Dalle de verre
Perfect composition and flawless execution give life to high-impact objects
Over the last two centuries, the evolution in the glass processing techniques, artistics experimentations and the changes in building styles have produced different kinds of stained glass, intended for the same uses as the traditional lead-bound ones.
The Dalle de Verre is among the techniques that allow the most spectacular results. Colored glasses, 2 to 3 cm thick, are broken into small pieces with a saw or a hammer and then shaped. The edges of the resulting fragments can be further chipped or faceted to increase their ability to refract light. The pieces are subsequently arranged according to a design and placed within a wooden frame, then set in a matrix of concrete and epoxy resin or other binding materials. After drying, about 24 hours later, the glass becomes a solid sheet and can be cleaned. The panel can then be moved, incorporated within a bigger composition or hung.
This technique, developed by Jean Gaudin in Paris in 1930, thanks to the use of thick glass, produces high-impact chromatic effects that are highlighted when natural or artificial light hits the composition. The characteristic of this technique is indeed its ability to refract the light: pieces are cut not only vertically but also obliquely, creating surfaces that are not smooth and homogeneous, and so enhancing and intensifying the plays of light and colors.
The Dalle de Verre technique, particularly challenging as human figures or other small details are concerned, finds application in sacred, public and residential spaces alike, as well as in glassware and other objects.