Case Studies

Intentional Improvisation

As spring meets summer, I thought I’d share a peek at a recent counter we fabricated that complements the colorful exuberance of the season.  The design was actually based on the artwork of Wassily Kandinsky, a well-known early 20th century abstract artist.   It was challenging but fun to translate his design intent in glass.

This “swoop” of a counter measures 12 ft.- 3 in. L x 2 in. thick.  It is situated in an area with plenty of natural light from a waterfront setting during the day and dramatically under lit when the day darkens.   It certainly commands attention in a setting full of beautiful and distinctive artwork.   We were fortunate to be able to provide this striking piece for a very discerning couple.

Interior Designer:  Kay Stewart Design
Architect:  Scott Allen Architecture
Contractor:  The Roberts Group Builders

Since our last email, we’ve donated to two more non-profit organizations, The American Lung Association and Kitty Harbor, through our referral program.   As a reminder, if you refer a client to us, we will make a donation in your name to a non-profit organization of your choice.  We have contributed to almost forty non-profit businesses, some more than once, since we initiated the program.

News:  Welcome to Jesse Diaz!  A skilled craftsman who concentrates on doing the finishing work on our fabrications.

Thanks for reading…and as always, feedback is appreciated!

Cool Installation

As the warm days of summer ramp up, our minds naturally drift toward visions of respite, shade and water.  Our cascading cast glass eating counter embodies that vision of a refreshing, spring mountain thaw, or an icy beverage being poured into a glass.  Its surface looks very cool; feels very cool.  Amazing how visual and tactile senses can affect your perceptions – glass can do that!

CT-120 Cast Arctic Dense eating counter, 168" x 18" x 1"thick, with segmented return for cascading effect.

CT-120 Cast Arctic Dense eating counter, 168″ x 18″ x 1″thick, with segmented return for cascading effect.

Cascading Cast Glass Eating Counter

Residential Project 2015

Cast Arctic Dense eating counter
168” x 18” x 1”, with segmented return

Design by Nils Finne of FINNE Architects
Contractor:  Rimmer & Roeter Construction
Photo Courtesy of Nils Finne

SAVE THE DATE!  Open House and Remnant Sale 
August 20, 2015.  Details to follow.

Glassworks Cast Glass Counter – Crane Installation

We got creative with this glass eating counter installation…

Beautiful California Glowing Glass Counter Top

CT-116: Backlit fused low-iron glass eating counter. 16' x 22"

CT-116: Backlit fused low-iron glass eating counter. 16′ x 22″

We received these pictures of our beautiful Aisu glass installed in a residence in California as a glowing glass counter.   To achieve this stunning look, we originally met with the owner in our studio.  He immediately loved seeing and touching our glass!  We then  worked long distance with his contractor to insure a perfect installation.

glowing counter2

You don’t have to visit our studio to understand the unique properties of glass.  With our sample program located on our website, you can request a sample of a type of glass you’re interested in.   If you decide to purchase a piece from us, the price of that sample is deducted from the final price of your glass.  The look and feel of glass sells itself!

If you have installation pictures you would like us to feature, please send them our way.  We love to see the results of working together to achieve your vision.

A tour of sustainability at Natural Balance House

Natural Balance House on Bainbridge Island

Homeowners Glen and Deb Bruel invite you to visit their new ‘Natural Balance House’ – expected to be the first LEED Platinum home on San Juan Island featuring Architectural Art Glass by Glassworks, Inc.

Architectural Art Glass by Glassworks, Inc. includes:

  • Cast Glass Countertop
  • Recycled Glass Wine Room Door
  • Fuzed Glass Light Fixture

Big thanks to Ravenhill Construction who included us in this project.

WHEN: Every Saturday in May, from 11am to 4pm.

