Acrylic: The Glass Alternative
A lot of people ask, “Is that glass?” when they see my jewelry.
The answer is no — at least not the silicate glass with which we are most familiar. But it can be considered a type of glass — so then, yes?
Either way, it is the glass-like qualities — the clarity, brilliance and transparency — that attract me most to acrylic, my primary material.
I am particularly fond of our signature glass-green color — not only because of its beautiful hue, but because the associations with glass create a dangerous, but exciting tension when worn.
The word 'acrylic' throws a lot of people off. But simply put, it's the non-branded term for products like: Plexiglas, Perspex and Lucite.
Acrylic often replaces glass in products like windows, doors and picture frames. Being shatter-resistant and less than half the weight of normal glass, it is a superior material for jewelry — and many other things.
History of Acrylic
Salvador Dali painted on it. Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham, drummed on it. And it's been used in jewelry since the 1950's.
One of acrylic's first commercial usages was safety glass. During World War II, both Allied and Axis forces used acrylic for airplane windshields and gun turrets as well as submarines periscope ports.
An English ophthalmologist noticed that the eyes of Spitfire fighter pilots were better off than other pilots because the shards from broken acrylic weren't rejected by eye tissue the way that standard glass was. It was acrylic's compatibility with human tissue that led to its use as contact lenses and newer medical technologies like implants and dentures.
Other common uses for acrylic are aquariums, ice hockey rinks, riot control glass, eyeglass lenses, paint, furniture, fabric, signage and compact discs.