Legend David A. Smith & A Brief History of Glass Signs
David A. Smith is famous in the sign-writing world. He started in 1984 and apprenticed for 5 years with renowned traditional sign painters, basically learning how to master the art without with out any preliminary sketches. In 1992 He opened up his own shop in England, doing everything from vehicle graphics to 3D installations. His precision and perfection always set his work apart from the rest. He spent the next few years working with sign painters, carvers, muralists, and gold leaf experts. Eventually this led to his dominance in the reverse glass world.
(more work to follow the history)
Reverse painting has been an art form since ancient times, there is no accurate dating to its begin. By the 13th century, reverse glass signs appeared in Italy, then France and England. It became common in many parts of Europe during the renaissance as well. These painting were primarily related to religious decoration most often at church alters.
In the early 1800’s reverse glass was very popularly used to decorate mirrors or clocks. The practice has come and gone briefly. Today, it holds a special aesthetic that many strive to achieve in small businesses of great quality. In the case of David Smith, he collaborate with big companies and artists who share appreciation for the historical practice.
http://davidadriansmith.com (watch video on Jameson collaboration)
Here is a couple shots of the "glory days" of sign painting practice:
Here are some detail shots as well as process shots from his studio in England:
http://davidadriansmith.com (show video credits starting at 16:40)