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  #51  
Old 09-11-2018, 06:09 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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It's not off base at all and I remember your teacher.

I think a bit of reverence for your progress is in order from the time of the '62 workshopss when Nick Labino brought us all John Mansville marbles and harvey Leafgreen made a point of touching his hand to the back of a piece of glass, not the front.

David would have us walk into the studio and make expensive shit based on assumptions of how he got there. I do react to that arrogance periodically if called "save" the field. I'm not that person and I'm not deserving of any assumptions.

The "field" needs to police itself. Who has the vision to keep going despite these petty inconveniences that occur. In my shop, we blink and load another furnace. In others they just load SP87. In more, they damn well panic.
It's not so much the inability to respond, It's the damn hand wringing seeing something I Warned about five months ago and it was dismissed
.
Tomorrow, Public glass could buy a mixer and make a far better glass based solely in public domain formulas and be fine, but,... it takes a little effort. Not a lot but a little bit and committing to a small amount of space to do it in. What it does take is turn around time, time, time, which is sold hourly. Bottom line? YOU Get a way better product and maybe just maybe your product ( gasp) improves.

This entire endeavor has been reduced to color rods and pathetic attempts to make colors where no one has a clue what happened and why. i really rebel against that given the history of glass. I certainly hope I never see a book adoring a color rod for a break through in our Glass making history.
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  #52  
Old 09-12-2018, 04:02 PM
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I have been melting pelletized SP Texas sand in a wire melter the last few weeks with no problems. This is only a 40 pound crucible and I always leave some glass in the bottom of the pot. It just takes a bit of extra time but is completely possible. I never take the pot over 2100.
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  #53  
Old 09-13-2018, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan View Post
David would have us walk into the studio and make expensive shit based on assumptions of how he got there. I do react to that arrogance periodically if called "save" the field.
No arrogance intended. I'm baffled with what I wrote that even hinted at that.

As far as mixing batch vs. cullet:
People who make clothing today aren't expected or disrespected if they don't grow the cotton, harvest it, spin it into thread, dye it, etc before they make fabric and then clothes. The craft evolved and there's a vibrant market for the raw fabric. There's nothing wrong with buying fabric by the yard to make your clothes.

People who paint aren't expected to chisel the mineral oxides out of the ground, grind and mix them to create pigments and formulate paints before they make a painting. The craft evolved and there's a vast market for different types of paint. There's nothing wrong with buying tubes of paint to make your paintings

People who carve wood aren't expected to cut down the trees....well, hopefully you get my point.

The fact that the studio glass market has a demand for cullet indicates that it's become mature enough that we don't all need or want to mix raw materials or even dump bags of batch into our furnaces to make glass. The studio I work out of wants to take the safest and simplest route to make glass--even if it costs more because there are other ways they need to deploy their limited resources. (The techs are super busy fixing all manner of stuff that breaks and the additional safety requirements and time involved with mixing batch--or even melting SP batch is something they decided isn't the best use of limited space or resources). Just like there's nothing wrong with using bolts of fabric, paint out of a tube or buying wood in boards, cullet is a way to get to making glass faster. Of course we know SP or Jim at East Bay (12 miles away) could mix us whatever we want, but that doesn't work for this organization. And that's where I blow glass, so thus...

If I had my own shop, I might have an exhaust hood fan that would pull your t-shirt off and I'd melt SP batch by the ton. Or I might pay twice as much to have cullet that I paid 2X as much for that I could toss in at 6pm and have excellent glass first thing the next morning. Either approach is legit--it's all about how you want to spend your $ and time. I work out of a public access shop so I don't even have the choice. That's not arrogant--it's pragmatic.
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  #54  
Old 09-13-2018, 07:41 AM
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Well, "arrogant" was a poor choice of words. I grew up with a system which encouraged me to understand the roots of my trade. Actually most of my friends did dig clay and make glazes from mineral deposits. Quite a number did actually cut their own trees. I actually did dig sand in an arroyo with Chihuly to see about making native glasses ( which failed to make optical glass) . My Navajo friends did teach me about native dyes and spinning so, indeed, I have a very different perspective. I believe in good glass and you are never going to get the same quality from cullets then you will with a decent batch and that is important to me. Treating your primary material like dogshit will never get you far and most of the cullet that has been available is really poor and you're a captive audience.

I'm also not short of glass and I'm not interested in making cullet to buy a Tesla. There will indeed be supply when people pay $1.75 a pound.
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  #55  
Old 09-13-2018, 03:29 PM
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Here's my take.
I love glass same as a guy who loves Cars - Everything about them. Now, I'm talking about the guy that wants to know everything about the car and make it the best it can be. I'm not talking about the guy who goes out and buys a Tesla because he loves the way it looks.

When I was in high school I probably had 5 cars - get junk and fix it up and sell it. My end goal wasn't the selling it was the process I loved, and boy, I made a shit load of mistakes.

