Glass Types

FreeForm Series Glass Patterns: Organic Design Details

FreeForm Series Glass Patterns. All of Nathan Allan’s 175+ unique cast glass designs are produced with handmade organic molds. Organic molds by nature, are not perfect. They contain small imperfections in each mold, and this is a normal part of their organic quality. Nathan Allan artists and techs re-work each mold to increase the smoothness of the mold, and the improvement is dramatic. However, it is always possible that there will be a small amount of organic details which are inherent. We consider this to be normal, natural, and part of the organic design.

Organic details may appear to look like a small air bubble or a natural ripple. A panel of glass may not contain either of these details, or it may contain one each. Or it is possible that there could be a few of these details in each panel (see photos). If you are standing within a foot or two of a panel with a small bubble effect, you may notice it.. But when you stand back and view an overall installation, these bubbles are difficult to see in most applications. Because the natural ripples tend to be longer or larger, they are more noticeable. However, we review every panel we produce, and we only ship panels which meet our production standards of what is considered normal or typical organic details. If a panel does not meet the criteria, it will not be shipped.

Please view the photos and video which we have provided for the bubbles and the ripples. With the photos which show the rippled panels, in a close photo of a small section, the natural ripples are evident. However, when you view the same glass panels in a larger format (see video), the ripples blend in with the glass and there is a distinct and impressive shimmering effect. This is how we judge our organic glass.

Please be aware that when we provide our 4” x 4”, 6” x 6” or 12” x 12” samples, almost every one of these samples will be near perfect. However, when we produce the much larger panels for actual projects, the organic details may form in the larger panels, due to the large mold sizes and temperature fluctuations in large kilns. Please note that this is completely normal and is completely expected.

At Nathan Allan, we strive to be open and upfront about our unique glass. Our glass is brilliant and beautiful, with or without organic details in the glass. With handmade cast glass, there is no such item as a perfect panel. But that is a big reason why our glass is in such high demand. Clients who select our glass are not looking for the perfect, machined glass, with old style shallow designs. They choose our smooth or deep organic designs which are unique and full of character, and contain the handmade qualities which cast glass provides.

The best advice I can offer is for you to view the many impressive installations on our website. Some of these installations are stunning, and yet I know that each panel contains organic details.. However, when installed, the overall visual of our glass is always impressive.

Fluted Glass

FreeForm Series Glass Patterns
Rippled Effect Glass
Above are close up photos of our organic Fluted Glass. As the Fluted pattern has a protruding 3D surface, when looking through the glass, the lighting may create a ripple effect, which is not always present. Or if there is a minor rippled effect in the pattern, the lighting can magnify the effect, and camera photos may also do the same. Materials behind the glass may also cause the Fluted lines to look like they are wavy, even though they are straight. For the most part, this is often a magnified illusion created by light, backgrounds, and 3D glass surfaces.

We want to be very clear, that our glass is a not mass produced glass, which has shallow textures and perfectly straight lines. Our glass is handmade, and organic, which means it is not perfect. A single Fluted line or even a couple of lines may slump slightly lower than other lines, or may have a slight shape in the line. But these organic details are what most of our clients find so appealing, and what sets our glass apart. We often hear that our glass, imperfections and all, looks expensive and “unlike the machined glass which looks cheap or like plastic.” Just saying….

A view of the same glass, and how the natural ripple effect shows off the organic, handmade nature of kiln formed glass.