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Old 11-16-2019, 01:59 PM
Pete VanderLaan's Avatar
Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
The Old Gaffer
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chocorua New Hampshire
Posts: 21,956
Pete VanderLaan is on a distinguished road
I'll make an entirely different case for making your own color, actually several. Color rods are really expensive for what they are 25% is just lead. When gold went shooting up in the late '70's gold rod shot up as well but look at what happened to the gold rod as gold prices came back to earth. It stayed right up there.
But that's not what draws me to my own color. It used to be at every show I did people would come and ask what color rod that piece was and the answer was inevitably that I made it my self. This remains true for marybeth in her work, using my color. People just get pissed that it's not off the shelf so they can't run home and make that stuff.

More importantly is that when you make your own, you can get really excessive with it since it costs less than a buck a pound. Even with gold rod, which cost more, I used to regularly take three gathers from the pot in a single piece before considering the casing. I would try risky stuff that I would not have tried if I was using commercial gold rod. People used to come around the La Cienega shop trying to go through the cullet barrels where we ran fourteen pots. That freedom allowed for stuff to be made I never would have tried and that's my biggest selling point.

But the notion that no studio can make so many colors wasn't the experience I had growing up in glass. We all pretty much had an attitude that we could do most anything. People weren't any more secretive than they are today. We just didn't know as much as we know now.

Lastly, Speed. If you don't have to heat up color, you don't need that assistant and you can make glass in real time. Consistently, shops that make thier own can make about 30% more work in any given time.

Perhaps those great inventive days are gone, I doubt it. There's always some young buck starting off. I just want to see those kids build from a basic foundation in the chemistry before getting totally out over their skies. I still help those that help themselves. Some of us love glass for glasse's sake. Some love the money. I'm lucky to have lived as I did.
Where are we going and why am I in this basket?
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