Here are our most frequently asked questions. If you have any questions which aren’t answered below, please contact us via the details above.
If you want to place an order, please phone our workshop on +44 (0) 1932 59 2446, or send an e-mail with the details of what you want to order. We always prefer to talk customers through the various aspects of their order, particularly those who are new to our products.
Yes, If you require specific breakaways which you can't see on our website, we can mould original items provided by you and replicate them in breakaway material. Below you can see some examples of bespoke commissions for productions in the past; most comparing real original items (on the left), with our breakaway reproductions (on the right). Please click on the photos for a larger gallery view.
No. You can order as many, or a few items as you want; but unit prices can vary according to the size of the order, and it's always a good idea to order spares. Ordering just one of any item is strongly not recommended.
Yes, collections from either of our workshops outside of usual working hours can normally be arranged with prior notice.
Yes, we can ship our breakaways worldwide. Our shipping costs start from £30 + VAT, which price would normally cover up to twelve standard bottles or glasses delivered within the UK mainland. Any transportation is always done at your risk, but the majority of orders do arrive safely, although we still highly recommend personal collection wherever possible.
For the UK, we use TNT next-working-day specifically, as we find them be more reliable on the whole. You're also welcome to select your own courier at terms to suit yourself, although orders would still need to be packed for transportation. At an additional cost, timed or Saturday deliveries can be arranged. We cannot offer insurance on deliveries as most other couriers will simply not insure glass items. Neither do we offer longer delivery times at reduced rates as the chance of accidental breakages can increase with every extra day of transit. We also offer separate specialized road or air freighting options on international orders.
For most smaller national & international orders, we utilize our own patented shipping packing system called the 'Boingy Box'. Each normal packed box is held in a sprung suspension assembly inside a larger heavyweight outer box, fixed together to a thick wooden base to keep it upright. This reduces the risk of breakages as much as is possible. You can read more about this packing system at www.boingybox.co.uk
Yes, we can ship our sheet glass worldwide, but as a general rule sheet glass orders within England, Wales & Scotland are collected from us via direct collection arranged by the purchaser. Orders are packed into wooden crates to allow for transportation.
Glass orders to be shipped internationally are further packed in a second sprung wooden crate, much like our patented 'Boingy Box' packing system mentioned above, with a base pallet to keep the crate upright and allow easy transportation. This reduces the risk of breakages as much as is possible. Generally, shipping via air freight takes a day or so, but would be as far as the destination airport only. Road freight usually takes longer, but would be to your door. Please contact us if you require a shipping quote.
Because we are a manufacturer as opposed to being simply a retailer, the final total you pay can be varied by factors such as the; size, colours, timescale, packing and transportation of any given order. Sheet glass is poured to size, so the prices are calculated on an order by order basis. Please call us with your requirements for a quote.
Breakaway glass sheets range from 4mm upto 7mm thick, but this is dictated by the size of the sheet. The thickness of the glass doesn't necessarily correspond to its strength. A thinner sheet will tend to have more flex & give than a thicker more rigid sheet.
Sheet glass, especially produced in larger sizes, can be difficult to handle because of it's inherent fragility, size, and its weight. If you are not experienced in handling & fitting our sheet glass, we would strongly recommend that you contact us for advice. The same answer would also apply if you need a company to come and fit it for you, or have frames made for your sheet glass.
Both our breakaway glass, and ceramic items are designed to mimic the real thing, and both break in different ways. If you have very specific requirements regarding what a product would need to do, it is best to discuss this with us.
There is a maximum size which is limited by the mirroring process; 1220mm by 810mm or 48" by 32". Mirrored sheets can also be moulded to be shaped or curved within these dimensions. The reflection quality of our breakaway mirror is visually perfect within a few feet.
We hold a fair stock of the most popular items, along with a very limited range of stock sheet glass sizes. Everything else is manufactured on an order by order basis. Manufacturing times always depend on the size of an order, but a good rule of thumb is the vast majority of orders are completed within a week, usually just a few days. We do always try our best to help customers as much as we can, so if you have a tight deadline please do call us to discuss your requirements.
Unlike 'sugar glass' made from actual sugar (which only lasts for a few hours before degrading), we use a type of plastic resin which can last for years under ideal conditions, but please ask if you want more information.
We can supply a number of our existing breakaways & sheet glass in virtually any transparent, opaque or solid colour. Items we mould for you can be matched to the original item or to a provided colour sample. It is also possible to paint items (see question below).
