Last updated on February 7th, 2021 at 07:03 am
How do we Distinguish ourselves vs other Countertop makers?
The answer is very simple. It takes hard work and artistic effort to design the most creative, artistic, custom Glass Countertops in the world. You cannot achieve this by stamping the same texture over and over. For large, multi-piece commissions, the glass texture will never “flow” or connect at the seams, and will look like several individually produced pieces with no real continuity. We have been there done that with previous suppliers. They dont care. It is the reason I went into this business because I knew this was a better way to execute modern kitchen ideas in a more thoughtful vision for large glass surfaces.
For large, multi-panel commissions, we provide our clients with a thoughtful design continuum textured across the individual pieces that will allow multiple panels to flow together in a coherent design. Since we make each piece in sequence by hand in our sand bed, it is a technical challenge that takes hours of preparation and Teamwork to execute well. We start by visiting the space to “feel” it. We discuss our abstract texturing ideas openly with our clients. Some clients have very clever ideas which we interweave with our own experiences. We refine and then present a series of sketches that outline our thinking until the design is perfected.
Large Custom Glass Countertops Inspired by Monet.
I take great inspiration from Claude Monet and his “Water Lilies at Musée de L’Orangerie” paintings. They are a huge waterscape of unparalleled magnitude and execution. From their website: “The set is one of the largest monumental achievements of early twentieth century painting. The dimensions and the area covered by the paint surrounds and encompasses the viewer on nearly one hundred linear meters which unfold a landscape dotted with water lilies, willow branches, and cloud reflections, giving the “illusion of an endless whole, of a wave with no horizon and no shore”. This unique masterpiece has no equivalent worldwide.”
It is certainly a triumph in terms of preparation and scale for a man that unfortunately never saw his masterwork installed. Monet works with thick layers of oil textures atop canvas. He juxtaposes color with daubs of their complementary colors, their opposite on a color wheel. This reinforces their magnitude. Conversely, we carve deep textures in a very fine sand bed upon which the flat glass will be placed and fired. When illuminated these deep textures create a shadow that adds to their drama. I have experimented with different styles and have achieved interesting textures as a result.
Custom Glass Countertops for a Luminous Outdoor Pool Bar with LEDs
Recently we received a commission to create a large glass countertop bar for an outdoor pool space. This Private Island was in the Exumas in the Bahamas. It was desired by the client to create a very natural looking Seascape reminiscent of the natural beauty of the islands. Most of our clients are passionate about our work and are eager to engage directly with us while we are creating their glass countertop. We invite their participation. It is always remarkable to me how everybody’s perspective is just a bit different, and their ideas becomes additive to our technical arsenal. In this case, it was a tremendous effort for them to visit as they traveled all the way (12 hours, 2 planes and a boat ride), to participate in the creation of their outdoor glass countertop. Shipping their was no problem thanks to our excellent crating partner and their most rugged crates.
This glass bar top would need to be subject to harsh Bahamian sunshine and elements and be illuminated along its entirety with an LED strip with a stainless steel cover.
Natural Sea Creature Impressions in Custom Glass Countertops
The challenge was to incorporate natural sea creature Impressions into our textured glass countertops. By carefully stamping these sea fans, sand dollars, we can capture their very fine details. But once the glass is molten and flowing over these impressions, often times it can mute the effect. Practice makes perfect and we refined the technique for incorporating real sea life creatures into our castings which would survive molten glass at over 1400 degrees flowing over it until cooling and annealing of the glass. Starfish, sand dollars, sea fans set anchored on the sandy bottom of the composition, in a creative scene with the flowing water currents above them. The result is a magnificent artistic glass countertop that incorporates realism with abstract impressionism in a large, multi-piece casting.
SCUBA Diving into Glass Countertops.
The result is something almost as beautiful as the original creatures, easily identified by the viewer in the context of the glass medium… with a beautiful topography of glass textures much like the oil on a Monet canvas. The asymmetry of the flow creates the impression of natural water movement. The ambiguity of the abstract textures heightens the participation by the viewer. ..it makes you look closer and closer to see just how incredibly detailed and perfect these castings can be. Over time, more viewings of this abstract only add to the mystery. The lens like quality of our hand-polished edge on our 1.5” thick glass countertops gives a sense of infinite depth and acts like a magnifying glass, much like when scuba diving where everything appears larger. The abstract and real coming together is a unique style, and they work beautifully together.
The Turtles and Sand dollars, and Sea fans are all real sized…you see them…you touch them. They convey a deep sense of being underwater with them. The abstract elements focus you on a “feeling” of being underwater. The realistic Natural elements focus you on the incredible details of these objects themselves. It is quite a unique perspective to observe how this plays out in our thick glass countertops. Glass Countertops thinner than 1.5” do not possess this depth and lens-like quality to peer “inside” the glass.
Our 2nd countertop featured a client that loves turtles and wanted to capture an impression in their raised glass high bar. They had a beautiful metal casting of a baby loggerhead turtle. After many failures, we eventually figured out how to properly cast its impression in our sand bed. The result is beautiful, and befitting their waterfront home style. It is at once abstract, fun, tactile and real…the best of all possibilities.
As you look at the pictures and video below, observe the edge effects and the continuity from piece to piece to create the impression of 1 large piece.
I hope that the pictures attached will give you inspiration as to our capabilities and bring us your nautical artifacts to cast into your “most beautiful glass countertop”.
Sand Dolllar Edge in Thick Glass Countertop with CoralsJeff Downing
(813) 784 5211
Last Updated on February 7, 2021 by Jeff Downing