May Is National Mental Health Awareness Month

Glass and mirrors are often used as metaphors. (That probably might not hold true when it comes to glass shower panels or frameless glass railings but stick with us here!) And metaphors involving glass and mirrors often pertain to some aspect of mental health or identity – something that we thought might be appropriate to think about since May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Through a Glass Darkly

Anything that obscures your view or prevents you from seeing things as they really are can be depicted as grime, dirt or distortion – whether you are looking through a glass or in a mirror.

Of course, when it comes to glass, the perfect example of a metaphor that pertains to mental health would be the question of whether you see the glass as half empty or half full. It is widely understood that this is an indication of whether you tend to look at the world as an optimist or as a pessimist. 

“Mirrors reflect light which allows them to reflect the world around them. In spiritual concepts, light is a powerful symbol of wisdom and awareness. As a consequence, mirrors are symbols and carriers of truth and reflect what our truth is,” Neve Akridge writes in The Mystical Symbolism of Mirrors on Medium. 

“Psychology tends to be more critical of mirrors which represent the barrier between conscious and unconscious,” she goes on to say. “And therefore, by looking deep into a mirror, we look deep inside ourselves in a conscious way, following a thoughts process.”

For Christopher P Jones, writing in Symbols In Art: Mirrors & Reflections, which can also be found on Medium, “The idea is that mirrors reflect a hidden truth, perhaps a window to an ‘anti-world’, a more unvarnished version of our own. We are accustomed to demons and supernatural creatures having no reflection on account of being dispossessed of a soul. Thus, as a means of disclosure, the image that appears in a mirror can be thought of as being more revealing that the mere surface appearance.

“Hence, in art, the depiction of a mirror is usually for some allegorical purpose. It is a way of saying, ‘There lies a deeper truth here.’,” he concludes.

The Most Important Question

When you look into the mirror, what do you see? We all tend to be hard on ourselves, seeing what we consider to be our countless imperfections. The next time you look in the mirror, try focusing on the positive things you see… like your smile.  

If you or someone you loves needs help, you can call a national hotline set up by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to connect with trained crisis worker who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

And if you want a clearer view of your world, well, you can always contact us about crystal clear glass shower enclosures. Frameless glass balcony railings and custom mirrors. Stay safe and be well!

The Luxurious Looking Glass

They may look totally different, but mirrors are made of glass – just like the beautiful frameless shower enclosures and glass railings that we make. 

Today, mirrors are part of our everyday lives. You probably wouldn’t think of leaving the house before checking your appearance in one. Most cars these days have more than one mirror. Women might carry one in their purse. Even the trendy tiny homes you might have seen on TV have mirrors.

We take mirrors for granted today, but for most of their history, mirrors were considered a luxury item. 

Early Mirror Makers

According to the Columbia Tribune, “The early method for making a glass mirror consisted of coating the back of a sheet of glass with an amalgam of mercury and tin. The surface was overlaid with several sheets of tinfoil and rubbed smooth. The entire surface was then covered with mercury. Finally, a cloth made of soft wool was placed on the surface and weighted down for a day. The glass was then tilted so that the excess mercury ran off and could be save.” 

Whew! No wonder it was considered unlucky to break a mirror! And no wonder mirrors were considered to be luxury items. 

Other advancements – like adding gilt frames and making oval or round mirrors – only added to the luxurious appeal of mirrors. 

It wasn’t until the 19th century that someone figured out how to coat the back of the glass with silver. It still wasn’t exactly easy to make a mirror, but it did simplify things and shorten the timeline. 

 Today, mirrors can be mass produced, but quality custom mirrors – as well as chic frameless glass balcony railings and clear glass shower enclosures – can still add a touch of luxury to your life.

The History of Glass Making: Mesopotamia

The technology involved in creating beautiful clear glass shower enclosures and frameless glass railings has advanced from the earliest days of glass making.  

No one is sure about who first figured out how to make glass or why they did it. “However,” as the experts at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York explain in their discussion of the origins of glassmaking, “it is generally believed that glassmaking was discovered 4,000 years ago, or more, in Mesopotamia.” 

The Ancient Equivalent of Silicon Valley

If you were paying attention dur your history classes in school, you might remember that Mesopotamia is known as the Cradle of Civilization. 

“In what the Greeks later called Mesopotamia, Sumerians invented new technologies and perfected the large-scale use of existing ones. In the process, they transformed how humans cultivated food, built dwellings, communicated and kept track of information and time,” the experts at History.com tell us.

In Mesopotamia as it is today, it appears that necessity was the mother of invention. A lack of natural resources forced the ancient Sumerians to get creative and, in the process, as History.com says, they “built a civilization that in some ways was the ancient equivalent of Silicon Valley.”

We don’t know what historians of the future will say when they look back on the technological innovation that has come out of Silicon Valley, but we do have historical perspective on the Sumerians of Mesopotamia. In fact, History.com quotes the late historian Samuel Noah Kramer who wrote, “The people of Sumer had an unusual flair for technological invention.”

That might be a bit of an understatement! In addition to glass, the list of inventions that came out of Mesopotamia includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Writing
  • Chariots
  • The Plow
  • Metallurgy
  • Mathematics
  • Textile Mills
  • Hydraulic Engineering 
  • Mass-Produced Clay Products, including Pottery and Bricks  

 

If necessity is inspiring you to create something new – like a beautiful new bathroom featuring frameless glass shower doors – or if you would like to chat more about the history of glass, contact us