What I'm saying is if I love something I want to know all about it - I'm not just looking for the end result. You mention textile, well I love some Adidas shirts because I loved the fabric. So, I found out all I could about the fabric 45% poly 55% cotton - Now I look for that. No, I don't go out and make a 45%/55% shirt myself, but if I couldn't find it, I might.

Back to glass, I love working with the material, so to use the car analogy I want to tear apart the car and find out how it works all the way down to the engine block. Yes, in the end, I want a beautiful car (glass) but I love the entire process.

My 2, or 1.5 cents.
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  #56  
Old 09-13-2018, 03:49 PM
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Wanting to understand and not wanting to execute on a daily basis are not exclusive of each other. Pete, when you are posting on the chemistry and composing glass I read every word. When you talk about toothpaste and not being complete unless you make your own batch the filters go up. I deeply want to understand and maybe some day get to experiment in making color just not there yet. There is an artistry in the making of color and also in the use of color. You don't have to do both to be an artist.

I think that what we have chosen to do is much like being a cook and being a chef. A cook has to make a meal, a chef has to make many. Being a chef is managing the quality and economic viability of the restaurant. Some of us here are cooks and some of us are chefs. One isn't better than the other but the have very different constraints.
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  #57  
Old 09-13-2018, 04:42 PM
Chris Lowry Chris Lowry is offline
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We also revere the Italian masters... Lino comes to mind, but is that because of their glass mixing abilities or their creative object making? Do the Italian masters even know how to make their own glass? Many people want to have all the skills and some want to concentrate on a particular skill. It does not make one person better than another.

I can admire someone’s knowledge of material like Pete’s. I can also admire someone’s blowing skill like David’s. Knowing less about one step of the process doesn’t limit my admiration.

Good thing we all find different things interesting or it would be a boring world.
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  #58  
Old 09-13-2018, 04:44 PM
Larry Cazes Larry Cazes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Freas View Post
Wanting to understand and not wanting to execute on a daily basis are not exclusive of each other. Pete, when you are posting on the chemistry and composing glass I read every word. When you talk about toothpaste and not being complete unless you make your own batch the filters go up. I deeply want to understand and maybe some day get to experiment in making color just not there yet. There is an artistry in the making of color and also in the use of color. You don't have to do both to be an artist.

I think that what we have chosen to do is much like being a cook and being a chef. A cook has to make a meal, a chef has to make many. Being a chef is managing the quality and economic viability of the restaurant. Some of us here are cooks and some of us are chefs. One isn't better than the other but the have very different constraints.
I agree mostly Art. Wouldn't it be nice though if you had control over the whole creative process though? In this case formulating our own unique colors is a huge part of that. The bulk of the color I use is through vapor deposited gold and silver of various purities and alloys. This allows me to truly create my own colors. Is it easy? No but it is so much more satisfying than using the off the shelf colors that everyone else uses and it gives my work a unique pallet.
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  #59  
Old 09-13-2018, 05:56 PM
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I want all of you to have the best glass that you could possibly acquire to make your work. I hate seeing great technique buried in crap glass.

Your life is going to be remarkably short and your opportunity to make things that are remarkable are actually available to you. Cullet is unlikely to contribute or no one would talk about the glass quality of Steuben, Orrefors or Kosta Boda.

The trouble with cullet is that it is not manufactured to be fabulous. You need fabulous if you want your tombstone to say anything better than " He made OK pumpkins".

When I wound up in the permanent collection at Corning, a delightful shock, for me that was an achievement to stand with 1500 of the best through time.

I would like to see many of the rest of you here get to that place.

Glass has a history of acquiring knowledge and hiding it to be put in a position of reinvention every forty to sixty years. You're in one of those phases as I write. We're entering an idiot phase that has not been seen before.

When I talk to Mark and see that he went to Weyl's door to ask questions, I'm blown away. You have opportunity. You too often beat the drum for
mundane crap.
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  #60  
Old 09-14-2018, 06:20 AM
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Life is short, art is long.
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  #61  
Old 09-14-2018, 08:38 AM
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I agree mostly Art. Wouldn't it be nice though if you had control over the whole creative process though? In this case formulating our own unique colors is a huge part of that. The bulk of the color I use is through vapor deposited gold and silver of various purities and alloys. This allows me to truly create my own colors. Is it easy? No but it is so much more satisfying than using the off the shelf colors that everyone else uses and it gives my work a unique pallet.
It would be nice, if I win the lottery and could move the shop to a different property in the town we are in I would definitely do it. I love the chemistry, the creation part of making color. I also love the creation of making the works. Right now I don't have the room or the facility to do my own clear or color. Also my business model right now wouldn't reward that effort. The business model to reward that would take a different facility.
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  #62  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:28 AM
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Having never thought about a business model at the time ( counter culture people didn't think that way) , it was pure curiosity that drove me initially but it did not take long to see that the uniqueness of the colors produced were really driving sales. My work just didn't look like everyone else's.

Not to mention how much more you can make daily if you don't have to heat up color rods. From what I can see, people are using more and more frit and that certainly homogenizes the look of products made.

