Chocolate chip cookies, meatballs, meatloaf — all of these are better when made by hand. You might not have thought about it before, but glass can be hand-made and, depending on the “recipe,” will yield beautiful results in lighting designs.
When you see the Italian term “piastra glass” in a product description on LightsOnline, it means the glass is handmade by being pressed into shape, almost like one would make a pizza. (Depending on the source, you’ll see the Italian word “piastra” translated to mean “slab” or “plate.”)
And just like customizing a pizza with toppings, piastra glass can have elements pressed or applied to change its appearance in color and texture. For example, patterns and shapes can be formed by using hammers, chisels, wet saws or pliers. A hint of color can be added for a strié effect with opaque wisps swirling through otherwise transparent glass.
Thanks to the versatility of piastra glass, lighting designs can take on the look of chiseled ice sculptures, thick waves of water glass, or tiny encapsulated bubbles. The amount of glass thickness and transparency are all up to the craftsman and can vary slightly; therefore, no two piastra glass pieces are exactly alike. Just like snowflakes, they are similar enough for design unity, but each have minute differences to maintain individuality.
Why does artisan glass matter? The majority of glass shades or diffusers in lighting fixtures and wall sconces are often made with clear, thinner glass that is perfectly functional, but not necessarily noteworthy. Piastra glass, however, lends some design oomph to any fixture, whether through a chiseled edge, block thickness, swirled color, or an icicle look. Piastra glass exudes a look of higher quality that doesn’t add a lot to the overall cost.
Here is a close-up look at the piastra glass of the Savoy House Hayward sconce. You can see beautiful swirling smoky white striations as well as some bubbles! (What is a little harder to see is that the glass is not perfectly smooth, but textured. You can feel the ripples as you run your hand over the glass.)
Why settle for ordinary? Check out the difference piastra glass brings to the lighting designs offered on LightsOnline.com!
July 21, 2022
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