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12 June 2018

Laminated glass inserts you may never have considered

Laminated Glass is a safety glass – it holds together even when shattered. It is created by bonding two pieces of glass together using an interlayer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). Various inserts can be also be added during this process, sandwiched between the glass and bonding agents to create decorative panels.

Whilst laminated glass has been around for some time – and designers are familiar with the concept of laminating coloured films, pictures, and monotone vinyl designs – there are a wide range of materials that can be laminated to create decorative glass designs.  In this blog we will look at a few of these materials that you may never have considered.

Stone Veneer

Natural stone veneers laminated between glass.
Natural stone veneers laminated between glass.

Natural stone veneers are created by slicing a thin layer of stone from the front of a large slab. They can then be added as an insert within the glass lamination process to create a product that has the visual aesthetics of a natural stone surface but with certain key advantages:

  • Stone veneer laminated between glass is a lightweight option compared to using blocks of stone.
  • The laminated panels can have a double sided design and be as thin as circa. 11mm.
  • This product is more sustainable – a single block of stone can be used to create hundreds of stone veneers.
  • The front face is an easy-to-clean glass surface.

Leaf skeletons

Leaf skeletons laminated between glass.
Leaf skeletons laminated between glass.

Leaf skeletons are a lace like framework of the veins. They are remnants once all the tissue has broken down either, either through natural decay once a leaf falls from a tree or accelerated through by exposing the leaves to a sodium carbonate mixture. The advantage of accelerating the process rather than collecting the leaf skeletons naturally is that carefully producing them in the studio allows the most aesthetically pleasing leaves to be selected and for their skeletons and to be preserved intact.

In the above glass design, birch leaf skeletons and a light sheer fabric have been laminated between low-iron glass. To finish the design, a gradient of colour was added with gold paint.

Handmade papers

Handmade papers laminated between glass.
Handmade papers laminated between glass.

Hand-printed paper designs are a popular alternative to mass-market wallpapers. These hand-printed papers, however, still need to hold a certain level of robustness to survive the hanging process intact.

For more delicate paper designs, an alternative option is to laminate between glass and then fix these floor-to-ceiling glass panels to the wall.  This also has the advantage of lightening a room as the glass will help to reflect natural light around the space.

Broken glass

A cracked glass panel laminated between glass.
A cracked glass panel laminated between glass.

In reality this is not broken glass being laminated – 3 panels of glass are laminated together and then the middle panel is shattered (the outer pieces remain unbroken).  The 3 panels hold together because laminated glass forms a safety glass. This creates a design reminiscent of cracked ice in the shattered glass interlayer (emanating out from the point of impact where it was shattered).

Painted glass

A painting laminated between glass.
A painting laminated between glass.

Painted glass panels can be used in areas such as shower rooms where a traditional framed picture would be at risk of being damaged by the damp conditions. The design is created by painting directly onto the surface of glass and it is then laminated to a second panel – encasing the painting within the glass.  As laminated glass forms a waterproof safety glass, this painting is sealed and will not be damaged by the conditions. A further advantage of laminating painted glass is that it is not a necessity to frame these panels.

Technical Notes

  • Interlayers can range from a negligible thicknesses up to around 50mm thick.
  • The glass that is used in the lamination process can range from 4mm to 19mm in thickness (each side).
  • A different size of glass can be used on each side of the glass when laminating (E.G. 4mm on one side, 6mm on the other).
  • The largest laminated panel created by Daedalian Glass Studios to date measured 2600mm by 3800mm.

If you would like to browse a selection of the laminated glass designs in our portfolio, click here to visit the laminated section of our digital sample library.