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  #51  
Old 05-07-2015, 08:15 AM
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Glenn Randle Glenn Randle is offline
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It's amazing to hear these stories, and studios keep buying the same brand. Talk about loyalty.
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  #52  
Old 05-07-2015, 09:16 AM
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Loyalty is not the word I would use. Monopoly is a better word coupled to an apparent unwillingness or inability to use a commercial raw materials glass, or to make their own. There are options but the options require actual work on the part of the studio. Necessity may well become the mother of invention again.

It reminds me of when Karl Platt suggested to me that glassworkers would rather their color came out of toothpaste like tubes. Rods are pretty close to that. Frit certainly makes for color confetti.

I think that Spruce Pine should perhaps consider making a batch glass that melts at substantially lower temperatures. It wouldn't be hard. It just might not be as durable but that's the case with the low melt cullets now.
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  #53  
Old 05-09-2015, 08:57 PM
Jeremy Griffith Jeremy Griffith is offline
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Monopoly is correct. Studio space, time, and fear of change are the only reasons that I am "brand" loyal.
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  #54  
Old 05-12-2015, 03:42 PM
Rich Arentzen Rich Arentzen is offline
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Durability

I'm curious about the issue of low temp melting glass and durability. What would you think about the Glasma 705 then?
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  #55  
Old 05-12-2015, 06:47 PM
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I have no idea about glasma 705. what I think right now is that multiple sources of alkaline fluxes are really important. I don't think the formula Nick Labino supplied for alumina is necessarily true if you use multiple alkalines. I think the stabilizers can go way higher than you might expect and that silica can plunge. Glass can invert.

That's very different thinking but the ancient stuff is really still around. Enamels have silica contents below 52%. Phosphates can replace lead in the right environments, so can strontium. Titanium can make enamels way denser than arsenic can and they'll be non toxic.

How's that?
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  #56  
Old 05-13-2015, 08:42 AM
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"Spectrum Premium 2.0 Nuggets are clear glass pillows specifically designed for Glass Blowing. The Premium 2.0 formula has replaced the original Premium Nuggets product to provide a lower expansion than the original version -- bringing 2.0 even closer to popular blowing colors than the original version. "

This is from OCR's website. Does this mean they will no longer be making the regular nuggets?
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  #57  
Old 05-13-2015, 09:09 AM
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It means that Spectrum Premium nuggets were a failure and they are to be discontinued and replaced with Spectrum 2.0, a clone of SP87. I don't think Spectrum Nuggets will get replaced since they are the basis for System96, the full color pallet from Uroboros. The problem is that currently there are surprises in every bag of nuggets.

Collect them all and impress your friends!
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  #58  
Old 05-17-2015, 06:33 AM
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I've never received a reply (email) from Spectrum. I'm still washing the cullet and still finding stuff but not near as much as we delve into our recent one ton order. We will be shutting down at the end of June and changing out our crucible over the summer. Not sure if I want this order of cullet in the new crucible when we go hot again in the fall.......
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  #59  
Old 05-20-2015, 04:23 PM
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Mark Rosenbaum Mark Rosenbaum is offline
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Now y'all have got me paranoid...I just checked the new bags of Spectrum 2.0 that I got in yesterday. They ship one ton on each pallet. I ordered 2.5 tons. They stacked 10 bags on top of each wrapped pallet. The dates on the wrapped pallet are 3/10/15 D. The dates on the 10 bags wrapped to the top of each pallet was 3/14/15 which was crossed out and 6/28/13 F was written on each...yes, 13...I'm a little wary to use those bags. Wasn't there some changes done to their batch around then????
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  #60  
Old 05-20-2015, 05:06 PM
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Mark , my opinion is that the issues are refractory. Those stones aren't batch. Changing a batch formula has potential consequences that are hard to think on. I really know that more than most.

The bottom line is that occasionally you can feel really vulnerable for using something convenient..It makes you not know what to do when convenience becomes untenable.

I can't tell you that making your own glass is easy because it isn't. I too make mistakes or get strange mine runs and have to constantly adjust. Most people just don't want to think about that. I threw out a failed color melt yesterday. I lost two days to my own stupidity. There really aren't any guarantees. I would still tell you to make your own glass after forty whatever years. If you want to go there, call me and I'll help you do it.

