BULLSEYE GREEN GLASS UPDATE

BULLSEYE GREEN GLASS UPDATE

From KOIN CHANNEL 6

With one major art glass manufacturer closed in Portland, Oregon closed and being moved to Mexico, it seemed the remaining Brooklyn-neighborhood-based Bullseye Glass Company, a renowned art-glass maker, could not produce green-colored glass without using dangerous hexavalent chromium.

Until now.

Instead of skirting Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulations, the firm found a new and different way to make green-colored art glass.

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Bullseye Glass found a way to make green glass without using certain chemicals that pollute the air.

“Even with the highest technological response through our air filtering system, we still can’t use hexavalent chromium, or chrome, the primary colorant for green glass,” said Bullseye co-owner Lani McGregor.

“Because we can’t use this relatively ‘new’ element, our chemist started looking for a solution by researching glassmaking in the Middle Ages — to see how they made green glasses without chrome.”

“Our chemist has some very old books in his collection,” reported company co-owner Dan Schwoerer, as he admired a sheet of Bullseye’s new green glass.

Through trial and error, Bullseye workers tried ancient formulas — using approved manufacturing elements and processes — and found success.

“Although this has been a very challenging year, the exciting part is that we’re coming up with a whole pallet of new green glasses, exclusive with Bullseye,” McGregor smiled.

“So, as far as we know, we’re the first to offer truly ‘green’, green art glass,” Schwoerer added.

Cleaning Portland’s air

Schwoerer talked about the progress the company has made to filter the air coming from the plant’s glass-melting furnaces as he led a tour of the facility in late January.

About Bullseye Glass

“When the DEA announced air quality ‘benchmarks’ for hexavalent chromium — which is .08 ng/m³ — the background level is higher than that,” Schwoerer remarked “In order to meet that ‘benchmark’ level here, we’d have to take all of the air in the city, and clean it, to get it below that level!”

With the company’s $1 million air filtration “baghouse” systems up and running, their next challenge, Schwoerer said, was adding and calibrating an exhaust air leak detection system to warn if any of the filters were leaking elements.

“It’s a pretty cool device that monitors the air, after it’s been through the filtration system, but it’s not cheap — it costs about $25,000 to install and program.

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Bullseye Glass owner Dan Schwoerer shows off the new green glass their chemist was able to make without using chemicals that pollute the air. (KOIN)

“And, although it’s required by the DEQ, they told us that they don’t know of anyone that actually has one of these monitoring systems installed, and they havn’t yet provided monitoring and alarm-setting practices,” Schwoerer added.

Standing under the baghouse units, Schwoerer pointed out the probe inserted into the post-filtering air stream which counts particles moving past it via what’s called the ‘triboelectric effect’. When particles hit the probe, they give off electrons, causing measurable current flow.

Technically, this monitor isn’t finalized, because it has yet to undergo certified calibration. “It will be ‘source tested’ as it measures grains per cubic foot,” Schwoerer said. “The permanent rule requires us to be below .005 grains per cubic foot — a very small amount, because there are 7,000 grains to a pound.”

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Inside Bullseye Glass in Southeast Portland, Feb. 16, 2016.  Just then, loud-but-muffled “booms” resonated in baghouse area when a worker set a control to “purge” some of the 72 HEPA filter units, with a blast of air inside the sealed unit, causing the collected dust to be blown off and drop down into a sealed collection system.

“We’re really starting to feel confident that the system is working well and consistently, and we aren’t getting any surprises. We’re glad we’ve been able to accomplish making glass using an artesan process, but it hasn’t been without a substantial cost,” Schwoerer said. “Beyond the equipment investment, our managers haven’t had time off in the last 11 months, as we install and learn to operate the new systems.”

McGregor chimed in, “Some people say it’s great that we’re up and running again, as if it all happened overnight. But, we have been working for a solid year now, and continuing the effort for likely another six months or a year, to get this entire new system fully functional.”

In the end, the result will be worth it, to be able to keep operating their business in the Brooklyn neighborhood, employing local people, and supplying customers locally and around the world with art glass.

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Tips from the Glass Academy: What pen to use for what!

