog has helped you to better understand the scope of our design services and inspires you to engage your own creative thought process and allow us to help you bring it to life in our glass countertops. Call us anytime to discuss your artistic vision.
Jeff Downing, Downing Designs (813) 784-5211