Spruce Pine 87 is slow, I'll give you that but I'll tell you the fable of the tortoise and the hare whenever you like. It's just hard to embrace.
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  #61  
Old 05-20-2015, 06:08 PM
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Thank you for your offer Pete, but making my own batch is not something that I feel comfortable with right now. The "boutique" cullet is where I went after SP batch introduced their version. When the "tortoise" was unable to produce their product, I was forced to go with the "hare". I lost confidence that SP could keep producing a reliable product. I am not pleased that the only choice right now is Spectrum. I wish that SP would get all of their problems fixed so that we have a choice......that being said, why are my bags marked with a '13 date???? <rhetorical> I have Jim at East Bay working on it. I trust what he tells me...
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  #62  
Old 05-20-2015, 07:08 PM
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This is the sort of thing you never want to see. I also think it will pass and everyone will breathe a big sigh of relief and look over thier shoulders.

The cullet users went through this back in 1974 when Keystone cullet turned to shit virtually overnight and the community at the time thought it was a godsend. The lovechild was SP87. I don't think you're going to see more SP87 cullet. That leaves you with... what? I think you really have to figure out where you go next.

Starting a cullet company is not something I'm willing to do. It would be a major out lay for what?- a virtual complaint machine from people who don't know how to make a basic clear. Look at the abuse heaped on Spruce Pine over the decades who think glass comes out of a magic fountain. I will not spend the last ten productive years of my life making cullet for this group. Necessity may yet spawn another energetic supplier like Seattle Batch and that was just so much fun. Opportunity abounds.

I can make a lot of strange shit and do regularly. I've melted every potential I can imagine and I'm still amazed in the latter part of my life as I watch it drip on the floor, mesmerized. This stuff is worth an effort.
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  #63  
Old 05-20-2015, 07:22 PM
George Vidas George Vidas is offline
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Any estimates on the size of the art glass industry in America, in terms of pounds per year of clear melted?
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  #64  
Old 05-20-2015, 07:55 PM
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It's like Cracker Jack - a surprise in every bag! I"n now tossing about 1/4 of a 50 lb. bag because of black specks, stones or scum.....
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  #65  
Old 05-20-2015, 09:12 PM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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If the total market was 3 million lb. that would only be $3,000,000 @ $1/lb. The expense and problems that one would get from going into this venture I don't think would be justified for most, especially a larger company. The expenditures and production problems really don't warrant most companies to enter this market. Labor, materials, packaging, fuel costs, quality control, and everything else that goes with this make it a market that few would consider to be a big profit business and worthy of a major investment. Until the costs of cullet rise, getting fresh cullet that is problem free may be a real trick. It will remain a "boutique" business model and probably problematic. Producing and shipping 10,000 lb. per day is no easy task.
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  #66  
Old 05-20-2015, 10:51 PM
Hugh Jenkins Hugh Jenkins is offline
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I have actually never not melted glass from some kind of batch. And yet, I am considering it now. I was at Penland in 1985 when Spruce Pine first tried batch pellets and we tested them. They were actually dangerous and we had to prevent students from charging the furnace until we could get loose batch again. Since then they have tried some kind of semi pelletized batch and it has not been explosive, but I do not know how it has been for dust.

I really do not want to handle batch any more, so I am trying SP plug nuggets when I start up again in July or so. I have about a years worth and I hope it is clean or there would be some serious decision making ahead.

I already miss the Philips pellets. They were not entirely without problems of moisture absorption and popcorn behavior. And sometimes there would be very large chunks of batch that seemed to come at the same time as snow flakes in the melt. I sorted them out and smashed them with a hammer and the problem went away, but what a pain.

There is no "magic fountain" for sure. I have not built a batching facility into this shop and never will, so I am now dependent on some supplier to give a good product. I can still get good batch, but storing any reasonable amount for a shipment is not easy. It would mean taking every bag and putting a plastic trash bag around it taped closed, to prevent water absorption.

