Using many different colours at Clapham Manor meant that there was something for everyone to like, but it was a challenge to achieve this range.
The traditional way of creating opaque coloured glass is to fire the colour into the material at a high temperature, but this process can use environmentally insensitive chemicals – for example, cadmium to make yellow – not ideal. The sample that Philip is holding up to the light is a prototype of bubblejet printing on glass. This can achieve almost any colour, but isn’t permanent enough for a building. We searched high and low for a suitable method and came across Lisbon Glass in Northern Ireland. They had pioneered a new system originally used in the automotive industry, where special paint was sprayed onto the back of glass to achieve any colour, with a high opacity. The other manufacturing processes we tested were each limited in their breadth of colours, but in Lisbon Glass’s paint system we had found the perfect solution to create our glass rainbow.