WHO: Tours will be led by the building professionals and designers involved in the project. Homeowners Glen and Deb Bruels will also be on hand. In addition, each Saturday will feature a special presentation by a professional involved with the project:

  • SATURDAY, MAY 7: “Getting to LEED Platinum”
    with Ravenhill Construction (presentation at noon)
  • SATURDAY, MAY 14: “Art from Around the World”
    with the homeowners and regional artists Lori Blessing and
    Andy Nichols (presentations at noon and 2 p.m.)
  • SATURDAY, MAY 21: “Water-Wise Shoreline Development”
    with landscaper Steve Schramm of Island Gardens
    (presentations at noon and 2 p.m.)
  • SATURDAY, MAY 28: “Sustainable Design”
    with designer Michael McNamara of Blue Sky Design
    (presentations at noon and 2 p.m.)

GETTING THERE: The Natural Balance House is located on the northwest coast of San Juan Island. Free parking is available in the upper lot of Snug Harbor Resort, with continuous shuttle service to the home from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The island accessible by ferry, plane, or seaplane. Directions to Snug Harbor Resort from the Friday Harbor Ferry Dock: Turn right at Front St., left onto Spring St., 2nd right onto 2nd St. Continue onto Guard St., turn right to stay on Guard St., left at Beaverton Valley Rd. Continue onto W Valley Rd., left at Mitchell Bay Rd. Destination on the left. Address: Snug Harbor Resort, 1997 Mitchell Bay Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250

ADMISSION: Admission is free, with a suggested $5 donation to the Island’s Whale Museum in support of efforts to safeguard local orcas. Please no children under 10, pets, or food or drink. The home is not wheelchair-accessible.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to arrange a private tour for your group of 4 or more:
Pam Worner, Green Dog Enterprises, email Pam, 206.883.6688


Winter 2011 Design Partner Feature: Architects Hawaii

We enjoy celebrating the success of our many creative and innovative design partners. This quarter we are focusing some special attention on Architects Hawaii staff members, Karen Muraoka, Interior Designer, and Mariel Moriwake, Associate AIA, who recently partnered with us in their design of the Straub Oncology Treatment Center in Honolulu, HI.

Architects Hawaii - Straub Oncology Clinic Waiting AreaDesigning a Healing Environment
From day one on this project, it was determined that the theme would center around nature and in particular “bamboo” elements. This became a healing environment drawing on the gentle colors and life giving images of nature and good health. This is a Clinic where most of the patients visit weekly for many hours of treatment and the importance of providing a comfortable and welcoming design setting is paramount to the healing process. This repeat experience needed to become a safe and friendly environment for patients and families to visit.

This project brought together the entire hospital and design team to the table to discuss the best solution to architectural finishes and their maintenance in the coming months and years. Environmental Services requested samples for testing. Finance required an initial and future price point that would meet the budget, and the design team maintained a voice to the vision of a healing environment.

Architects Hawaii - Straub Oncology Clinic 02The process for designing the glass included creative problem solving to achieve the desired effect while staying within budget and meeting deadlines for installation. More than a half-dozen samples were created to accomplish the desired soft and soothing effect while accomplishing the functional requirement of safety glass. These samples included fusing colored glass and laminating, fusing colored frit (fine granules of colored glass), and finally choosing slumped glass that was tempered and then back-painted. Glassworks staff worked closely with Architects Hawaii designers for technical consultation, fabrication information and installation advice to insure a successful outcome an ocean away.

Architects Hawaii - Straub Oncology Clinic 03This Clinic officially opened up for use recently and one of the best results is to hear how the patients, families and staff enjoy being in this environment. The severity and difficulty of having to endure chemotherapy for cancer and its ensuing after effects is so hard to bear and the small comforts of providing an environment that helps patients tolerate the effects is rewarding. The design also provided greater staff productivity and a lighter spirit in which to work.

