[PA-NJ Glassblowers] Feats of Glass Panel Fabrication - especially appropriate for Memorial Day Weekend

Tony Patti gaffer at glassblower.info
Fri May 22 11:04:04 EDT 2015







http://www.avdlm.org/sites/default/files/glass-fabrication.jpg     Glass
Panel Lettering    




Feats of Fabrication: American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

Five-layer, etched and painted glass panels displayed at first-of its-kind

Bethany Stough
April 29, 2015

Three striking glass walls highlight the new American Veterans Disabled for
Life Memorial, which opened Oct. 5 in Washington, D.C., and pays tribute to
disabled veterans both living and deceased across all conflicts throughout
the nation’s history.

Four glass fabricators worked for nearly three years to develop the 48
laminated and etched glass panels that form interpretive walls, displaying
disabled soldiers’ stories through quotations and photographs.

 <http://savoystudios.com/> Savoy Studios was first contracted by the
Disabled Veterans’ Life Memorial Foundation to fabricate the glass panel
walls. Savoy collaborated with  <http://moonshadowglass.com/> Moon Shadow
Glass Inc., which completed the glass etching; and
<http://glassstrategies.com/> Glass Strategies, which laminated the final


The numerous and complex fabrication steps required close coordination and
adaptation throughout the project, while the size and weight of each
finished laminated-glass panel demanded special handling from the

 <http://hartung-glass.com/> Hartung Glass Industries supplied the
ultra-clear glass. Made using ¾-inch ultra-clear Starphire Glass by
<http://ppgideascapes.com/> PPG Industries each individual panel layer is 48
inches by 106 inches and weighs 360 pounds.

Savoy contacted Moon Shadow Glass Inc., a fellow Oregon-based company that
it had collaborated with in the past, to handle the photorealistic images
and text etching on the surface and between each layer of the panels, using
proprietary processes.

“We had to produce detailed stencils and film from the original artwork,”
said Tim Frasier, founder and owner of Moon Shadow Glass, in a Hartung
release. “After putting those images on the glass, we manually sandblasted
the surface to achieve just the right effect,” he says.

Similar to silk screening, creating photorealistic etching involves making a
film that’s either positive or negative and then creating an etch from that.
An unusual step for Moon Shadow, “The process involved working with the
architects and designers to produce horizontal line graphics of the photos,
and then we took that and etched it into glass,” explains Kris Iverson,
marketing and creative director for Moon Shadow.

“Each image is from a different war—the ‘thousand-yard stare’ is from
Vietnam, and the soldier cradling a wounded soldier is from the Korean
[War],” says Iverson. “We used special films to reproduce the shading of
black and white photographs and captured those incredible images on glass.
This was a huge challenge.”

Some of the etching appears on the outside surface of the panels, allowing
visitors to touch and feel the indentations, which are 1/16-inch deep.

Once the etching process was complete, Savoy Studios painted the etched
photos and interior text. Savoy then delivered the glass panels to long-time
collaborator Glass Strategies to be sand-sealed, a process where specially
formulated paint is applied by hand to an etched surface, and laminated.
Both companies met several times over the course of the project to determine
how the process would go—and adapt along the way.

Having never dealt with glass that was 1,800 pounds per laminated panel,
Glass Strategies and Savoy Studios coordinated to build special tilt tables
with removable skids to accommodate the weight of each panel, explains Sean
Healy, shop manager for Glass Strategies.

Using overhead and wheeled cranes, the team at Glass Strategies placed the
massive sheets on custom tilt-tables for the laminating process. The liquid
resin Polylam, manufactured by Glasslam, glasslam.com, filled the irregular
etched spaces between the sheets of glass before hardening into a solid,
unbreakable bond. Polylam has been tested for projects that are being
exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The laminate is able to accommodate
irregular surfaces, such as deeply etched glass, according to the Hartung

“The scope and complexity of the panels, combined with the size and weight,
provided unique challenges throughout the process,” said Rich Lamothe, owner
of Glass Strategies, in the Hartung release.

Once the lamination was completed, Savoy Studios handled the whitewash
painting of the etched indentations and used a computer-controlled water jet
to trim each panel to its finished size. That required careful placement of
each panel into a holding device to ensure that the edges were precisely
aligned vertically and horizontally. After the trimming was completed, the
edges of the glass panels were rounded and polished to ensure a smooth
finish that visitors can easily touch.

The entire fabrication took Savoy Studios, and its subcontractors, nearly
three years to complete, with each panel taking about two-and-a-half weeks
to make.

“One of my biggest challenges was working with three companies,” said Keir
Legree, project manager at Savoy Studios. “Coordinating, gathering and
receiving materials was a huge part of the job. The coordination and making
things seamless was necessary but difficult.”

Representatives from each glass company noted the challenge of the precision
and coordination needed to complete the highly complex project, but also the
humbling experience of using their skills to honor veterans.

“Looking at the pictures—they’re larger than life. And thinking about [the
person] in the photo—what he went through—and then working on it and being
part of it, it’s really moving. We feel honored,” said Legree.

For the memorial, artist Larry Kirkland created four silhouette designs to
be used for bronze sculptures and selected the photographs to be used on the
glass panels. Research firm History Associates selected quotations for
inscription in the glass walls.

The design of the memorial was completed by  <http://vergason.net/> Michael
Vergason Landscape Architectsand the project architect was
<http://sbaranes.com/> Shalom Baranes Associates. The glazing installer was
<http://tidewaterglazing.com/> Tidewater Glazing.




Tony Patti
 <http://www.glassblower.info> www.glassblower.info
 <mailto:gaffer at glassblower.info> gaffer at glassblower.info

 <http://www.glassblower.info/qr-code.html> QR Code for Tony Patti -



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