Thursday, August 11, 2011

David Adrian Smith Glass Artist

I would conceder Dave Smith to be the best Glass Sign Artist working today.
Here is his biography

Dave Smith is a name that has become synonymous in sign-writing circles with high quality, hand crafted reverse glass signs and decorative mirrors. It is fair to say that now-a-days this is the main thrust of his work. There is, however, more to his story.

His career in sign-writing began in 1984, when he left Westlands School in Torquay, aged 16 and was apprenticed for 5 years with Gordon Farr & two associates. These gentleman were traditional sign-writers, who had come up through the ranks and Gordon, in particular had an almost uncanny ability to paint letters, accurately laid out, without even a preliminary sketch. Under their tutelage, Dave became an accomplished draftsman, accurate letter painter & talented pictorialist.

In 1992, Dave set up his own sign business in Torquay dealing every aspect of the sign trade from vehicle graphics to 3D installations but always with his own stamp of unique design and pristine execution.

In the same year, on a visit to New Zealand, he had the immense good fortune to be invited to Wilmington, California to meet Rick Glawson & his crew of the famous “Fine Gold Sign Company”. Rick, who is sadly no longer with us, was universally regarded by his peers as the godfather of gilding, with a reputation for sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of glass decoration with eager students of the craft. The two became firm friends & Dave thereafter attended the California conclave of Letterheads every year. This is a gathering of talented sign artists, carvers, muralists & gold leaf experts. They further fueled Dave’s passion for creating elaborate, ornate mirrors & reverse glass signs of distinction. At the peak of “his sign company” success, Dave sold the business, to concentrate more fully on gilding, painting & acid-etching glass, adding brilliant cutting, so that he could fully replicate the Victorian glass work he admires so much. From home in Torquay, Devon, UK, he continues his quest to uncover & share yet more knowledge of the processes involved.

Dave has never lost sight of the debt he owes to Gordon Farr, Rick Glawson & others too numerous to mention, for sharing their knowledge and passion with him. So, in return, he shares the fruits of his study with his many friends, old & new, in the sign trade, through courses, step by step instruction and one-to-one chats on the phone or internet.

He is supported, unwaveringly by his wife Mel and his daughters, Hannah, Lauren & Millie, who, tolerate his long work hours, frequent trips abroad and the steady stream of visitors through the family home, who come to marvel at the work & learn. For this, and for them, Dave is eternally grateful.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ralph Lauren New York / Custom Mirrors

All designs by New York designer Dikayl Rimmasch.
Here are some photos of the on site work completed by Bob Gamache.

Over the last few month I have been busy working with New York Designer Dikayl Rimmasch Dunkley on a series of Hand made custom
advertising mirrors for two
new Ralph Lauren stores in New York city.
The photographs show the processes of making the mirror from start to finish.

Antique advertising mirrors created with a look of a mirrors you would have found in the early 1900's.

Mock up sample for the larger mirrors.
Two toned water gilded border with glue chipped and antique mirrored finish.
Some of the gold leaf lettering has been added.
The third and larger mirror with mirroring completed.

Once the acid embossing and glue chipping is complete the glass is then given an antique mirror finish.
This detail shows the glue having been poured into the exposed glass areas. As the glue dries it will begin to fracture and chip the glass to create a texture on the surface of the glass.
Glass panels are placed in the chipping booth to begin the 24 hour chipping process.

Mica flakes and acid applied to the exposed glass creating a textured finish to the glass.

Here the first two glass pieces are masked and ready for acid embossing.