Dalle De Verre

Style meets substance in this French-inspired technique of casting glass in cement. Dalle de Verre has been interpreted by Kitengela Hot Glass into everything from furniture and floors to sculptures and shelves.

Client requests and collaboration welcomed. 

“We started Dalle de Verre as a result of doing stained glass. I was melting glass and discovered that there were many new and exciting things we could do with this medium,” explains Anselm. “Our technique, Dalle de Verre, was taught to us by a German master, Alphons Bippus. We take chunky blocks of glass and carve them up with a tungsten-tipped hammer according to whatever design we feel like. We use a steel mold to cast certain specific, difficult shapes like stars or sharply-curved sections. Then the glass pieces are cast into a cement and wrought iron matrix to create colourful panels.”

Freestyle and freehand, one of Kitengela Hot Glass’s most elaborate designs is an impression of the Indian elephant god Ganesh which incorporates hand made beads in the headdress, a dalle first. Another of the Dalle de Verre designs by Anselm is a glass-and-mirror abstract sculpture that forms a three-story wall of Pioneer House, Nairobi (replacing a damaged ventilation wall, a result of the bombing of the neighboring U.S. Embassy in 1998).

“It’s quite like working a jigsaw puzzle, assembling the glass in the most eye-pleasing manner possible,” Anselm adds.