View Full Version : Cristalica glass?

Mark Bickers
05-12-2012, 12:54 AM
Dear all

Bit of a long shot, but has any one used or has any feedback about the 96 nuggets from these guys http://www.cristalica.de/

I am sure that as the company is based in Germany it might be a long shot but may as well ask. It just I have heard good things on the grape vine, has a lower melting point to our current glass, is £600 cheaper a ton...

All the best


Pete VanderLaan
05-12-2012, 04:42 AM
I don't know the company but I do know that lower melt temps always come with a price of dissolving parts of your furnace and crucible. There is no free lunch.

Franklin Sankar
05-12-2012, 05:38 AM
They have some chemicals and the percentages on their site. What does it say about the glass?
Shipping would be a killer also?

Mark Bickers
05-12-2012, 06:41 AM
Thanks for thoughts Pete, Franklin is right they have the chemical make up on the site, don't suppose any of you technically knowledgeable chaps could have a look and let us know what you think? The shipping is good in the UK, they have set up a warehouse here and are giving free samples away...seems like a big push into the market....the saving was at the price we have quoted inc taxes and shipping...would love to hear what the ramifications of its make up are

Thanks for your time


Steven O'Day
05-12-2012, 08:43 AM
Silicondioxide SiO2 70 - 72%
Sodiumoxide Na2O 12 - 15%
Calciumoxid CaO 5 - 7%
Bariumoxid BaO 1 - 3%
Potasiumoxid K2O 3 - 5%
Antimonytrioxide Sb2O3 < 2%
Bortrioxide B2O3 < 2%
Zincoxyde ZnO < 2%

Mark Bickers
05-12-2012, 08:46 AM
Hi Pete, here is the breakdown of their site, unfortunately can't directly link to it...be great to hear what you think...thank you so much for your knowledgable views..

Silicondioxide 70 - 72%

Sodiumoxide 12 - 15%

Calciumoxide 5 - 7%

Bortioxide < 2%

Bariumoxide 1 - 3%

Potasiumoxid 3 - 5%

Antimonytrioxide < 2%

Zincoxide < 2%

Mark Bickers
05-12-2012, 08:48 AM
Ah Steve beat me to it....must copy and paste quicker next time!!

Pete VanderLaan
05-12-2012, 09:11 AM
It's really high in alkaline fluxes in my opinion so it has less than desirable durability. Conventional wisdom has always said to limit alkaline flux to 18%. The ranges they offer are pretty vague in terms of spread- as n example they claim less than 2% antimony and the number is probably more like .2%. Boron under 2% is good. The glass is getting its softness from the Sodium potassium combo.

Without running it through a spreadsheet, does it say anywhere what the Linear expansion is? It looks to be high just glancing at it.

Mark Bickers
05-12-2012, 10:26 AM
Hi Pete

Not sure about coe...I will ask, they claim that it fits with most colours...

See their promo video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dELwk2-4i4A&feature=related

We have been having real issues with cord in the glass we are using at the moment, so I am keen to look at alternatives...

Pete VanderLaan
05-12-2012, 10:29 AM
Cords are not necessarily the fault of the glass. They can be caused by waiting too long to case a piece, different temps in layers in the pot, worn out pot, too cold a melt, too hot a melt. I would strongly suggest that you try stirring your clear, either with a potato or compressed air. You'll be amazed at how much it improves the quality.

Mark Bickers
05-12-2012, 11:03 AM
We have tried a few things with our current glass..both higher and lower melts, shorter & longer but not a stir. I have stirred a colour melt with a potato before but not a clear melt...is it the same process i.e. do it at melting temp, after last charge has levelled out, shove potato as low as you can etc....is the premise that it mixes up all the layers of glass to even things out?

Pete VanderLaan
05-12-2012, 12:39 PM
You have the premise down. Stick the potato on firmly on a punty you do not care about at all. With the furnace hot, plunge it to the bottom and rotate. Try to rub up and down the walls too. If you can stay in there 30 seconds, you're doing good. Wear heat protection and protect your vision. It gets hot. I think you're going to like what you get.

If you do it more than once, you'll like it even better. After the stir, let the pot settle for a half hour and then squeeze.

