A Caledonia artist has been awarded her second U.S. patent for a process that shatters glass for both artistic and practical applications. In December, Sherry Lou Martin received a patent for Shattered Glass Art. “That’s the trademarked name,” Martin said. “The patent calls it ‘a method of manufacture for decorative works of art.’ ”
An earlier patent was granted in 2012 for Martin’s method, which is used to create fireplace screens. That process is now employed by a Vermont company to produce those screens. The owner of the company, Martin explained, paid the costs of applying for the new patent; it is based on Martin’s shattered glass technique to create art and art-driven products.
“The first patent was written for fireplace covers,” Martin explained. “The glass on those covers is all hand set. It takes a lot of labor. We thought it wasn’t profitable to do it that way.
“As I was working through (the process with her Vermont manufacturer), I came up with a method to make it quicker. By putting the glass and glue (together) and breaking the glass in place.”
Martin said the new patented process takes hours off the job, reducing it to a few minutes.
The new process can be overlaid on flat art or backgrounds before it is shattered, creating a unique visual effect. Martin sees its potential for not just art, but also applications such as tabletops, trivets, and kitchen backsplashes.
Known as a carver, too
Martin is an artist who works in several mediums, including carving. With chainsaws. Her business, Chics With Chainsaws, has been quite busy in recent years, she said, creating one-of-a-kind art for her clients.
Martin thinks there are many potential applications for her shattered glass process, but she sees licensing the method as opposed to creating all of the art herself as her best option.
Her home features several examples, including art prints that have been “shattered” and dimensional art that rests on top of a shattered glass background.
“With backsplashes, we put the color on the back of the glass (then attach the glass) to cement board,” she explained. “We lay it out level on tables and the glue is applied. Then the glass is broken in place.”
The new process is achieved by shattering the glass in a frame, Martin explained. This method makes it more in tune with creating wall art. Several companies have been in touch with Martin about creating framed art using her shattered glass process.