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  #76  
Old 11-29-2020, 07:20 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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I'm not at all sure if I want to go on. That's becoming the point.
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  #77  
Old 11-30-2020, 10:47 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Im actually a bit shocked that there’s no reaction to Petes last comments about quitting. As being a member of your 12 member pre-craftweb forum, and having run a studio for 30 years, I can attest to that this is the single best place for knowledge and information for anyone running a studio , on the web, due in large to your rather disciplined keeping order here. It would be a huge loss to have you quit. I can’t understand the silence
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  #78  
Old 11-30-2020, 11:09 PM
Patrick Casanova Patrick Casanova is offline
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I just picked up on this thread and was sitting here in amazement at the discussion and the quality of the information being exchanged by some of the most knowledgeable in our craft. This board never ceases to amaze me. Like Michael I came over from Brad's in the beginning. There is no better source of information on the web. Pete through this board your contribution to the overall knowledge base of our craft is immeasurable. The archives of this board are a treasure. I would hate to see you quit. Thank you!
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  #79  
Old 11-30-2020, 11:21 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Well I came from Pete here, he had a forum where an asshole would be banned every week- 10 12 members��
I agree with everything else
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  #80  
Old 11-30-2020, 11:39 PM
Art Freas Art Freas is offline
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Just saw the latest in this thread. Pete, unfortunately when folks interact at the level we do on this board, the disagreements tend to stand out far more than the agreements. And there is far more agreement on the board than disagreement. In the world of boards this is a very well managed board and its longevity is proof of that. This board and you are priceless resources for those of us newer to the glass world. While I may not always agree with you I always value you you and your opinions. I very rarely disagree with those whose opinions I don't value as there is little point. And I promise, I will learn to weld
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  #81  
Old 11-30-2020, 11:52 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Art- I can’t possibly see, where there is a situation where you possibly could disagree with Pete and be right
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  #82  
Old 12-01-2020, 10:28 AM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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70 is a tipping point, trust me I can attest to it. One runs out of energy and starts to calculate what exactly they want to spend their time doing in the time they have left to create. I very much can see Pete's view. Nothing lasts for ever without some change.
Others need to step up and find a way to continue what has been achieved but will probably not stand a chance of coming close to what already exists.
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  #83  
Old 12-01-2020, 11:17 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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As coming from a time when a “competitor” wouldn’t give you the time of day even to a young enthusiastic wannabe glassblower, much less melting, or annealing schedules or give you miss information maybe everyone feels nowadays it’s just a piece of cake to find everything free online? Especially on craft web
And of course all our asian industrial friends that monitor and suck up everything here are very grateful
The beans have been spilled so that’s nothing to do about that.
I suggest you turn the glass craft web into a pay per month site , like a porn site, 50 bucks a month for your advice?
And then start a craftweb single malt forum for a more appreciative followers
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  #84  
Old 12-02-2020, 07:32 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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I have spent the last three weeks fending off registrations from France and some middle eastern IP's. They're really easy to spot but the volume is large. I think they're trying to harvest emails and the info is well protected.

I left Brad mostly because he wanted to switch to pay clients which I declined. Katie trusted me enough ( which was a giant step for her) to turn this site over to me 18 years back and she still pays for everything. I have no inclination to charge.
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  #85  
Old 12-02-2020, 08:52 AM
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I am often reminded of the xenophobia regarding new entrants in the field and the latest group is of course Chinese. Both American and Italians feel assaulted by the new kids on the block although at one time Americans were welcomed in Italy. What did those Americans do? They went home and started to make Italian glass and learned to blow thin glass at the feet of masters. So, when the Chinese showed up wanting to learn, what did the Americans do? They shit all over them .

The real basic problem out there is that there's too many glassmakers to support sales in glass. There's real competition.

The time I spent in China fixing all of the factories problems technically but I could not fix the problems with skill sets. That takes time . Wang Kai started off as have many American glassmakers just wanting to do it. Scott went over after I did and tried to teach filigrana technique to them which I doubted would take root and there's no indication that it has. What did take root was my remarkable friend Eveline who financed the show and her goal was to make Chinese glass for the Chinese middle class, a mere 350 million people, or more than the US Population. She doesn't sell here.

Clearly there are charlatans in China but I learned some very curious stuff about their intellectual property rights. They are actually far more worried about their own employees taking off with proprietary knowledge than anyone else. The curious part is that they do have national treasures in Art in China primarily in Ceramics, weaving, painting but little glass. When they do have an artwork viewed as a national treasure, entire towns will remake that piece, again and again. Wang kai and Eveline don't do it but most of the glass made in the north still tries to make that Billy Morris piece or the Chihuly again and again. Stop for a second and look at the pieces in the GAS Auction and you'll see the same thing. How many American glass makers have you seen who try to simply lift someone else's designs.?