Cording is most often, but not always the effects of a worn liner. If the clear was good in the first place, it should still be good.

Mark Bickers
05-12-2012, 12:46 PM
Thanks Pete, to be honest we have been having cord issues from day one with this glass in brand new furnace, 5 months in getting a bit bored of it. Will definately try a stir on Monday when we next charge...

One quick question, would you stir at the end of the highest temperature dwell, or just at the end of the last charge...thanks again for your advice

Pete VanderLaan
05-12-2012, 02:17 PM
well, what's the glass? Is it a cullet from...where? Is it a batch glass? What did whoever had it before you say it was? Have you ever seen it used in conditions where it was cord free? or, is it a batch?

Then... what is your liner exactly? Pot, brick, what pot, what brick? How do you heat it?

I stir once the chemical reaction is really done and the glass is at its highest temperature. I like to stir twice if I'm serious. If you stir and you still have major cords, something else is wrong, either the glass itself is not all the same glass ( I've seen that) or the glass was in fact cordy in the first place, bringing to mind that in scrap cullet, no one was selling it off because they were in love with it. You say you have had trouble from the beginning which could still mean that the liner was not the right liner from the beginning.

So, what's the sordid history?

Scott Benefield
05-12-2012, 03:11 PM

What are you melting at the moment?

The major supplier in the UK, Glassworks Services Ltd. (out of Doncaster), is offering two types of nuggets at the moment: Studio III Glass Nuggets and Falorni Glass Nuggets. I'm pretty sure the new Falorni (from Italy) product is connected to Peter Kuschinke (of K Glass fame, which was produced in Lauscha). I'm not so sure about the Studio III stuff. Could this be the German Cristalica product?

As Pete mentioned, the Swedish firm Glasma has recently brought a nugget to the market that isn't handled by any UK distributors as yet. You can, however, order directly from the factory: try camilla.quist@glasma.se. They sent me 50 kg. to try for free, although I did have to pay shipping from Sweden. Glasma has manufactured a good, consistent batch for many years and I'd be inclined to trust them for quality control and longevity.

Mark Bickers
05-12-2012, 03:48 PM

We are using the Studio III at the mo, it has good and bad days but as 99% of our product is lighting we have to have good glass. Melted in gas fired furnace. I know a couple of people who have used it and have changed because of cords & high melting/working temps. I do know a few people that are also getting on okay with it...When it is good it's a great glass to work with, sets up great and recovers from a wobble like nothing else I have used. However we do need consistency to meet our production targets...

The Cristalica has been developed with Peter Kuschinke and they have put me directly in contact with to go over ideal melting conditions...

I have used Glasma batch in the studio that we rented before having our own place...always got on with it really well. Scott: Would like to hear how the test melt has gone/goes...

Steven O'Day
05-12-2012, 07:12 PM
The numbers are from the MSDS, ranges are given to protect the actual formula.

Pete VanderLaan
05-13-2012, 05:53 AM
I get that but it's a wide enough range to render any qualitative analysis of performance to be useless. I have something very much like it for a nugget manufacturer in this country.

Mark, do keep in mind that if you switch glasses that the first batch at the very least will be awful. The pot will need to be flushed out. Start with a smaller amount in the bottom. Melt it and scoop it out at the very least.

Franklin Sankar
05-13-2012, 06:40 AM
The video shows an interesting short sequence on a machine used to make the nuggets. With all the high tech control and process its nice to see how they kept the cost down.
SP is heaven for me, its soft and workable etc. How is this glass different? Or is it the same. They say it stays soft in one place(or something like that) but if you want to use it to encase a ppw, how do you make it runny?
Just curious, its too far away for me to get.

Dave Bross
05-13-2012, 07:21 AM
I don't see any alumina in there, the modifiers are low enough and the alkalais high enough that I would be worried about it devitrifying eventually...or not so eventually.

The wide ranges given on ingredients % says perhaps sloppy batching also. I'm not convinced they're protecting the formula. Get enough of those ingredients at the "wrong" end of their ranges and you're in more durability trouble...not to mention the big variations in expansion/viscosity possible in those ranges.

