Specifying bespoke decorative glass is not one of the dark arts, the process shouldn’t resemble a standoff between interior designers, architects and the glass studio either. Both parties are ultimately looking for the same outcome – to have a beautiful design element approved that meets all safety regulations and is in budget.
To this end, there are a few key pieces of information that we ask about prior to the dispatch of samples – what its proposed use will be, a rough idea of panel sizes and quantities required, budget, lead time, and to inform of any sampling costs required.
To help explain our sampling policy, and the reasons why we insist the sharing of some project information prior to their dispatch, our team have put together a list of frequently asked questions with explanations:
“It’s only at the concept stage so I don’t have any drawings, can we show you later?”
We completely understand if you are only at a concept stage. However, a brief discussion about what areas you are designing will allow us to assess which samples are suitable, or what additional processes might be required to make them suitable.
Glass is subject to building regulations and not all glass is suitable for use in all locations. Not all glass can be toughened, and not all glass is available in the same panel sizes. For example, hand-blown craft glass sheets are quite small and could not be used as a single floor-to-ceiling partition screen. Another example, fused glass cannot be toughened and would need to be laminated to 4mm low-iron, toughened glass if located lower than 800mm from the ground.
“I don’t know the budget and just want to propose ideas, why does this matter?”
At an early concept stage, this is very common, and we appreciate you do not necessarily know exact PSM rates for each area. However, designers will know whether their project is a Georgian-era mansion in Highgate or a casual dining restaurant within a holiday resort, a Middle-Eastern Royal palace or a local parish church, a superyacht or a cruise ship (these are all projects in our portfolio). No job is too big or too small for us, but at the same time there is no point in suggesting tens of thousands of pounds worth of cast lead-crystal frieze panels for that casual dining restaurant.
When we ask about the budget, it is not to try and see if we can squeeze a few more pounds of flesh when producing a quote. We ask so that we can suggest samples that stand a realistic chance of progressing through design, tender, and value engineering stages to the point of order. This saves any time or resources being wasted discussing samples that are ultimately not suitable for the project. Again, if the samples you have chosen are not suitable, we will be happy to select and propose alternative finishes that match your design brief – As a multi disciplined glass studio this is one of Daedalian’s strengths.
“I am too busy to have a discussion; I just need samples sent to me?”
Whilst taking the time to have a consultation with one of our team of glass specialists may seem needlessly time consuming, it will save time in the long run for both yourself and your client compared to us sending samples that are unsuitable for the desired use.
“My client meeting is tomorrow morning; can you send me some samples?”
If looking to borrow some stock samples then we will search through the (thousands) of pieces we have at our studios for something suitable. However, we would still prefer to be given a few days to a weeks’ notice as we must pick out your samples, perform quality control checks (check for scratches / chips during storage or previous loans), and give them a good polish before they are packaged and set by courier for next day delivery.
If the design brief requires a bespoke sample to be comprehensively manufactured, the short answer is no – Our studio team works to a production plan that is scheduled in advance and it is simply not possible to create a sample piece worthy of putting the Daedalian Glass Studios name on between existing scheduled production in an afternoon.
“I have a concept in mind…can you create a sample for me, free of charge, to get the client to buy-in?”
If your concept requires hours, days, or even weeks of work by our design team then this work will have to take place after the point of order. However, we are happy to loan samples from our studio stock, free-of-charge, that will demonstrate the glass working techniques involved, or a similar type of design, to gain client approval.
Asking for free sampling of a completely bespoke concept design is like saying, “I’m thinking of changing my interiors, can you provide concept drawings, spec sheets, and sample boards, free-of-charge, for me to decide if I will hire you as my interior designer/architect.”
“Why are there costs for sampling, can’t you just make on big panel and cut it down?”
Glass is not like wood veneer or fabric where a small sample can be snipped off the end. If a large panel is made using toughened glass, it cannot be cut down (it is designed to safely shatter when broken). Therefore, each sample piece must be hand-made individually. Even when we use a cast or annealed glass that can be cut once produced, our studio team would still need to spend considerable time hand-polishing each edge surface.
“I am not sure what my client will want, can I just have these 15 samples sent for them to decide in the meeting?”
Choice is a beautiful thing and as a multi-discipline, bespoke glass studio we consider the range of designs we offer as unique. However, if the average sample is A5 size and 9mm thick, this would roughly be 1.4kg. Those 15 samples would therefore be over 21kg in weight before we start packaging them. If larger or lead crystal glass is selected, these samples could be 3 to 5kg each. This is a big, expensive box that is being requested – potentially for the client to have a cursory glance and pick out the one sample we would have suggested is the most suitable anyway.
Then add the fact that the average sample cost to produce is £250. Those 15 samples are £3,750 worth of glass that could potentially get damaged in transit or during client meetings. We accept this risk as a cost of doing business, however, by having a discussion regarding the intended use and budget first we can at least minimise this risk by making sure that all the samples (leant) are relevant.
Daedalian is a unique glass studios due to the skills gained over 30 years of collaboration with talented architects and designers. We look forward to collaborating with you on your design project and offering our advice. Please try to work with us and the realities of sampling, its where our journey begins and its worth getting it right from the start.
Visit our digital sample library to view a snapshot of our bespoke designs.
If you would like to discuss a glass project, please contact our team via email (email@example.com) or phone (01253 702 531).