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09-08-2013 Schitterend reintroduces exclusive opaque black glass.

It’s back: opaque black glass. And Erik Winkler from Schitterend is one of the few in The Netherlands, if not the only one, who works with this material. Erik uses the exclusive opaque black glass to make beautiful signs, billboards, wall decorations, grave monuments and art. For you as well!

What is opaque glass?
Opaque glass, in The Netherlands also known as marbriet or marmorite, is an non transparent glass which is colored through and through. The glass material is composed of colored glass mixtures, usually white or black. The glass has a thickness, ranging from 4 up to 100 millimeters, which in a polished form can be used for a variety of purposes.

Types of opaque glass.
There are different names for opaque glass such as Sani Onyx, Carrara Glass, Vitrolite, Marmorite, marble glass and marbriet.

Origins of opaque glass.
The origins of opaque glass is not entirely clear. There are several options which I do not want to withhold. The first option is that opaque glass was first made in The Netherlands by the glass factory of Antonis Bouvy Nicholas (1851 - 1932) in Amsterdam. Bouvy was the son of the founder of the eponymous factory in Dordrecht. Since 1883 Bouvy sold marble glass which was used for numerous products that this company made. A few years later, in 1902, in Maastricht the 'Gravo-Marmorite Society was founded by the brothers M. and F. Regout. This company was specialized in producing marmorite. Another option is that opaque glass was firstly made in the United States of America. Around 1900 the 'Marietta Manufacturing Company' produced Sani Onyx glass. In 1906 the 'Penn-American Plate Glass Company' came with Carrara glass (named after the white or bluegray Carrara marble from Tuscany, Italy), followed by 'The Vitrolite Company’(1908-1935) and the Libbey-Owens-Ford' firm (1935-1947) with their Vitrolite glass. Opaque glass was also produced in Belgium by the company ‘Société Anonyme des Verreries the Fauquez' in the period 1922 to 1979.

Applications of opaque glass.
In the early 20th century, when opaque glass was very popular, it was used in polished form for wall and ceiling coverings, mantelpieces, clock faces, table and counter tops and so on. The architect Cass Gilbert used the material for the interior of the Woolworth Building (1912-1913) in New York. Using opaque glass for internal and external tiling and facades of buildings, between 1920 and 1950, is often associated with the Art Deco and Modern Art movements. It was also used by the advertising industry for example for nameplates and facade panels. Many shops and restaurants owed their exclusive entrances to opaque glass expressions. This material was also particularly popular for memorial plaques. Because the material is glass, it also contains the benefits of glass: Because it is non-porous it harbors no bacteria and therefore it was often used in bathrooms and kitchens as a substitute for marble counter tops, table tops, paneling and toilet partitions.

Opaque black glass nowadays.
Opaque black glass plates were very popular in The Netherlands around 1900, but became extremely rare. The often artistic wall decorations, mostly from the Gravo-Marmorite Society, are virtually non-existent, because Gravo-Marmorite already closed its doors in 1916. Since 1947 the United States of America don’t manufacture opaque glass either. Nowadays there are only a few glass factories left that make the opaque, pigmented glass. Erik Winkler uses opaque black glass to create art objects, grave monuments, name plates and billboards. A beautiful piece of nostalgia in the present!

Opaque black glass .... for you!
Would you like opaque black glass as well for your home or company, interior or exterior? Please contact us to discuss all possibilities.

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