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Old 04-04-2005, 01:26 PM
Lani McGregor
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It’s great to see John Croucher here. I was hoping he’d show up. And now that he’s here:

John, I understand the problems color bar makers have in being unable to control the melt and therefore the predictability/quality of each studio’s clear furnace glass, but it’s not like there was ever a “standard” – in-house or otherwise – in the kiln-glass world. When Bullseye developed its first line of Tested Compatible glasses, there was no standard either. We had to develop one. We called it “Tested Compatible” - not “90 COE” – and published the test so that anyone could do it. We created and stockpiled a clear standard T-glass for testing. I’d also like to add that the “fused glass manufacturers” (plural) you refer to didn’t exist at that time. We were alone – for a good decade at the start. It wasn’t until one other manufacturer came into the market and wanted to match Bullseye without saying “Compatible to Bullseye”, that the term “Tested Compatible to 90.0 COE” came into the market.

I’m not sure I understand why you say there was no “standard” in the blowing market when you entered, but then say that SP87 was the standard and that you matched that with your own batch. So why not have just called it Tested to Match SP87 rather than having to deal with all this confusion about COEs, which you agree don’t guarantee compatibility?

I know that we all make decisions based on marketing and the interests of being user-friendly, but if those decisions screw with the user’s understanding of the product and process, I’m not sure whether we’re helping ourselves.

(On the other hand, I am regularly reminded by wiser minds in the marketing dept at BE that the Republicans won our last election by having simplistic one-liners and that the Democrats - who thought giving people lots of detail would bring them to intelligent conclusions - LOST)

Finally, I do very sincerely appreciate your willingness to speak publicly on these issues. It is refreshing to find a manufacturer who will come out from behind a website or their marketing literature. And it is undeniable that what Gaffer brought to the studio glass scene was color bar that is controlled to much higher tolerances than the previously existing products. We’ve done some limited testing on rods and “96” sheet glass in our factory and our (again, limited) results show the Gaffer to be MUCH tighter within its own range (not, necessarily in matching a "96" sheet) than any of the other color bar lines we’ve tested.

So. Speaking of compatibility ranges: What is the number of degrees of angle of retardation high and low that Gaffer accepts, i.e., the actual readings on your polarimeter?

Bullseye, for instance, accepts the range between 4 degrees high and 2 degrees low.

Again, thanks for the appearance. (And I apologize for the “full court press” that Jim and I put on you down in Perth 2 years ago – the Pinot made us do it)
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