bioephemera

Reader Miles suggested Danny Cooke’s graceful documentary about ornamental glass & sign artist David A. Smith, who uses traditional techniques like gilding, silvering, and etching to create ornate glass signs and windows with aesthetics from Victorian to Art Nouveau. Time-lapse sequences offer a surreal glimpse of Smith dexterously floating giant panels of glass around his studio, gently pressing them against grinders to carve the distinctive beveled patterns and fonts so familiar from vintage pubs or storefronts.

David A Smith – Sign Artist from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

Particularly if you’ve never seen how a sheet of glass is silvered to make a mirror, how gilt is applied, or how glass is “bent” into a smooth curve, you should enjoy this fascinating glimpse of traditional craftsmanship (much like the artistry in the signpainting video I posted earlier this year). It’s truly reassuring to see old techniques like this surviving, being taught and enjoyed, into the 21st century. It’s fifteen minutes long, though – be sure to give yourself time to enjoy it!

Thanks to Miles for finding this!

P.S. I love the delicate music, too – it’s by Tony Higgins, and you can find and download more of it here.