An angle, but not a right angle, that creates a sloping or canted surface, and is worked into a solid material for decorative or practical purpose.  The outer edges of any material that is set into a frame – such as wooden wall panels  and mirrors are often bevelled as a means of reducing the size in order to fit the frame. But any means that also provides an attractive finish with sculptural impact- by the  play of lights it changes direction-  will be desirable and long lasting,  and so it is with bevelling. Even the earliest panels and furnishings show bevelling techniques and skills.

The size of the bevel is determined by the angle of it, the depth of the material, and to some extent the fashion, as each of the criteria can be changed to suit the design.

A bevel changes the tempo of a thing – a mirror with no bevel, so  that it falls straight back into the frame feels bigger, cleaner, smoother and more contemporary than the same mirror with a bevel. It also feel somehow emptier, as the light has no change to play and reflect differently.

An interesting aside –  a clear bevel at the outside edge of any sandblasted or etched glass, changes the dimension. It allows clear light through,  which adds,  rather that  detracts from, the overall effect. In an overlooked space -such as an urban bathroom window, where the main area must be opaque, just this small change of clear edging makes a huge difference- not as much  to the light than can enter, but to the quality of this light, the fact that sky is visible all around.

A mirrored wall has far more character if it is split up into sections, these are often half at each corner with  a metal or glass stud which can be more or less  decorative.  The effective of bevelling each of these panels  is to create something very much more  elegant and  grand.

Stone is bevelled less often for function than effect- an outer edge might be bevelled to soften the line by changing the light, or to reduce the ‘weight’ by tricking the eye to seeing  smaller dimensions, or for safety to take away a sharp edge.

Having said that, all work on stone will include bevelled edges  within the various and more complex forms used to  increase and decrease size and weight.

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