What I had hoped for here at craftweb was to encourage people to make their very best work. I had surrounding me some really excellent artists who knew their stuff and were totally supportive of that endeavor. The early conversations were much like those of early GAS meetings where people were excited to have a place to exchange ideas. I don't see that much anymore. The recent threads on measurement and chemistry are things that do light me up. I get to see John Croucher come from those Kiwi shadows. I talk to Mark on the side.
But I find now, with the passing of so many old friends that the theater is getting rather emptied and it's been filled with individuals who don't seem to me to aspire to being their best. As Greg Vrietoff suggested, they want answers but not a conversation.
Everyone does want it free. That was true when I was still at Brad's board. Charging money won't help. It will just make people try to go around it or copy it at a friend's house. So, no, no charge but less enthusiasm as well.

Making your best glass and then being able to sell it is really difficult. But, making your easiest work is not fulfilling either. Tom Alludes to age and Tom is right. It's a short ride. I really don't want it on my tombstone "Made acceptable pumpkins." I'm guessing someone will be able to mass produce those tombstones.
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  #86  
Old 12-02-2020, 09:21 AM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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In the early years there were a lot of artists that came from the ceramics venues. There were artists looking for another medium to express themselves. Over the years that has progressed to "glassblowers". Many of the people I see today making pumpkins and such are not deeply concerned with making real glass art. Due to the competition it has become a race to see who can produce enough and at prices that they can remain in business. There are still a few that are pushing the envelope and creating new and exciting stuff but it doesn't seem to be the majority. The factories had lots of good glassblowers but few glass artists and I think this was the case that most have had to close in the last 20 + years. The designs that were created many years ago have been copied and copied and the resistance to change in the factories was part of their demise. As I see it, Blenko has been lucky to stay in business making the same things that they have for the last 60 years. If it weren't for the nostalgia of "mid century modern" I believe they would be gone as well.
The Chinese really don't need to harvest much from us except designs if they are lucky enough to detect them. I know of several glass people besides yourself that have gone to China for the over 25 years and shared production techniques and knowledge with them. And those are not just from the U.S. There have been several from quite a few European countries.
I just wish that I could be around to see what develops in this field in the next 20 years, for it should be interesting to see which way it goes.
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  #87  
Old 12-02-2020, 10:08 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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well, add to all that and the supporters of the glass sales in the 1968-2000 era have either all died or retired and are trying to get rid of their acquisitions, not increase them. Then add about five thousand glassworkers who learned at ornament experiences and are now glassblowers.

The breakfast room at the hotel I lived in in Shanghai was a sea of languages. The newspapers they had for us at breakfast were in at least ten languages. After bacon, we all went off to our various venues. Tons of Germans, Swedes and Finnish. No Japanese though. The Chinese really hate the Japanese. As to American factories. The guy who showed up from Blenko had peppered me with questions about Neo Doped glass and then asked in a PM what O would charge to consult there. I told him 1K per day and that was the last the board has heard from him. I'm not surprised. It's really interesting to watch what happens when you try to determine value.
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  #88  
Old 12-02-2020, 08:46 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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I think the issue I was pointing out is that a tremendous resource for people like myself, running a studio,small scale, where it used t be impossible, to get help from others or the factories is these days, not appreciated enough - maybe things have changed studio’s help each other left and right? I see a lot of things made by people that are not on this board in the US
Pete you flagged you were getting tired— which is fully understandable-and I was just surprised at the lack of reaction from the members here....still
As far as China goes, there is hardly a threat for glass studios -but the heavy industry that was outsourced in general to China is being pulled back to Europe because they cannot keep the quality specs required and they’re just so fu#ing difficult and screwed up to deal with.
But they are filling the world with cheap electronic crap, LED lights that last 6 weeks, and bad screws, pipefittings, tools and bbq grills, and I could fill a few more pages of examples unfortunately.
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  #89  
Old 12-02-2020, 10:30 PM
Lawrence Duckworth Lawrence Duckworth is offline
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Michaeli would bet most everyone here appreciates the volume of technical information available here for the taking....i'm pretty sure i wouldn'tbe blowing glass without this board!
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  #90  
Old 12-02-2020, 10:34 PM
Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig is online now
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Yep Lawrence now we are three it seems

Last edited by Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig; 12-02-2020 at 10:36 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  #91  
Old 12-02-2020, 11:14 PM
David leonard
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Rakow research library and the Craftweb are my two favorite places when I need a glass fix
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  #92  
Old Yesterday, 07:51 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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The Rakow is a shrine. You do have to know how to use it.

As to Chinese production, that has almost entirely been caused by the greed of manufacturers in America and the EU to cut costs. No one twisted their arms to go over there, or to Mexico.

Look at Carrier AC in Indiana. Trump made a huge deal out of saving the factory there. It remained a short period of time after getting huge tax breaks from the state. Then, it laid off over half the workers and closed another factory entirely and moved it to Mexico. Big net loss. Not a word about that.

When Seattle batch took the batch product to China and brought it back to sell here, it was 55 cents a lb. It costs 8 cents to ship it across the Pacific both ways in 44K containers. Then it has dreyage charges. So, I wasn't surprised at the lack of controls on the product. It was not possible to engineer a quality glass at such a price, and... it destroyed the business. It's true of Chinese color as well.
Our entire thrust in Shanghai was quality control.

