How to display Hard Edge glass art in your home
The roots of Hard Edge glass art sculpture
Hard Edge glass art and sculpture traces its roots right back to Piet Mondrian, the rightfully acknowledged godfather of modern geometric art and design.
In the 1920s both Mondrian and Russian abstract pioneer Wassily Kandinsky developed geometric form, line and colour as powerful expressions of their artistic inner lives.
Since the days of these masters, art media have changed radically - glass not paint, sculpture not flat - but the core design appeal has not. These geometric style ideas are as alive today as they ever were, probably more so.
In a small way, this is borne out by a growing online community of Hard Edge art glass-ophiles, now running to over 20,000 followers across all social media.
Discover more about the Hard Edge glass art style here.
So the big question is: Once you’ve bought a piece of modern glass art, how do you show it off? Or not show it off, if that’s what you prefer? This raises interesting ideas for display.
Displaying Hard Edge glass art sculpture
There are different ways to display a contemporary Hard Edge glass art sculpture in your home.
A lot depends on the sort of mood or impression you want to make, both for yourself, and for others to see.
To simplify your options, display can be broken down to two broad approaches - Formal and Informal display.
For example, look at the two images below, one Informal, the other Formal.
Informal Hard Edge glass art sculpture display
Formal Hard Edge glass art sculpture display
Informal display v Formal display
There are obviously striking differences between the two images above.
For example, in the Informal display, the work almost contradictingly blends in yet lifts out from its near-random background
- while in the Formal display the viewer is presented with a striking visual, intended to catch the eye in the best possible light.
Some people want their glass artwork primarily for themselves to enjoy when they relax.
What you’ll notice is how an Informal display catches the eye differently at different times of day, sometimes quite magically especially if positioned where it can be viewed from a favourite dining place, or by one of the windows in a favourite room, or even in view from a favourite seating position.
Think: Loafing on the sofa watching TV with your glass artwork somewhere in your line of sight. Art and design for living!
It’s natural to want to show off your new glass artwork in the best possible way for your chosen location, so you and friends can admire it at its best.
A Formal display is the obvious choice here, especially if your Hard Edge glass sculpture is intended as a practical solution to transforming a dull corner of your home, such as a boring alcove or wall, or a dull corner on a staircase, landing or lobby.
Here your Hard Edge glass art sculpture can uplift and transform the display space.
The vivid Hard Edge glass art style is known for its ability to dominate space, much like you’d expect from any powerful work of art.
With a formal display, you may want to give some thought to lighting, such as repositioning one or two of your ceiling track spots, or putting a table lamp or other adjustable lamp nearby, or maybe a mix of lights.
You can take this even further by getting a lighting specialist, interior stylist, or trusted electrician to add some ceiling spots or more stylised lighting to bring out the best for the location.
If you have an automated lighting smart home system, like Alexa or Google, you can take this even further, so that certain lights go on or off or brighten/dim at certain times of day or night.
Just give the instructions to your phone, and your smart home system will take care of the rest.
However you do it, simple or complex, a formal display style will bring out the striking originality and amazingly cheery colour of your glass sculpture purchase.
While you're thinking about display, here are 10 imaginative ways to display artwork from Homes & Antiques showing different display styles from oil paint to crockery.
Recent display comments
What size of glass artwork suits my available space?
Depending on your final display location you may need a smaller or a larger work.
I know from experience that a small glass sculpture can be magical when blended into a “nice but quiet” corner of a room. Yet the same piece can look quite brilliant in a suitably formal display style, where it can freely dominate its allotted space, taking your home decor to a new level.
Large or small, the work is easily portable on its wrought iron stand so you needn’t worry about carrying it around to try out different areas & rooms.
Physically walk around the house and audition your potential spaces if you want to know exactly where to put it.
Find the fit in your mind’s eye, and you’ll know whether a large or small size piece works best for what you need.
Auditioning suitable display spaces makes interior decoration fun!
Protecting your display
You’ll need to be sure your artwork doesn’t accidentally fall or get knocked over by a passing child or guest.
If it’s a wall piece, a Formal display needs to be securely fixed to the wall.
I recommend using Standoffs, which are secure, discreet, and look very good as they lift the piece out from the wall unlike, say, an oil painting which tends to be flat back against the wall.
The couple of inches of outlift that standoffs give usually looks much nicer than flat-to-the-wall, as it allows more room for light to circulate during the day and bring out the best of your piece.
Many people prefer a dedicated stand to show their work, and many of Linda’s glass art pieces come with a custom wrought iron display stand as part of the package.
The stands come with a heavyish base so they don’t tumble at the slightest touch.
Stands are also ideal for Informal display, as you can then easily place your glass work wherever it takes your fancy, and within reason it’ll keep it secure and protected.
Stands also mean you can easily position the piece at the perfect angle for how you want to view. Just ensure your chosen space isn’t too close to careless footfall or party-fied guests.
A larger Hard Edged geometric piece obviously looks stunning in a formal display style, capable of transforming the location with its sheer power, colour and size.
But don’t think a larger work can’t look good in a subtle smaller surrounding.
Understatement in glass art display has a magical effect on the viewer.
Glass art display survey
We recently carried out a survey with 60 glass art lovers, including artists, artisans, interior stylists and home decor specialists.
The survey revealed a fairly even split between those who prefer an informal or even casual approach to display
- and those who liked to see the artwork displayed properly, ie, a more formal display.
There’s no right or wrong, only what looks good to you.
The nice thing about most glass art stand displays is that if you ever think it’s parked in a location that’s sometimes too bright or too dim, or just plain wrong for some reason, you can always pick it up and move it, and try it out somewhere else.
It’s not nailed to the wall.
Most of Linda’s work comes with a custom made wrought iron stand that offers good protection and display stability, while it’s light enough to safely carry from room to room so you can try out different positions and spaces, or even different rooms.
This is art-for-the-home display made easy!
You can discover more about commissioning Hard Edge glass art here.
Deciding on your display style
If you love your new Hard Edge glass art sculpture, you’ll want it in a place where you can see it often.
Whether you want to display it informally, more magically, especially for those personal moments we all experience, cosying up with art we love
- or whether you display more formally and prominently to the point where every passer-by will remark on your striking piece
- it’s all up to you.
There are many ways to display contemporary glass art sculpture. And every owner has a vision of how they want to see their work displayed. It will bring joy to whatever corner you choose for it.
Getting started with displaying glass art sculpture
Getting your glass art display right starts with answering four straightforward questions.
1: Decide whether you want an Informal or Formal display
2: Audition your available spaces
3: Figure out whether a larger or smaller piece will suit the space best
4: Check if you’ll need existing lights adjusting, or even new lights.
Now you’re almost there with finalising your glass art display choices, so they’re adapted to your personal preferences, existing home decor style, and also show an appreciation of what pleases you - and perhaps your friends. Have fun!
What do I do next?
You’ll probably have some questions now, even if you’ve already got a clear idea of what you want and where you want to display it.
- Can you make me one like I’ve seen here on your website?
- Can I have a custom made glass piece made to order?
- How much will it cost?
- Can you make me something in these colours? Like my favourite Kandinsky print?
- How big exactly will it be?
- Do you make matching accessories or collections as well?
Your questions will never be the same as anyone else's, so write in and tell us what you’re imagining and we’ll do our best to reply promptly and helpfully.