1. What is inlaid (laminated) art glass?
Inlaid art glass represents a new technique for creating art glass by inlaying pieces of true hand-blown or machine rolled stained and textured cut glass onto structural (clear) glass via a resin lamination process. This method provides significant architectural advantages, compelling aesthetics, meets safety codes, and has nearly limitless design possibilities. Dazzle Glazz Studio has teamed with Meixia, the innovative pioneer in commercialization of this technique.
2. What makes the Meixia inlaid technique so different?
Three things: structural performance, aesthetic versatility, value. For a more complete explanation of each of these, send an information inquiry with the specifics of interest.
3. What are applications for inlaid glass?
The list is quite long! At Dazzle Glazz Studio, we focus on windows and panels for architectural applications like churches and public spaces like train stations, hotels, etc.
Some of the other possibilities that we also handle are lobby, entry and foyer systems, sidelights, transoms, doors, skylights, signs, brand insignias, restaurant panels, wall murals, ceiling-mounted murals, light boxes, decorative store fronts, glass table tops, privacy panels, room dividers, bathroom enclosures, stepping stones, fireplace screens, furniture and office fixtures, and retail artwork.
4. How are the pieces of glass held together?
No lead is required in the inlaid technique. The art glass layer is assembled using a resin joinery technique that can be of varying widths, from as thin as 1/32 inch wide to as wide as 3 inches. The art glass layer is then resin laminated to a layer of clear structural glass.
5. How do you get such fine cuts in the examples of your glass?
Many of the cuts you see in the images cannot be hand cut. Most of our glass is cut using a high pressure jet of water. A computer controlled pin-size jet stream of water and garnet powder is used to give a clean glass cut of any shape and dimension. The water-jet is controlled by a vectorized computer graphic containing the desired glass art image.
6. Will it the resin yellow or delaminate?
Unlike the windshield laminating process that uses polyvinyl butyral plastic under heat and pressure, the inlaid bond is a cold process that assures there will be no yellowing and delaminating.
7. How long has this kind of inlaid glass been around?
Actually, the laminating technology has been used in architectural applications for over 30 years. The most recent innovation is Meixia’s incorporation of finely cut pieces of art glass to create a mosaic similar to leaded stained glass.
8. What kind of longevity does it have?
From a chemistry standpoint, the constituent materials are designed to withstand deterioration and decomposition indefinitely. From a fabrication standpoint, the inlaid technique does not rely upon materials that can fade, malleable framing systems that bow and stretch (like lead), or the brittle nature of “plain unsupported” stained glass. This helps preserve the art glass over the long term.
9. How does this compare in price to other forms of art glass?
The inlaid technique compares favorably. On average, the cost of inlaid panels is very similar to leaded glass panels. The design advantages of the inlaid technique are achieved with additional materials and a reduction in labor that nearly balance.
10. What factors impact the cost of this technique?
The fabrication cost is primarily a function of size and complexity of the design, primarily the number of pieces and intricacy of the cuts. Other factors common to glass art, such as the type of glass and its origin, are also involved. The more complex the image, the greater is the cost per square foot. Design, framing and installation are additional value components which can be handled by our Dazzle Glazz Studio or by others.
11. What are the lead times?
The design process is dependent upon the client approval process, which if often the unpredictable and limiting factor. Once the design is approved and the initial investment paid, small interiors projects can take between 8-12 weeks and large architectural projects 6-12 months to fabricate.
12. Where are Dazzle Glass Studio and Meixia located?
Dazzle Glazz Studio is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From there we do our design and project coordination. We have worked with Brad Hobbs who operates the Meixia Design Studios out of Knoxville, Tennessee. By the end of 2005, we will also be working with a licensee of the Meixia technology on the east coast.
13. What kind of glass can be inlaid using the inlaid technique?
Any hand-blown or machine rolled stained or textured glass from key glass makers around the world can be used. For the structural glass, (sometimes called the substrate), any of the typical glasses including float glass, heat strengthened, and tempered glass may be used.
14. What are the size limitations for a section of inlaid glass?
Theoretically speaking, about 10 feet x 12 feet. But really, that is one huge chunk-of-glass! More common is an 8 foot dimension. But tell us what you need and we�ll see if it can be done. The Meixia technique affords a lot of art glass in one contiguous piece of glass, without special framing or installation requirements � more so than any other glass art technique in the world!
15. How is inlaid glass installed?
Just like normal clear glass. Hence any local glazing contractor or glass shop can install this into standard framing systems. We’ve seen it done many times.
16. Are there special framing systems required?
No. Any kind of wooden, aluminum or other window, storefront, and ecclesiastical window system may be used with the our inlaid glass.
17. What is the thickness of the glass?
Most commonly it is 5/16 inch to 1/2 inch thick. But the thickness varies with the application requirements. For example glass table tops are usually thicker than shower doors. Theoretically there is no limit on overall thickness.
18. How many layers can be inlaid?
As many as you desire or need! Obviously additional layers add additional cost.
19. What kind of insulating properties does this glass have?
Thermal, noise and UV insulating qualities inherent in laminated glass apply to the Meixia inlaid technique as well.
20. Does this glass pass safety codes?
Yes, both ANSI Z97.1 and the 16 CFR (Category 1 and Category 2) standards. This means that you can have beautiful art glass anywhere.
21. Can this glass be repaired?
Yes. Damaged sections of the art glass layer can be repaired onsite, though sometimes it may be more productive to remove the panel and do it in-studio. If the substrate layer is broken, the work will need to be re-inlaid, which is an in-studio process. However by it’s very nature, inlaid glass is much stronger than leaded glass.