THE COMMISSION PROCESS
Aside from gifts and small work, which can be hung in a window, the majority of glass art, either stained or etched, must be commissioned for a specific space. We can work with an individual who has an idea for a project or we can work through an architect or builder. Our hope is to fully collaborate with each client and the following are issues that might be considered before you contact us.

PURPOSE
Sometimes people simply like what we do and want to use our work to enhance an area in their home or office. Sometimes there is a more practical purpose, such as limiting visibility from the outside or cutting down on the amount of light that is penetrating an area. Often a piece of glass is used to memorialize a person or an event. A graduating class may give a window to the school. A family member can pay homage to a departed loved one by donating a window to a church or hospice. A Hospital can pay tribute to its founders in an etched history wall that tells the story. We have done all of the above and hundreds of others, each a unique reflection of the person or group for whom it was made.



SIZE
We are not intimidated by large projects nor do we disdain small ones. We reduced the Marquette University High School logo to four square inches in order to create a memorial ornament for their 150th anniversary. We deigned and fabricated a five hundred pound carved divider, which depicted an idyllic scene for a city condo. We have designed entire walls of glass for commercial structures and intimate pieces as special gifts. If you are worried about measuring a space and live within a reasonable distance, we will measure for you. If we are working long distance, we will explain how to arrive at the exact measurements we need.

DESIGN
When you come to us with an idea, or we meet with you at a potential site, we will do our best to listen to you. We will discuss the concept with you at length. We may follow up with questions via email. Although you may think that ultimately what you are paying for is a piece of well crafted glass work, what is equally important and takes just as much effort is the designing of that work.For this reason, we will not do speculative drawings except under rare circumstances.When our initial design is finished, you will still have the right to request changes. We will always show you a rendering, which meets with your approval before we begin the actual crafting.

INSTALLATION
If you are in the area and your installation is simple, we can do it, although there will be an additional charge. If you are in the area and the installation is complex, we will work with and assist your carpenter. If you are outside of the area, we will explain the requirements to you or to your contractor. We have recently achieved some wonderful effects in interior installations through the use of illumination by led lighting. Through painstaking research, we have located the best source for LIGHTING, which shows the etched work to optimum advantage. We would be happy to supply these lights and to discuss their installation with you or your electrician.

COST
There are many factors, which will affect the price. How long will it take to design? Will there be research required? Before the Illinois Orchid Society commissioned a series of thirty different etched orchids as awards, we had rarely looked at an orchid. Understanding their structure took some study. Something completely foreign to us, a one of a kind item, necessitates more time and this will affect the cost.

Although SIZE is another factor, there are too many other variables to have a standard price per square foot. INTRICACY is more likely to raise the price than size.

Your initial decision, of course, concerns TECHNIQUE. There could be a significant price difference between a piece made in etched glass or one fashioned from stained glass. Sometimes one or the other is more appropriate. Lettering, for instance, is both less costly, and more easily read when rendered in etched glass. If your choice is stained glass, we customarily choose the material from a variety of high quality, domestic or imported machine made glass. Under unique circumstances we may choose to use mouth blown glass and this material is significantly more costly. The type of metal used between the pieces of glass also influences the expense. Most of the work we do involves the use of copper foil, which is sometimes referred to as the Tiffany method. However, occasionally we will choose zinc or lead came as a superior material of choice.

When working on custom etched projects, we prefer a type of glass called Starfire, which is more costly than ordinary float glass and does not have the usual jade green tint.

Another variable is the thickness. We can lightly frost a piece of glass, which is 1/8” deep, but we can deeply carve into a piece of glass that is 3/8” to one inch thick. Will the glass need to be laminated or tempered for safety reasons? Will the edges be exposed and polished?

The final items, which figure into the cost, include INSTALLATION, LIGHTING, DELIVERY and SHIPPING.

As you can see, MANY FACTORS go into determining a price. Once we have a full understanding of what you want, we can provide you with a quote. It can be helpful if you have a budget in mind and can share this information with us. There may be a way for us to play with some of the above variables, to make things work for the funds, which you have allocated for the project.

TERMS OF PAYMENT and TIMELINE
We may not be able to give you a quote at our initial meeting. We will probably need to consider possible options and check prices on materials. Within a day or two, we will reach you with a price. If you are agreeable, we will need a down payment of one quarter to one third before we begin the design phase.

We may present the design in person or send it to you via email. Of course, we hope we have understood what you explained to us and that you will be thrilled with the outcome, but if not, we will make the changes that you require. Once the drawing is approved and all plans are finalized, we may need a period of one to six months to finish the work.
If your project is very small, we may be able to fit into our schedule much sooner. Very large ones have been in the planning stages for several years. If you have a deadline, we need to know it at our first meeting so we can work with you.

Occasionally if the project is very large, we will request a progress payment.
The balance will be required upon installation or delivery. In the case of larger institutions, the balance will be due in thirty days after installation or delivery.

If we are shipping your glass to you, we will request a credit card number, which we will transact immediately before we ship.

Click here for an Initial Commission Request form

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