Silver sharpie seems to be a very versatile marker.  If you want to make a mark on a mold that you don’t want to go away the silver will not burn off in the kiln.  Things like—“this mold needs to be in the center of the kiln” or “use 2 oz of fine frit”.  Your notes will say!  (write on the bottom)

The silver also lives up to the grinder and the saw better than most, especially if you let it dry.  When dry it holds so well you may have to steel wool (0000 steel wool) it to get it off. 1610

Click here to purchase a Silver Sharpie

Of course, you can’t always use silver because it might not show up on the glass you are using.  Or you might be able to use it but don’t want to wait for it to be completely dry.  Mark Stay is the solution for this.

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Smear if over the line you are grinding or sawing near and it will keep it from getting washed off.  You can also dab it onto a pattern piece to keep it in place while you trace.

Click here to purchase Mark Stay II

 

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AM I GOOD ENOUGH!

We hear this a lot around March and April when we chat with folks about them entering the “Just for Fun Contest” that is due in March and is on display in April.

We do have some very skilled, extremely talented people enter this contest.  We have artists who have professional studios set up and sell their work.   We also have some total beginners and for past few years we have had a least one entry by a child.  We have different styles of work, some original/some from a pattern.  We get flat, 3-d, pictorial and abstract.

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All the entries have two things in common.  First, they are all made of glass.  Second, they are all worthy entries.

The variety of work and the different skill levels are what make the contest wonderful.  Each piece draws out comments of appreciation for something.  It might be choice of color or choice of glass.  Some little quirky thing someone might have done.  The high skill, the original design, a favorite pattern or topic.  NEVER, NEVER have we heard— “that doesn’t belong”.

Remember the name is “Just for Fun”.  That may sound trite but we put a lot of thought into it.  We did not want the contest to have rules we had to monitor and we did not want to limit it in any way.

So–YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.   I will say I do have a lot of admiration for people willing to put their work on display.  There is a bit of bravery involved.  So be brave.  Start working on next year’s piece.

-Janet

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Tips from the Glass Academy: Making Pebbles

Some info from Glass Campus

You can make your own fusible pebbles.  In today’s market where product availability is uncertain, it is good thing to know.

It does seem strange, but to make round pebbles, start with square glass.  The size of your pebble will depend on the size of your square.  Do some experimenting to get what you want.

When you fire to a full fuse, glass rounds off.  Small pieces will become perfectly round, but larger ones will be partially round.  To make larger round pebbles you should stack multiple layers.

A single ½ inch square fired to a full fuse will produce a 3/8 inch round pebble.  Two ½ squares stacked will produce a ½ round.  3 layers of ¾ inch squares will get a 1 1/8 inch round.

When stacking, do not stack evenly.  Stack so the points are opposite on the top layer from the bottom layer.

Size Predictions

1 layer 1/2 inch square 3/8 inch round

2 layer 1/2 inch squares 1/2 inch round

3 layer 1/2 inch squares 5/8 inch round

4 layer 1/2 inch squares 3/4 inch round

1 layer 3/4 inch square 1/2 inch not round

2 layer 3/4 inch squares 3/4 inch not round

3 layer 3/4 inch squares 1 1/8” round

Firing Schedule

SEGMENT RAMP TEMP HOLD (min) 1 900F (500C) 1460F (790C) 30

2 FULL 960F (515C) 30 An unusually long hold is needed to allow the glass

A longer hold is needed to allow the glass time to draw into a full round.  If you can turn off your side elements and fire with the lid you will get more reliable rounds.  Glass is drawn towards heat.  If there is top heat, the glass is drawn up and will pull in to form the round.

 

 

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Tips from the Glass Academy: Getting your pattern to the glass!

GETTING YOUR PATTERN TO THE GLASS

You have some options here.  There is more than one way.

I think most people get pattern shears and cut out their pattern pieces and trace them onto the glass.

http://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Duralife-Foil-Shears.html

http://www.stainedglassexpress.com/Mika-Fixed-Blade-Lead-Shears.html

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There is also a technique of taking tracing paper and tracing your pattern onto the glass.

A real short cut is to use a light box.  You trace your pattern pieces directly on the glass.  Saves time by not having to cut out and number pattern pieces.  It also allows you to really be looking at the glass and seeing the direction, pattern and variations in the glass before you cut.

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Info and picture from anypattern.com

When you use this method, cut on the inside of the line.

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Tips from the Glass Academy: Steel Wool

You aught to have 4 aught!  A grade of steel wool is called an “aught” .  So when you ask for the steel wool you need at the hardware store ask for 4 aught.  0000 steel wool.

Here are some of the things you can use it for.