Our breakaway products can be affected by some solvent based paints and varnishes. You can contact our workshop for specific advice, but generally sticking to water based paints directly on an item such as acrylic or emulsion is the safest option, or painting a given item with a coat of clear French Enamel Varnish (FEV) first to provide a protective layer, before working on top of this. FEV is produced in arange of colours by John Myland LTD in London who you can call on +44 (0) 20 8670 9161, or email at email@example.com. They would be able to advise you of your nearest stockist. If you are collecting your order from our Shepperton Workshop, FEV is also available at the Shepperton Studio's on-site Stores.
It is also possible to paint breakaway sheet glass using the various available colours of FEV, in combination with window leading and standard solid enamel paints, to produce quite intricate stain glass window effects.
The standard finish on any item in our catalogue depends on the original item it was moulded from. Moulding a clear item will produce clear breakaways, and a frosted item (such as acid etched or sandblasted) will similarly produce frosted breakaways. We are not able to make something originally moulded as frosted, come out clear, as the texture is in the mould we're casting from. We can however, apply a chemical finish to a clear item to make it look frosted. You can see in the photo below, an oil lamp cover cast in clear on the left, and chemically frosted right.
Most of our glass & china items will hold clear or coloured water, although this does need to be done carefully and there are some points to be aware of;
- Only use clear water or coloured using food colouring. Real alcohol or fruit juices can have a solvent effect on certain items it left for a period of time.
- Make sure both the item & water are at room temperature. Decant the water into a container and leave to acclimatise on set for an hour or so before using. Never fill breakaway items directly from a tap.
- The liquid should be put in to the item as close to use as possible, preferably moments before it gets broken, as a filled breakaway item is far more likely to get accidentally broken. Items should never be filled in advance, then transported to the location.
- The item should be lent over to one side, and water should be poured in down the inside, slowly up righting as the item is filled, as Guinness would be poured in a glass for example. Just 1-2" of water in the bottom will usually suffice for most applications, the more water you use, the less of a splash you will get because of the weight of the liquid.
If you have any more questions, or need any more help please contact our workshop on the numbers below.
Yes. We can produce a bottle in which the neck is made in a Stagesafe® plastic with a jagged end, and the bottom part is breakaway resin (or vice-versa). When smashed against a table, the breakaway portion will smash away, leaving the Stagesafe® portion intact with a jagged end. For theatre shows where you don't have a second take, and to achieve continuity across multiple movie takes, this is ideal. You can see photos of an AB1 beer bottle below, in which the bottom breakaway end has been smashed, leaving the neck Stagesafe® end intact.
We only manufacture glass and ceramic breakaways, but we would be happy to direct you to a range companies or specialties if you have other requirements.
We can hire out & sell original real glass 'twin' copies of a range of the items we sell. 'Twins' are available where noted on a respective item's page. For everything else we may be able to advise you as to where you might find them. Where we know, the names & volumes of the original items moulded are listed on each item's page.
We can supply plastic Stagesafe® versions of our breakaways from stock moulds, and we can mould & replicate your original items as plastic Stagesafe® versions too. We also have a very limited range of plastic bottles as shown below.
Plastic Stagesafe® glasses, bottles and ornaments are items which don't break, for use on stage or as part of a stunt where real glass & ceramics are too risky to use. These props, while not unbreakable, are made from a strong plastic resin which is practical & robust enough. Please see the Stagesafe® items page to see our range of stock moulds, or call us if you want more information.
Yes, we've designed a limited range of bottle dressing to which we hold the copyrights. Bottles can be bought ready-dressed, with additional dressing if required. Dressing can be mixed & matched with other bottles and items & colours can also be customised. Please contact us for further information.
If you decide to use a label from an existing brand, you should seek expressed permission from the copyright holder where needed, and care should be taken when applying dressing to bottles;
- If you're using an existing branded bottle label, soak it in hot water for 20 minutes and the label should easily peel off, then flatten it out and leave it to dry, some stronger glues can require a longer soak.
- Spray the Spray Mount onto the back of the label, and wait a minute or so for it to dry off and go tacky.
- Stick the label onto the bottle and carefully smooth it off, they're tricky to remove so it needs to be in the right place first time.
- If you wish to add a cork, you should take an original, use a craft knife to shave down the diameter so it loosely slots into the neck of the bottle, add any liquid you want inside the bottle, then use a thin bead of hot-melt glue around the opening of the bottle to fix the cork in place.
Yes, jumpers and long-sleeved T-shirts are available in sizes; small, medium, large & extra large. Please enquire for more information.