Architects Hawaii - Straub Oncology Clinic, Detail

Karen Muraoka is a Senior Associate and Studio Head in charge of the Interior Design Department at Architects Hawaii Ltd. (AHL) in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has been employed with AHL for 24 years. Her design specialties are healthcare, educational, corporate and government/institutional work. Karen is a professional member of both IIDA and ASID. Along with her position with the AAHID Board of Regents, she is the current Director of the Honolulu City Center, IIDA. Work in Asia and throughout the Pacific Rim has provided a variety of project types ranging from medical centers in Japan, a new medical school for the University of Hawaii, a capitol building interior space in Micronesia to corporate work for the State of Hawaii. She has received design excellence awards for the medical projects in Japan and Hawaii as well as for historical preservation work completed in Hawaii.

Mariel Moriwake, Associate AIA, joined Architects Hawaii in 2005. Her focus at AHL has been on healthcare projects, although she has also worked on projects in the retail and education sectors. She is a member of the United States Green Building Council, Hawaii Chapter, a LEED Accredited Professional, and serves as the Advocacy for Healthcare Committee Co-Chair. Mariel was the recipient of the 2009 Herman Miller Healthcare Design Conference Scholarship.

Architects Hawaii Recognitions in 2010:

  • Ranked No. 147 on the ZweigWhite Hot Firm 2010 list of the 150 fastest-growing U.S. and Canada architecture, engineering and environmental consulting firms
  • NAIOP Hawaii’s Architecture Firm of the Year
  • Ranked No. 92 nationally on Architectural Record’s annual Top 250 Architecture Firms
  • Ranked No. 48 nationally on Engineering News Record’s Annual Top 100 Green Design Firms 2010
  • Ranked No. 354 nationally on Engineering News Record’s annual Top 500 Design Firms 2010
  • Ranked No. 205 on Hawaii Business Magazine’s 2010 Top 250 list

More information on Architects Hawaii:

Design Partner Feature: Jeff Lamb

For more than forty years, Glassworks has fabricated functional architectural art glass that both dazzles the eye and fulfills a useful function, thanks to collaborations with creative interior designers, architects, and home and business owners. Starting this quarter, Glassworks is initiating a new section of our blog and email newsletter that celebrates the success of our many creative and innovative design partners, beginning with Jeff Lamb of J Lamb Studios and V3 Studio in Portland Oregon.

Glassworks "Sapphire" Glass Feature Wall

Glassworks "Sapphire" Glass Feature Wall

Jeff included our work in his recent interior design of a penthouse in the Escala building, located on 4th and Virginia in downtown Seattle. This elegant new high-rise condominium features 24 hour concierge services, a private theater/conference room, exercise room, and underground parking. The grand foyer, dominated by a swirling metal staircase, leads you past the large concierge desk toward a hallway of elevators. After taking a short ride on the ultra-fast and private elevator to the 30th floor, you are greeted in the entry way by a glass feature wall by Glassworks. Made of alternating strips of our heavily textured kiln-formed “Sapphire” glass, the white-clear material gives the impression of pure ice crystals frozen in time. Just beyond, the entryway powder room features an all-glass vanity by Glassworks with integrated sink, frosted and textured with real fichus leaves and surrounded by wood framed mirrors. As you proceed to the main space your breath is stolen by the rich natural light pouring through endless windows and ceilings more than 10 feet high. This northwest-facing residence features nearly continuous 180 degree views of downtown Seattle (including an intimate view of the Space Needle), the Puget Sound, and the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges.

"Sapphire" textured Glass Bar

"Sapphire" textured Glass Bar

Jeff took advantage of the changing natural light by filling the open floor plan living spaces with reflective white oak floors and over 110 square feet of our heavily textured clear “Sapphire” glass on the bar. This same glass is also used to cover the master bathroom counter. Beyond the surrounding windows you find a curved and covered terrace wrapping around the master bedroom, living spaces, and guest bedroom. Perfect for year-round entertaining, Jeff Lamb’s work creates an open and inviting space that reflects the views. This penthouse has received praise from Wendy Leung of the Seattle Condo Review blog. Wendy writes that this space was the highlight of her tour at the broker’s Open House in March 2010.