Yesterday was the very last day of blowing Philips 4096. Now off for a while.
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  #67  
Old 05-21-2015, 06:19 AM
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The initial problem with SP popping was essentially the same one you had with Philipps- Chemically bound water from any hydrate in the glass batch. The water evaporates rapidly, not unlike an explosion. That necessitates using calcined compounds. In other words, you can't use Lime Hydrate (Ca OH2), instead you have to use calcium carb ( CaCO3). The CO3 weighs a lot more to get to CaO and is volatilized at a very different rate, so then people complain about how much glass they lose on melting. It does add up. At the same time people want it pelletized. So, no potassium hydroxide, no alumina hydrate, lots of issues trying to dumb down making clear glass. Further, there are light metals which don't want to be pelletized- like potassium. They turn into bricks. Pelletizing is somewhat limiting. Since I really value potassium in my glass, I don't use things like SP87. GLASMA Doe a much better job of mixing but I really don't know about pellets there.

If as Tom suggests, the biz is worth 3 million dollars per year, that's really not much if you look at the headaches caused by complaints from inexperienced glassworkers- and there are a ton of them, Federal oversight of dust and toxins, production problems from underpaid or inexperienced employees plus rising material costs. It's hard to see wanting to do that as your legacy. When Seattle batch was having cullet made and shipped in container loads, I recall it costing about 50 cents a pound FOB Seattle. That told me that giving shipping costs and profit, the manufacturers couldn't be getting more that 8-10 cents a lb and there is no margin there for quality control to exist and it didn't. It was unreliable. End of Venture. In reality, Bullseye does a far better job of this but they refuse to make a 96 glass.

While you may not want to make your own glass, it may not be such a simple declarative decision if you want to blow glass. Working in the Islands is a humidity nightmare and I remember it from the time in Manoa. Here, I put my potash in Zip lok bags as soon as it arrives. That's a lot of material to transfer five lbs at a time.

I think at this point that some intrepid soul importing Crystallica from Peter Kuchinke in Germany is a reasonable solution but it will take warehousing and other charming things.
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  #68  
Old 05-21-2015, 07:25 AM
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Hugh,

I realize the humidity is high there, but you get a lot of sunshine. Would is be feasible to build a solar heated batch storage shed, that cooks the moisture out of the batch? Or a sealed shed with a dehumidifier?
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  #69  
Old 05-21-2015, 08:14 AM
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Dehumidifying cost the same as air conditioning. I considered it briefly here. It's another major expense on top of shipping stuff to the land of $5.00 per gallon propane. While it may be sunny in parts of the Islands, there are parts that get 400 inches of rain a year. Walk 400 feet and the weather is totally different.

So, Here's a Mark Peiser story about Cullet:

Way back when we were selectively using Keystone cullet which cost a ripping .02 cents a pound, Penland School tried and loved it. This was at the precise moment that Keystone decided that clear was clear and they would throw anything into the mix after this shipment as long as it was clear. Fritz ordered 20 tons of the clear and it came to Mark's place when he was not there in a truck- a belly dump and they dumped it right next to his house where it sat forever.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:35 AM
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[quote=Pete VanderLaan;124051]

Dehumidifying cost the same as air conditioning.

QUOTE]


If the shed is sealed relatively well the dehumidifier wouldn't run very often. An A/C runs a lot when the temp gets too high. A dehumidifier only runs when the RH gets too high. Keeping the room air dry is much easier than keeping it cool, if it's sealed.
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  #71  
Old 05-21-2015, 01:57 PM
Hugh Jenkins Hugh Jenkins is offline
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Ask me in a year what I think!
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  #72  
Old 05-21-2015, 04:00 PM
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I view that as very positive thinking Hugh. You can think a year ahead... Yow, and at our age.
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  #73  
Old 05-23-2015, 06:39 PM
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Here's today's winner:
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  #74  
Old 05-24-2015, 06:02 AM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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Ooooooh. That's a good one!
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  #75  
Old 05-24-2015, 07:13 AM
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That must be a ten carat stone! Did you buy this direct from Spectrum, or through Olympic. I would be making a lot of noise about it. ( I am anyway).

Go give free samples to people at the GAS conference in front of either the Olympic or Spectrum booth or at least tell them that's your current plan. I'd wager you get new cullet.
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