I have been lucky to work on several projects using the verre églimosé process. Églimosé, from the French term meaning gilded glass, is a process in which the back side of glass is gilded with gold or other precious metals. This results in a mirror-like finish in which designs are engraved. The gilding is often combined with reverse painting on glass, which provides a rich and detailed design.
Last week I went back to the local Villa Franca Studio, to see some of their latest completed projects, including a house in Hillsborough which I helped design. For that project (which images I cannot share here now), we use as inspiration a bathroom faucet, with delicate vine and flower detailing, to create an elaborate side mirrors framing his and her vanities. Here are several images of a project I worked on several years ago in San Francisco (see article here). The goal was to bring light and movement to an inner hallway, and providing a the fish tank requested by the client. The image does not do the panels justice: they shimmer and reflect your movement through the space, while catching light from the rising and setting sun through the bedroom windows.
While not inexpensive, the variety of applications and detail make this process within reach of many if you know how to budget. Creating a field of solid back painting with strategically located design details will be less expensive than an all-over design, perhaps for a coffee table or kitchen back splash. Or create a border around a mirror to add interest to a master bathroom or powder room. The options are endless. For the Hillsborough project, we developed 3 grades of églomisé samples so that we could have a conversation about cost…this way the client had a choice in the matter. What follows are a range of work that Villa Franca has done for local designers. Enjoy!
David Bjørngaard, April 2014
All photos from Villa Franca Studio website.