These days replacement car parts are just crap. You are way better off buying OEM parts for your car. They actually last a lot longer.

But keep in mind, China only makes what the buyer wants. True of Mexico too. There are exceptional craftsmen there. The further into the interior you go, the better it gets. The border towns sell what tourists want, cheap stuff. You get what you pay for there too.
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  #93  
Old Yesterday, 08:06 AM
David leonard
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mr Pete where did you take your first gather? do you remember what went thru your head when you dipped in for the first time?
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  #94  
Old Yesterday, 08:19 AM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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Gloryhole glassworks on Canyon Road, June 1969. Mel and Jack were cleaning out the furnace and I participated. I worked one gather of black glass for over an hour. When I puntied it, I discovered it did not have a hole in it.

I was hooked.
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  #95  
Old Yesterday, 08:31 AM
David leonard
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awesome..kent ipsen showed me how to gather I shrunk wrapped my gore-tex jacket to my arm and was hooked for life, he also taught me how to use modeling clay to develop my ideas before turning them into glass
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  #96  
Old Yesterday, 01:57 PM
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Ted Trower Ted Trower is offline
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It's not glass, it's people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Benefield View Post
But it seems to be rule of thumb that any Golden Age existed just before you happened to arrive and be told about it. I remember hearing that at Pilchuck in 1986, or at the ACC Baltimore show in 1991, or in Seattle in 1993 and on and on. Nothing stays the same and people have a terrible tendency to nostalgize the past.
In another profession entirely, I had three different people, in three different decades, tell me that "the profession has gone to hell and the only time you could makes any money at this was twenty years ago".
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  #97  
Old Yesterday, 04:35 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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well, back when I was the editor of the newsletter for GAS in that insufferable period when Scott talked me into being on the board, ( long sentence here!) I was asked to run an article on how people were getting by in the recession du jour.
I hate articles like that. "We wash our clothes in the block bucket water..." Actually, I hated the newsletter since it ran the same stupid formula articles every issue, so, silly me, I took a new approach.

We had this guy on Craftweb at the time who worked for banks, reconditioning buildings that the buyers had forfeited on to the bank. They were frequently trashed but sometimes things were fairly interesting and I got this note which said that the writer, whose name I've forgotten wrote and told me that because of craftweb, he could identify things that otherwise would go out as head scratchers.
He had gone in the basement of this building and there were all of these furnaces which he could identify based on the board. ( I don't know why he was here). At any rate these things appeared to actually be running grow lights and a few smaller furnaces. There was a large hole in the concrete foundation and it went out to the street some fifty feet and there ( wait for it!) these guys had live tapped a 10,000 volt line from Toronto Hydro under the street.

I was impressed and this needed press coverage!

So, I wrote a sidebar to the tripe we were printing about recessions and the side bar said "Wait! there's a different way!!"

So I described the scene as reported by Toronto Police and it seemed this Asian group had indeed live tapped the line and were making pipes and growing grass in downtown Toronto. Great article, good relief I thought, until,

I get this note from Penny and it says "this article will really upset our Asian readers and we've got a bunch". So i said "No problem, I'll remove the ethnic reference".... A pause of about an hour.... I don't want this t be run... long pause and I said " Penny, when you put me in charge of this, you told me I had editorial control, correct?" Well.. yes."... " So, it's my call!, I'm running it"
"Response , I'm telling Michael. They're common criminals" The president and grand Poo Bah." I was "forbidden" to run that article. Forbidden!

So I get read out and the upshot is that we don't run the article but the flip side was I quit as the editor, and shortly thereafter, the board, but, I have at least forgiven Scott.

Change its spots, change people, change whatever, it's still the same POS. Once, it was important. Scott told me a few years back I was up for a lifetime achievement award. I was way the hell down that list and not in my lifetime I'm sure of that. This has been more fun because it is actually informative and I don't have to listen to bullshit if I choose not to.

So, there are still lots of opportunities out there, just don't go for the bullshit du jour. I bite.
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  #98  
Old Yesterday, 06:08 PM
Brian Bradshaw Brian Bradshaw is offline
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I turned 70 last month. When I closed up shop back in the 80's, Mike's board and later on Craftweb kept me interested in glass enough to want to blow again. I was lucky back in the '75 when I started, to know and be stimulated by some of the best glass people in California. In small doses, that feeling is what I get from reading posts on Craftweb.
One other thing; since this started as a question on LEC's, I have always been surprised that no one has brought up viscosity issues. When Kugler showed up on my radar, using it instead of colors I melted myself always were a pain in the butt. I feel that many of the decorative techniques that are out there on work are there strictly to deal with that issue. Anyway, just my 2c....
Thanks Pete!
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  #99  
Old Today, 01:58 PM
Art Freas Art Freas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Trower View Post
In another profession entirely, I had three different people, in three different decades, tell me that "the profession has gone to hell and the only time you could makes any money at this was twenty years ago".
In my non-glass job I am in IT, I really wish I could count the number of times folks said "you won't need programmers, business people can do it" I truly believe if we let business folks program their own systems it would end up looking like somebody built the mouse trap in the mouse trap game while on acid.
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