The Beauty and Versatility of Glass


There are always people who try to make good use of our wonderful planet’s riches and then there are those who abuse it. Thankfully, more and more are realising that we are the keepers of the world we live in and on, and therefore it is our duty to look after it for both ourselves and future generations.

Many people are now making their homes out of alternative materials to concrete and steel, using wood, stone, straw and clay, to name a few. There is a beautiful straw bale, cob and natural edge wood home in County Sligo (Ireland), for example; and another thatched stone roundhouse in Wales. Many examples found on the internet are a great source of human ingenuity.

Designers (me included) are incorporating natural earth elements into their designs as they can give so much warmth in – for example – a sleek modern scene. Too much is not good unless you are creating your whole home that way but the use of wood, for example, brings alive a very sleek look.

I have had a love of glass for as long as I can remember. It’s incredibly beautiful, hard working and used in so many ways. It’s also a product that comes from something as commonplace as silica, found in sand. It is better than plastic, which seems to be insidiously taking over our planet as it can be recycled many times over. The company featured this issue, Nathan Allan Glass Studio in Canada, uses glass in a variety of ways.


Nathan Allan Glass Studio has been in the business for 30 years, at the forefront of glass-making. The brainchild of Barry Allan, the company has been producing glass in various aspects for designers and other companies and is constantly evolving its designs and techniques, one of which is free forming.

This produces texture-less glass patterns which are 95 per cent clear, allowing ample light transmission while providing privacy. Using new mould materials and combing them with glass options, the company has created 14 glass products over the last five years. It never uses any form of plastic, resin or PVC, thus ensuring the quality and integrity of its products.

Nathan Allan’s kiln-formed glass offers light and sun warmth transmission, reducing the need for lighting and heating. The surfaces are sealed, making it a no-maintenance product.
There are three main collections covering all requirements and preferences: Classic, Essentials and Josiah J. Working with designers all over the world, Nathan Allan has found a niche market for its products. As glass retains its quality even after many years, it reduces landfill waste and replacements, which are both extremely important aspects to keeping our planet green for as long as we can.