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Old 04-14-2015, 03:59 PM
Pete VanderLaan's Avatar
Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
The Old Gaffer
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chocorua New Hampshire
Posts: 20,583
Pete VanderLaan is on a distinguished road
I'm not crowing, I think it's really scary to be dependent on cullet. Studio history has taught me that cullet is a transitory kind of material that disappears. We started with this stuff called Keystone cullet and it was .02 lb. Worked great. We all told each other about our great find and everyone started to order it. Keystone had never seen so many sales and "Hey, clear is clear" and they threw every kind of clear glass they could find in the barrels. It was just pure junk and Keystone was quietly abandoned in less than two years.

Then came Gabbert, a seemingly endless supply of factory drops. As the shops in West Virginia failed, ultimately so has the gabbert connection. Gone is Louis cullet, Fenton, gone. This will not stop in this country with the exception of bottle glass coming out of Northwest or Anchor Hocking in New Jersey and it isn't workable with the color rods.

So, the complaint is that Spruce Pine batch is unpleasant. Cullet is so easy until of course you get victimized like Jordan did. If the AZS is starting to come out of the furnace, it's unlikely to stop. Spruce Pine has had a nightmare experience with their continuous melter. Bottom line is that everyone is depending on these sources and that is a very dangerous thing to do. While SP87 batch may not be as easy as dumping bags of cullet in the tank, the truth is it will always be better glass and is always available. Every time a glass gets melted, it gets shorter. There is nothing quite like a fresh batch if you're fussy- and you should be. I've been revising mine again, pushing the potassium content up, the soda down and getting pure alumina in while abandoning feldspar entirely. The glass is just stunning the color just gets better and better and it's coming out of a three year old High Temp pot.

The cautionary tale here is that you should insure yourselves by learning how to make glass from raw materials or to always have SP87 as a batch on hand. If you think that you can always rely on cullet companies, experience tells me you're really wrong.
Where are we going and why am I in this basket?
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