  • It is great for repair work. Before you try to get the solder off, steel wool it.  Get the dirt off and get the patina off (patina is toxic to breath so you are better off scrubbing off what you can).
  • Speaking of patina, if you put some on and don’t like it, steel wool it off.
  • When putting patina on zinc, my son, Glenn, has a trick to get it shiny black. Steel wool the zinc and put patina on.  Then (the trick) steel wool it again and patina it again.  His always looks great!
  • If you leave a piece for time and the solder or lead becomes oxidized, use the steel wool to get that white scum off!
  • If you have some sort of junk on piece of glass like old paint, a marker mark or glue from a sticker, steel wool it. Aught 4 will not scratch your glass.  Do be careful of painted work where you do not want the paint to come off.  Make sure you are cleaning off what you want off.  I have seen the face of Jesus partially taken off!

Clean the steel wool with soap and water.

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HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR SOLDER?

HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR SOLDER?

60/40    40/60    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?  FRUSTRATION!!!

We might have received 400 pounds of solder labelled incorrectly.

100 pounds of that is sold.  We have 3 that have been confirmed as 40/60 not 60/40.

If you are having trouble with your solder, please let us know.  You might have 40/60.

We will replace it, of course, and are so sorry for any frustration this might have cause.

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If you are an on-line customer, let us know you have the solder, and we will work out what to do.  We have not worked out that part with Victory yet. Email janet@stainedglassexpress.com

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Just for Fun Contest 2017 Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of our 2017 “Just For Fun” Contest!!

First Place winners receive a $100 Stained Glass Express gift card

Second Place winners receive a $75 Stained Glass Express gift card

 

1st Place in Mosaics Sharon Jones

1st Place in Mosaics
Sharon Jones

2nd Place in Mosaics Brenda Jolin

2nd Place in Mosaics
Brenda Jolin

1st Place in Cold Glass Joyce Jenkins

1st Place in Cold Glass
Joyce Jenkins

2nd Place Cold Glass Jan Royall

2nd Place Cold Glass
Jan Royall

1st Place Hot/Warm Glass Lucie Boucher

1st Place Hot/Warm Glass
Lucie Boucher

2nd Place in Hot/Warm Glass Steve Sinclair

2nd Place in Hot/Warm Glass
Steve Sinclair

Congratulations everyone!

A huge THANK YOU to all who participated and for sharing your amazing work!

In honor of National Art Glass Month, the contest will be on display for the month of April. Please stop in and take a look!

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Tips from the Glass Academy: MIRROR, VAN GOGH AND SILVERCOATS

MIRROR, VAN GOGH AND SILVERCOATS

These are all types of glass that have a coating on the back and do require a big of extra care when used.

You do need to be careful when grinding.  Try not to or use a mirror bit or a dull bit so that you are not chipping away at the backing and damaging the silver or the Van Gogh paint.

Clean your project right away.  Do not leave flux or any other chemicals on there any longer than you must.

Remember to use a sealant on the edges.  SGE stocks two types, a paint on and a spray.

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Click here to see our sealants.

Remember you are really trying to protect the edge.  Think of this glass as three layers.  The glass, the silver (mirror or silvercoat) or paint (van gogh) and the backing.  If you look at it from the side it is the layer of paint or silver, you are trying to protect.  There is no need to cover the entire back unless you have scratched it.

If you have ever seen an old mirror that has black creeping in from the edges, that is because moisture has gotten to that layer of silver.  The sealants will stop that.  It is very disturbing to have a project done and then months later see that black creeping it.

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THE BUTTERFLY

For those of you who have followed this blog for a while, you know I am a fan of the Morse Museum in Florida.  I love it because if it’s Tiffany collection.  If you are ever in that area it is absolutely worth a trip.  Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art–445 N. Park Avenue–Winter Park, Fl 32789

Featured in this month’s newsletter is Tiffany’s Butterfly which in 1885 was in the Ballroom of the Tiffany house in NYC.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was born on February 18, 1848 and was one of the most progressive artist of that era.

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Tiffany was heavily influenced by Japanese art and this piece reflects that.  It was originally made for his home and was later installed in the art gallery at his Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall.  The window is just over 5 feet tall.  The background has many fluttering butterflies, a symbol of eternity and love in Japanese culture.   When you first look at the piece you think you are looking at leaves and then they emerge into a butterfly and another and another.

This piece is now housed at the Morse in the Tiffany wing.

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