They're using borax to soften/ speed melting. Borax is believed to be a major player in taking out your furnace refractories and pot. As a contrast, SP gets that done without borax by using lots of lithium and enough alumina. History seems to say the SP way is a lot easier on the refractories.

Mark Bickers
05-14-2012, 11:24 AM
Just for an update, had a very nice chat with Peter Kuschinke today and he has provided me with a more detailed breakdown of the product. I have uploaded it to our site here http://www.rothschildbickers.com/cristalica.pdf

He had some great info, he described how they are making this glass is 2 ton batches rather than larger melts for his previous 'k' glass. He is sure of compatibility with Gaffer (our main colour supplier)

I am sure that we will give it a go and will let you know how it goes. The customer service that we have received from Cristalica and Peter has been absolutely brilliant...I do like it when your enquiries are answered swiftly and efficiently.

Pete: We stirred todays melt, so I am very excited to see the results tomorrow. Also it did entertain everyone here who had not seen potato glass jumping fun!!

Pete VanderLaan
05-14-2012, 01:19 PM
I guess potatoes are part of glass mythology. When I taught at Pilchuck, no one there had ever seen it done before I did a bog pot one night. I just grew up with it. The Germans were way worse. They took a lump of wet Arsenic and stuck it in cloth around a stick and jammed it in.

Don't do that..

I went to your site and that glass looks quite reasonable and well thought out.

Dave Bross
05-14-2012, 05:25 PM
Now that we have the rest of the story.....

That formula should work OK. Very much like what many have been batching/melting for years. It's a little light on calcium and alumina but should be OK on durability for the intended use. I wouldn't use it to make anything that will live outdoors in a warm and humid climate.

Pete VanderLaan
05-14-2012, 06:31 PM
what? No shiny fishing lures?

Dave Bross
05-15-2012, 04:55 AM
...or bikinis or thongs

Scott Benefield
06-06-2012, 11:26 AM
Mark, have you done any test melts yet with the Cristallica nuggets? Are you ordering through Glassworks Services or directly from Peter?

I did the first test melt of the Glasma nuggets over the weekend, but it was the first melt in a new pot and the glass quality was pretty poor. I thought it skinned over quickly and seemed more brittle than what I'm used to working with (SP87). Also, the published COE on that is 99 which is getting a little far from the Gaffer specs.

Pete VanderLaan
06-06-2012, 02:37 PM
I cannot practically see a future for a 99 L.E.C. glass in the mainstream of the studio movement. While it is a brilliant clear when melted under optimal conditions it neither meets a 96 0r a 104 glass in it's mismatch. That's a serious obstacle. The Cristallica is far more promising in this environment and Peter has indicated he will alter the formulation if necessary but even so, shipping it here, warehousing and distributing it is no easy trick.

Mark Bickers
06-07-2012, 12:47 AM
Hi Scott

We are going to be changing over in about a month, I have enough here to do a test, but to be honest would rather melt a couple of months worth to give it a real test...also don't really want to swap...find that it's good....then have to swap back.

We will be getting it directly from Cristalica, they have set up warehousing in Basildon, Essex.

I will let you know how it goes.

Franklin Sankar
06-07-2012, 08:21 PM
Mark, when you test the new glass can you share how it flows , like for casting or better yet for encasing paperweights.
Also how clear is it? compared with Schott. They dont call it crystal for nothing.

Pete VanderLaan
06-08-2012, 04:52 AM
. They dont call it crystal for nothing.
I take it that PT Barnum never made it to Trinidad

Franklin Sankar
06-08-2012, 07:07 AM

Pete VanderLaan
06-08-2012, 07:21 AM
I'll leave this to someone else.

Franklin Sankar
06-08-2012, 11:45 AM
I keep forgetting that you can find anything on the internet but getting it from the Horses mouth is always better. Sorry Pete I am not calling you a Horse.
So I looked it up and no he did not come to TT, most likely because of the competition. ;):):evil:

Pete VanderLaan
06-08-2012, 01:42 PM
FDR most likely.

