When I was working as an architect, I did a lot of freelance work for Fokkema & Partners. They design high end offices. A lot of my work involved design and drawing custom made furniture. I really liked to make the designs as detailed and sleek as possible. But I never made the furniture myself, until now….
She would like a glass table
A client knew someone who had made her own glass table. She told me she would like a glass table as well. Although I knew the principles of how to make one, I had never actually done it. The glass table that was the example for the assignment was a bit boring. I also didn’t feel comfortable with a free hanging glass shelf. I was a bit afraid the glue wouldn’t hold, as I was not yet experienced with this type of construction. So I designed a different table.
A sleek Art-Deco feeling
My design was made of hardened clear glass. I wanted to make a smaller table and put it under the big table for a more stable construction. To make the table even more stable I designed a glass front on the left side. Now I had my base construction. It was a bit boring. So I decided to glue a wispy white plate of oceanside glass on the backside of the front (do you still follow?). I added a copperfoil line that challenged the lines in the design. As copper wasn’t the right colour for my client, I decided to paint it black. It gave my design a sleek Art-Deco feeling. It looked great and my client was happy. Now I had to make it myself.
Hardened glass for safety
I had the hardened glass cut and hardened by order, so that took very little time. The whispy glass was very easy to cut. It all came down to the glue process. First I glued the legs of the small table onto the legs of the big table. For this I used SilGel, which covered the entire surface. I also used SilGel to glue the whispy glass onto the front sheet of hardened glass. I wanted to use hardened glass for safety, it is much stronger than ordinary glass. When it breaks it shatters into little pieces instead of dangerous shards. I have a lot of experience with SilGel on pieces this size, so this went just fine.
Getting the right angles right
The next step was to go 3D! I had to glue all the pieces together with UV-glue. I have experience with UV-glue, but only on small projects. Because I didn’t want to travel with this glass table, my client agreed I could assemble the pieces on location. It was really difficult to get the right angles right. I didn’t have a proper tool that was of any help. As I was assembling I came up with an idea how I would do it next time. Unfortunately there was no time for that plan now. In the end, I worked it out. But I needed my client’s help to fix it. This wasn’t ideal in my plan, but I got the job done.
The result made me happy!
When the table was in the right place, all I had to do was add the lines. I taped the copper-foil in place. It was easy to do. It took me another hour to paint the lines black. I love painting, so that was no effort. When I saw the finished table, I thought it looked better than the design. The result made me happy! Because this was a first for me, I charged my client a fourth of the actual price. This experiment taught me a lot. Next time, I'll now how to do it. Now I am looking for a new challenge!