Talking to Dan was different though… here was a bloke absolutely brimming with ideas and knowledge that I felt a strong kinship toward – like I felt toward Dave Smith. It’s a brethren thing we all cherish.
Sign writing and gilding is making a revival because of the peripheral knowledge and sightings of Dan’s beautiful workmanship and others like him.
In this article he describes how to create the illusion (and reality) of frosted glass. Now while I don’t normally promote the use of vinyl screens and treatments, I read on and found his understanding of the materials and hand cutting made the difference in both aesthetic design and client satisfaction.
Sometimes a project calls for concealing the view through a window. There are a number of ways to create obscure-glass, always driven by the needs of the situation. A solid sandblasted panel allows the light to come through but nothing can be seen on the other side of the glass.
Glue chipping creates beautiful random patterns in the glass which maintain some clarity but which distort the light so that everything is blurred.
Ashaded etching will have gradations of clear and etched areas – similar to airbrushing.
All of these options can be done in the studio and later installed, but when an existing window needs to be obscured on-location, the options are limited – especially if completely replacing the window is not in the budget.
On several occasions I’ve found that applying a transluscent vinyl film which simulates etched glass to be a perfect solution.
Obscure Glass: Mr. Moonlight, using “etched glass” films
Recently I had a client who wanted the window in the master bathroom to be fully obscured. The window beside the tub looked out onto the private deck of the home, but it was completely clear, providing no privacy without drawing the shade. Together we established a theme and I created a playful drawing, inspired in part by a moon face in a children’s story book. The end result gave the bathroom a whimsical ambiance allowing plenty of light during the day and no need to draw the shades at night.
I covered the entire glass with 3m “Dusted Crystal” film and then, after cutting the illustration out of 3m “Frosted Crystal” film, I applied it as a second layer. I combined both computer-aided cutting with my plotter, as well as hand cutting.
The main caveat in this method is that I try to round corners and also instruct the customer to take care when cleaning the surface so as not to catch the corners on the design elements and cause it to lift.
This application is obviously not the same as if you were to permanently alter the glass through more traditional methods, but over the years I’ve found it to be an appropriate approach to creating obscure glass where the situation calls for it.
Some previous projects with similar treatment:
Obscure Glass: Etched film on window above bath tub
Obscure Glass: Etched film on entryway window
Dan Seese Studios, Inc.
3830 Capitol Dive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526