Peter Kuchinke
06-16-2012, 04:22 PM
Peter Kuchinke

Finally I would like to enter a little in this thread:

I might need to tell a very long story.
To make it short: it all started 1999 in Lauscha, I convinced an industrial company to produce K-glass in a large furnace (60 tons). That was the first industrial produced premolten glass nuggets for the studio glass movement.
1500 tons of the material were made in 5 runs every time changing over from C or B-glass to a chemistry suitable for mouthblown glass, with all the trouble this involved in a very large furnace. Spectrum follow few years later with a simular chemistry.

TODAY, the material is produced in a much smaller but continous furnace
TODAY we could make it up to your recipy
TODAY we make a 96 and a 104 recipy,
as a glassmaker I use it myself and am happy about it. But you rather ask people in the
UK, Sweden,Denmark, and so on about it.

We do get very positive reactions to the material now, if anybody in the US is interested
to try and maybe can gather a few colleques together we are willing to deliver in the US too. We are willing to sent samples if some people can gather together.

ONE THING is for SURE: the glassmaker expects his raw material to be cheap, compared to colors for example an lb of clear raw material cost is expected to be 10-15%. But premolten glass nuggets, compared to any batch product do save not only energy but
also costs for crucibles, heating elements, furnaces.

So please feel to ask anything you want, I am happy to post analysis, reports, clients references and my own views why - in most cases- it is an advantage to use Cristalica96 or whichever glassnuggets made for the same purpose.
Or why it might even by a good idea to import the material from Europe, apart from a rising Dollar.


Scott Benefield
06-18-2012, 12:57 PM

Can you supply information on how to order samples for test melting (shipping within the EU)?


Peter Kuchinke
06-18-2012, 05:47 PM
A rising society of studio glass blowers sucessfully use
These artists like to save
the enviroment
in and outside their studio
the gas bill
the electricy bill
the time bill
the rebuilt furnace bill
We are very keen of getting in contact with studioglass people anywere else
interested on our MOLTEN GLASS FOR STUDIOGLASS Blowers, Casters leadfree, easy to reheat in Europe, Australasia, Afrika ,Asia.

its made out of agglomerated batch in a nice new continous furnace
at www.cristalica.de
cut in nuggets without sharp edges.
We are very keen of getting in contact with studioglass people anywere else interested on our MOLTEN GLASS FOR STUDIOGLASS Blowers, Casters leadfree, easy to reheat in Europe, Australasia, Afrika These artists like to save the enviroment in and outside their studio the gas bill the electricy bill the time bill the rebuilt furnace bill its made out of agglomerated batch in a nice new furnace www.cristalica.de hard to find the ENGLISH botton a.virag@cristalica.de for interest both EUrope and worldwide speaks german,english,italian,rumänien, peterkuchinke@hotmail.com http://www.facebook.com/Cristalica96 http://www.facebook.com/peter.kuchinke

hard to find the ENGLISH botton

for interest both EUrope and worldwide
speaks german,english,italian,rumänien,



will give your free samples shipment for the amount you need
if you promise to try it and you really consider to sitch from bath material or spectrum, glasma, phillips whatever

problem one: first melts are problematic.!! not always but sometimes-

seconds are mostly better....so I d rather make a gentlement agreements
with a 1000kg delivery for a very good price.(-200kg)

or 500kg only charged after 2 pots melt with sucess!!!

or just free sample up to 150kg.

expect to make agglomerated batch.

To the US?
I do not know but a group is welcome to order the first 1000kg to the US
for free, But I would need different furnace s and tecniques (gas/elec./elec.kanthal) of melting the way of working it with colors of different types Gaffer and Reichenbach,
as you might now that 0-300 and 0-400 is a difference.

The glass is melted at 1160 (Fahrenheit 2120) over night in electric 10cm one single charge over night seedfree according to Sara Mannheimer at Stockholm Heta Glass in Sikla Köpcenter.
and many other furnaces
different ways different places---up to 1200 (fahrenheit 2192)
you can receive melts seedfree.
we recomend time and temperature to be taken up to discussion
for quality demand,
since we know we can get INNER - in solid - CORD away at 2260Fahrenheit

In wich grade for US users this is convenient,
depends on the Euro
and the freight rates
we could bring you a container to the US.
we ship in boxes 25 kg
and 1 ton bags

If anyhow it can be so worth bringing it to South Africa
for example is an other questions we got very nice results from Davide Reade
maling large clear bottles in rahter thick glass.