"Sapphire" Glass Bathroom Counter

"Sapphire" Glass Bathroom Counter

Jeff Lamb was educated in Architecture at the University of Oregon before finding inspiration during a travel fellowship where he studied the romanticism of Italy and modernism in Germany and Switzerland. He started his career at BOORA Architects, then he took the position of Design Director at Sienna Architecture Company where he designed award winning buildings including Ashland Middle School, North Park Lofts and Irvington Place. Lamb’s career really took off after designing AIA/Portland‘s award-winning offices. He currently holds the position of Principal at V3 Studio and runs his own J Lamb Studios where he focuses on “sustainable urban placemaking” and mixed use formats to enliven the built environment. Jeff’s work also includes furniture design, rug design and custom lighting. His work has been featured in numerous design media outlets including Luxe Magazine, Western Interior Magazine, the Travel Channel, and HGTV. Two of his recently completed interior designs have received awards from the Seattle Design Center’s regional interior design awards program. He received both the Ion Lewis Traveling Fellowship and most recently the Margo Grant Teaching Fellowship from the University of Oregon in 2008. Jeff has built his career on his work being practical, elegant, and very responsive to construction budgets. An extensive list of his project experience can be found in his website, and

Penthouse Living Room with Evening View

Penthouse Living Room with Evening View

Glassworks was honored to be included by Jeff Lamb in this jewel of a penthouse in Seattle’s Downtown. In order to accommodate his specifications, we were able to push the limits of our fabrication studio and the creativity of our production artists, learning new techniques that we can now apply to future work with Jeff and our other design partners in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We are excited to be able to share Jeff’s work and experience with you, and we look forward to next quarter when we will take the opportunity feature another member of our design partner community.

– – –

We look forward to working with our design partners from initial concept, through custom fabrication, to final installation. If you have a great design idea to explore with us, please call us at (206) 441-4268 or contact us by email.

Case Study – Waves of Glass

The Challenge
Our client needed help with the construction of an outdoor bar for an upscale beach resort. His vision included a glass, boat-shaped bar nestled in a sea of glass waves. He wanted the “boat” designed so that bartenders could easily stand and work inside the structure. He also wanted the bar lit from the inside so all sides of the “boat” would be illuminated.

The Solution
Taking into consideration thickness, safety, and design, we created a number of sample pieces. We knew the glass had to be structurally sound yet translucent. From the sample stage, we fabricated a mold with a wave-like texture and created twenty-two individual pieces of green glass, each measuring 28″ x 36″ and 2.4″ thick. The pieces were mitered to fit the boat radius seamlessly and then pieced together inside a 24-foot metal frame that was designed to hold the glass boat and the matching glass countertop.

The Result
The bar was assembled at the Glassworks studio for a test run and then disassembled for shipment. Once installed at its final location, the “boat” created an ideal working space for the resort’s staff as well as a compelling centerpiece for the resort’s guests. The result was so stunning, the client asked us to use the same glass to create matching directional signs to be used throughout the resort area.

Case Study – Falling Waters

The Challenge
A client who was designing a private eating club had recently returned from a trip to Africa. While there, he had spent time at one of the more majestic waterfalls on the continent. The club he was building was set on a waterfront and he approached Glassworks to replicate the look and feel of the African waterfall.

The Solution
To create the indoor waterfall, we designed glass panels that covered the lion share of the interior wall space. We etched the panels with a dynamic waterfall image and fabricated large, kiln-formed glass panels to look like colorful native rocks. Mid-way through the process, we mocked up one of the waterfall panels in our studio, and worked with the water structure manufacturer to insure water would flow smoothly over the glass panels.

The Result
The result was a majestic, flowing waterfall that offered eighty lineal feet of etched glass panels and ten lineal feet of colorful, kiln-formed waterfall-like “stones” that mimicked the outdoor, African waterfall experience. Aside from being pleased with the design and function of the installation, Glassworks was able to complete the project well within the needed timeframe, adding further value to the customer experience.