Lastly is the expense. I am amazed at how much using color rods and frit costs. I regularly see studios spending over 20K a year on them.

But Mary Beth and I have always started with raw materials. The entire studio, barn and addition to the house were done cutting and milling 125 thousand board feet of lumber with trees from our own forest. We cleared a big field to do it in. My bench is made of clear oak from the same source. We just like it.

Life slips by quickly and being young and single has different obligations than having been 43 years old with two kids. It's just amazing how fast it goes. Many of my friends now in their '60's who have gotten ill yet recovered are no longer postponing doing what makes them happy. The trouble is , many of us now no longer have the physical stamina to do it.
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  #63  
Old 09-15-2018, 11:07 AM
Dave Bross Dave Bross is offline
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Or learn to batch your own. So much freedom there in terms of altering working characteristics, color, compatibility. Complete instructions are here, you just have to piece them together from various posts.

Everyone says they don't have the time. I would suggest this might be one hell of a side hobby that could save your ass one day.

In the meantime, yeah, SP is the best thing to do currently.

What happens if Tom gets tired of making SP? He's no spring chicken either.
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  #64  
Old 09-15-2018, 12:03 PM
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What happens if Tom gets tired of making SP? He's no spring chicken either.
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Greg Fidler will handle it.
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:37 PM
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most of the people using cullet and color bar in my mind have a rather poor business model. When I was in numerous businesses I spent a lot of time looking for new suppliers or attempting to develop new ones for the commodities I needed to run my business. When it became impossible to attain the needed commodities, I would develop new lines of product and designs and many times new markets.

Relying on single source commodities is never a good position to be in. When it was impossible to get the proper items, it occasionally was timely to investigate producing the items in house, i.e. batch melting. In today's world, if you want to have longevity, you better find ways to sway with the markets and accessibility of what you need to accomplish what it is you set out to accomplish. Doing all this on a budget gets to be very interesting and frustrating, but if you want to make a living making "art" you definitely have to be creative in many ways. I used to visit my prime suppliers on a regular basis to see what their fiscal and financial conditions were. That allowed me a little assurance of what to expect from them as a long term supplier. I would venture to say that few have ever physically visited some of their prime suppliers to get a sense of their ability to handle the market and be good suppliers.

Staying in business is a difficult in these times and will certainly get more challenging.
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:38 AM
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So I'm having one ton of my formulation mixed at Spruce Pine today as a snowflake which is quite powdery and what I want if I'm trying to color it. The regular stuff is difficult to get the oxides into particularly in smaller pots. I asked how the supply was going on Cristalica at this point and was told that if you call Olympic today, they'll tell you January.

Just in time for those big Martin Luther King day holiday sales.

So, what are people doing for glass?
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:14 AM
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melting spruce pine as always.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:54 AM
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melting spruce pine as always.
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:38 PM
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no I learned my lesson along time ago, cant say i have ever melted christalica
but between china and spectrum cullet/nuggets none of them gave us the
quality we want, so i spend what it takes to get what we want.
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:15 PM
Brian Wong Shui Brian Wong Shui is offline
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Spruce Pine
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  #71  
Old 10-01-2018, 03:34 PM
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Back on the Spruce.
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  #72  
Old 10-25-2018, 09:15 AM
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So , I got a call from a woman today wanting to know sourcing for Cristalica. She had just called Olympic and was told March of next year.

Wow. Either she's really down there in the universal pecking order or this has quietly deteriorated even more.
I have fallen in love with the snowflake mix of my formula. I talked with Jeff this morning at High Temp in Portland and he has ordered 2450lbs of the snowflake. I suggested melting at 2250F and starting with small charges until a method is clearly seen.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:01 PM
Josh Bernbaum Josh Bernbaum is online now
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Pete, just out of curiosity, since it sounds like it has some potassium in there, have you noticed any "clumping" with your snowflake mix after it sits around for a while?
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  #74  
Old 10-25-2018, 01:42 PM
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Not at this point. It's a fine powder that doesn't seem to be terribly dusty.

I get drawn back to that peculiar result we got here when Eric screened the normal nugget/ block stuff that SP regularly does and when he took the finer nuggets of that, that it yielded up all those stones. Without testing, I would assume the stones were either/both Feldspar and silica. Alkaline stones are softer and more translucent but I don't know why that would happen. All I can say is that the snowflake is just really nice to handle for me. Of course, I'm used to batch with no water in it at all.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:03 AM
Durk Valkema Durk Valkema is offline
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Getting back to this pesky shortage.
We melt Glasma 705 with no effort charging at 2200F fining at 2250F, but there was a lot of buzzing at the IGS symposium in Novy Bor and the GlassTec in Dusseldorf the other week.
We met the new owners of Kugler colours that just shipped 12 ton czech cullet out to the west coast for testing and other glass manufacturers are gearing up to very high quality marbles for remelting. By spring next year there should be a choice of at least three suppliers
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