I teoretical we can design your glass by 22 ton container after your demand chemicaly
within Si,Na,K,Ca,Ba,Zn,Mg,Al,Sb,..Li Eb S as long as you do not make exclusions of them complete.
But on the ecological view of my project the US market is nonsens and viceversa its not to different.

Have a nice day
Peter Kuchinke
born 1963
leaded glass berlin west 1980
orrefors glascholl termin class 1983
jan erik ritzmann and svenne carlson transjoe hytta 1983-84
seguso vetri d. arte 84-88
transjö 1989 SE
maleras 1990
gullaskruf 91-94 SE
derefter freelancer
royal brierley, Gb, 93+94 part
farbglashütte lauscha DE 95-99 / 2003-2010)
mygdal 2001-........DK
university burg giebichenstein 2009-......DE
Döbern in DE 2011-..........
near the polish border where they take the coal on the surface
to make nuclear free electricity.
we do not :
we run solar and gas driven electricty production in combination
the furnace is on natural gas.!
that s where Cristalca96 or 104 is made.
Please ask questons
I do write miserably english some times but I do speak german,danish,swedish,
italian and english.

Eben Horton
06-18-2012, 05:55 PM
i have just installed a new crucible in my 325 Lb free standing pot furnace. If you would like someone in the US to test it out and give a report, i am happy to test. let me know soon, as i am going to turn my furnace back on soon and would think that using a clean virgin crucible would be best.

Peter Kuchinke
06-18-2012, 09:26 PM
i have just installed a new crucible in my 325 Lb free standing pot furnace. If you would like someone in the US to test it out and give a report, i am happy to test. let me know soon, as i am going to turn my furnace back on soon and would think that using a clean virgin crucible would be best.

Do you have colleques more or less local other possible interested studioglassblower s friend and colleque or a instituion university around you and are you please on the east coast and not half way over West coast .

As ever I have loved to spent time in Seattle I do think its stupid to deliver glass from EUrope that near to spectrum. ecologically.

But of course if price, quality and service justify our cheap euro its fine to deliver there too. I just want to mention it,
as an enviromentalist I am.

Please sent details information about your company , webside, adress and telnummber all the customer numbers for international trade you are going to be asked for too. and try to do your best on colloborativ projects. Thank you , if you could be 5 of you for example it would be perfect with a metric ton.

ANother possibilty is a gentlemen agreement for me to sent a ton, if you run happy into it you pay 800kilo plus 80% of the transport.
for the rest of one ton metric used by you

in case of misstrail
i will have to find a colleque of yours
and pay the freight.
just do not think so.


Free standing electric furnaces work very nicly with this glass
New pot too.
Have just done that very sucessfully.

Do you use Reichenbach or GAFFER colors?

Pete VanderLaan
06-19-2012, 05:47 AM
Peter, what do you anticipate the cost per ton to ship it to Boston Harbor which is where it would most likely go for Eben. It seems to me the only economy for this is to ship by containerload, have a distribution warehouse, etc.

Peter Kuchinke
06-19-2012, 05:16 PM
I will ask and ask for alternative A
1 ton free in the US at postal code?
ANs alternative B

1 container load US at postal code?

warehousing is very US for me. Has anybody an idea where in on the eastcoast
of the US warehouse could be convenient because in the middle of the glassmakers?

On FRIDAY we might have and answer it might take until MONDAY
to get an answer.

Very well willing anybody to try to help

Pete VanderLaan
06-19-2012, 07:16 PM
I would think New Jersey would be central and have capacity for warehouse and handling at competitive rates, shipping in to NY harbor through customs. Will need a broker and dreyage shipping. Will need a brokers license within a year.

Mark Bickers
07-12-2012, 12:43 PM
Quick update: We have ordered our first ton and have our first proper charge of the cristalica melting now...I will post feedback in a week or two once we have some proper experience with the glass.

All the best


Pete VanderLaan
07-12-2012, 01:15 PM
what? You didn't order a "tonne"?

Franklin Sankar
10-18-2013, 08:46 PM
Mark, how was the test?