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Old 09-04-2020, 09:35 AM
Pete VanderLaan's Avatar
Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
The Old Gaffer
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chocorua New Hampshire
Posts: 22,276
Pete VanderLaan is on a distinguished road
If you went to big factory charging systems, North American Rockwell had build screw type charges with an auger. The auger turned and loaded the batch through the door. A big Trojan Horse on wheels with a gaping maw. Pelletizing batch was only done at Phillips and they mixed a calculated charge mixed with sodium silicate to harden the stuff into little balls. I don't know when Phillips started that.

I've always thought the dust issue to be a specious argument. If one balanced the very fact that most shop floors were horribly underventilated I suppose you could make the argument but if you looked things like boron in the cullet, there was virtually boron everywhere. Look at the windows and see the etching.

I would continue to say that cullet was easier than batch bad as the cullet was, just in terms of time before the glass was ready to be used. Keystone cullet, once excellent was by this time .02 cent trash. Peiser was already making his own glass by '75. At Pilchuck, pre 1971 they really made great glass but the demand for hot stuff and the remarkable ways in which it got wasted were profound. By 1976 when I was teaching up there, Ben Moore had come back from his stint at Veninni and the stripping off of glass after gathering was upwards of 3,000 lbs per week. It was not a glass that took well to remelting. Mark Graham and I would go off to NW glass and fill the back of the school truck once a week and we would watch it getting thrown away.
That required the schools to insist that there were "bubble Chasers" among the true believers and we were to be shunned publicly for thinking glass quality to be important. Keep in mind this was years before Spruce Pine came into existence but at least in the Rocky Mountains, the private shops were making flawless stuff, none of pelletized, all of it home mixed. At one point Dale wanted me to ship him my batch to the shop he was working in at Tucson. I passed.

While I may be well past my "sell by" date, I continue to view it as laziness regarding respect for quality in the basic materials used in the artwork. I don't like people treating their primary material like it was dogshit, unless of course, that's what you make with it. The bulk of my Ceramic friends felt the same way and if they did not mix it themselves, they had it mixed at Paoli. Those were big names like Soldner, Voulkas, Masterson. They evolved very differently.
Where are we going and why am I in this basket?
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