Just like with clothing, it’s also all too easy to take for granted that glass-based products can actually be harmful to the environment in the long run. While the glass itself is made from sustainable resources, the dyes used to give them vibrant colors are toxic to the environment. Worse still, colored glass cannot be easily recycled because of this mixing and because it is almost impossible to return the material to its natural transparent state. To make decorative glass truly durable, a new method of coloring the glass must be developed, and a designer embarked on a journey of two years and hundreds of miles to find a solution that matches Haute Joaillerie in elegance but surpasses it in durability.
Creator: Salomé Maarek
Glass is beautiful and useful in many ways. It is used in furniture as functional parts of tables and shelves, and it is used in decorative pieces that require reflective or transparent surfaces and faceted shapes. It can even be used in place of gemstones and, of course, stained glass has been used for centuries. As beautiful as it is, colored glass apparently has a dirty secret. They are, unfortunately, toxic to the environment both in their production and in their disposal.
Searching for a better way to make beautiful glass, Jerusalem-based Salome Maarek turned to natural stones for the answer. The designer first considered fruit and plant-based dyes, but realized they also had their own negative impact on the environment. Stones, on the other hand, are in abundance, but Maarek didn’t just grab any stone. The stones are of local origin, that is, they come from different regions of Israel. And to make the process eco-friendly from start to finish, stones were picked up during walks or bus rides.
The glass itself is made from typical ingredients like silica, baking soda, dolomite, etc., while crushed stone powder is mixed in to act as a natural colorant. The stones themselves come in various forms like potash, copper, sand and clay, and this variety has resulted in different colors and textures. So far, the process has yielded colors such as moldavite green, turquoise blue, indiolite, amber-orange and tourmaline yellow, all without the use of harmful chemicals and materials.
Some considerations make this sustainable way of making colored glass a bit more difficult than normal, harmful colored glass. For example, glass was melted at only 1200°C for hours, which is a lower temperature but more durable. This meant that the glass had to be mold blown rather than using a more common hand-blowing technique.
The result, however, is definitely worth all that work, with a beautiful piece of colored glass that can withstand up to 5 tons of pressure. It can also survive temperature changes without cracking unlike ordinary colored glass. And even though it’s made with unconventional materials and methods, the result is glass that can be used as a more sustainable alternative to fine jewelry, delivering beautiful gem-like pieces of glass that show no signs of damage. clue that they were stained with ordinary stone. .