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"The true secret to a creative mind is a bad memory" Rick Silas

COLD WORKED glass innovations developed by Rick silas

No heat or machines are used in Rick's processes - we are proud to use reclaimed tempered glass.

Rick Silas has been a working artist for the last 40 years in Canada. After five years of formal art studies, in Montreal and Calgary, he abandoned traditional mediums in favor of contemporary materials. In an effort to support himself while developing this new art form, he approached large corporations such as glass and plastic suppliers to take his work in trade for their materials. This allowed him to experiment with the new chemistry of these materials, without the usual financial constraints experienced by most young artists. Silas’ canvas became tempered plate glass, his paints the latest in liquid polymers and spray enamels. Twenty-five plus years of experimentation and thousands of pieces of successfully executed art and commercial installations has proven him to be a master of these dynamic medium.


In 1995 Rick Silas was commissioned to create a sculpture for the lobby of a major corporation. The sculpture was to include a “cracked ice” glacier effect. The glass industry-supplied product proved unsuitable for the massive scale needed.  Therefore, Silas had to develop a new, perfectly flat glass product in order to finish the sculpture. The resulting “shattered glass” has been patented in Silas’ name with the registered trade mark of “ Silastial™.”

Silas also developed a way to shatter and bend tempered glass at room temperature while maintaining structural integrity. This process allows him to bend the glass around existing structures, such as stair railings, without machinery or the high cost of a hot glass installation. This Cold Bent Glass can be cut with conventional hand tools. Be shaped into furniture or architectural features, or be used in molds for mass commercial production of curved glass.

Silastial ™ Art Glass and Cold Bent Glass can be laminated in many layers like plywood for utility, strength and safety. Only moderate modification is needed to convert plywood-handling technology for mass production of Silas’ hand-milled product. A beautiful, value added product, this new glass technology could recycle much of the glass industry’s waste tempered glass.

After 20 years of creating new technologies in waste tempered glass (people joke he has created more technologies than  DuPont) Rick has decided it is time to pass on this information and is start to teach the different processes. If this interests you please contact us.

"Ice Glass" is one of Silas's oldest processes...over 40 years now since he developed it.  This is a technique that Rick developed that allows him to create 3 dimensional images on glass using resins, films, spray paints and reclaimed tempered glass. Ice glass has many uses beyond the creation of fine art, they include, walls, table tops, railings, windows, furniture, signage, stairs, bars, board room tables, doors, side lights, room dividers, back splashes and any other substrate that needs a new textured look.This glass technique is given the name of "Ice Glass" because of the look of the effect on the glass. Applications:
  • Rick developed this for his fine art paintings
  • very popular choice for tabletops, walls, and backsplashes
  • Colour, films, and plants, and many other materials may be added
  • this technique can be used to retrofit existing glass plates or windows
  • no size limitations 


"Silastial ™ Shatter" Glass.   The finished material is a glass composite that has similar characteristics to plywood in that it is laminated and can be cut with a power saw or drilled. Further the material may be cut using a waterjet.  The tempered glass is laminated and shattered using a process that Rick  invented that allows the adhesive to penetrate every crack as well as the horizontal bonds. This give the material great strength and allows the producer to stock pile large sheets on racks that can be cut to the customers requirements much like 4x8 sheets of plywood. The finished material is 99% glass with 1% adhesive and has a surface feel of normal glass. The product can be made in any thickness and can be made flat or molded or bent.  The glass may be cut with convential power saws or with a waterjet.  Applications: 
The "Cold Bent Glass"  patented process allows me to bend glass without heat or machines to any shape imaginable. The technique is really quite simple; I laminate layers of tempered glass together and coat them with a temporary membrane that allows me to shatter the glass while retaining structure. The outer membrane holds the glass together even thought it has exploded into thousands of pieces. As the glass shatters it create a vacuum that draws the wet glue up the cracks creating thousands of vertical bonds. At this point the glass can be left flat, bent or press molded into any shape. Once the interior resin has hardened remove the temporary membrane and you have a solid piece of glass. The finished material can be cut using traditional power saws.  I have used it in many of my sculptures but its most popular use has been for table bases.  Other Applications:
  • back splashes,
  • light fixtures,
  • counter tops,
  • desk bases,
  • walls,
  • room dividers,
  • signage,
  • vases,
  • stair ribbons,
  • bars,
  • board room tables and doors.


This I believe is the most valuable application for my process. By using the temporary membrane to hold a single sheet of tempered glass laminated to any flat substrate I can coat any material with an unbreakable coating of solid glass. I have successfully coated tiles, wood, drywall, bricks, metal, concrete, fabric, mirror, plastic and stone with it. The material has a beautiful polished shattered look but is perfectly flat to the touch and can be cut using conventional power tools. This also may have some industrial applications as a coating that can resist acids and abrasion. Substrates may include: 
  • Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF), 
  • Plywood, OSB,  solid woods, 
  • concrete, 
  • brick, 
  • ceramic, 
  • stone, 
  • steel, or other metals.    
 The shattered glass surface can be used for;
furniture and architectural installations.
Exterior areas that are prone to graffiti may benefit from use of this shattered glass application. Preliminary tests have shown that the technique of laminating shattered glass to the surface makes it easy to clean and is not stained by paint pigments.


Three Dimensional Shaped Shattered Glass (3D Glass)
3 D Glass was created to recycle our shattered glass remnants and the processes used for molding these items are technically very simple. Combining shattered tempered glass fragments with a bonding agent, provides opportunity to develop a range of decorative items while allowing for the reclamation of broken tempered glass pieces that would otherwise have to be land-filled.3 D Glass Applications: (Suitable for a variety of decorative items) Such as;
Hand "Etched Glass" is a relatively new medium that Rick has been working in.  This medium takes advantage of Rick's drawing skills.  Rick's etching techniques are new as he uses a hand held 4" grinder (for the most part) to etch the image into tempered glass...something you are not supposed to be able to do according to experts in the glass industry.  He uses no acids or sandblasting so it is a toxic free technique.  Etchings can be created in studio or on-site, as he did for the Cedar HIill Arts Centre in Victoria, BC.  There are many applications Etched Glass may be used to including: 
  • Garden Sculptures 
  • Railings 
  • Windows (for privacy and interest)
  • Doors 
  • Anywhere there is tempered plate glass, inside or outside..
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