Glastar burned to the ground on October 18th. Glastar is a leading manufacturer of glass-shaping equipment, tools, accessories, and supplies. The warehouse next door exploded, and the fire quickly spread to the Glastar building. No one at Glastar was hurt, however two people were killed and two were injured in the warehouse where the fire started. We do not expect to see any Glastar products soon. Everything that was available, sold out quickly. They still have a Facebook page with no news and the website continues to state, “they will be back soon”, but yet no news. The following is a link to the Bing video of the Canoga Park explosion. glastar fire – Bing video
The Paul Wissmach Glass Co was sold. On April 1, 2021 Jason Wilburn and Annabelle Javier became the new owners. Mark Feldmeier continued to be actively involved so that is probably why it all happened, and we did not even realize. Wissmach is the second oldest manufacturer having been operating since 1904. This is their new logo:
Kokomo seemed to have a rocky year. I was not able to get them directly, but I did get my info from a reliable source. What I heard is that their extremely interesting furnace is now not operating and has been replaced with day furnaces. This is a round furnace with a down draft which I so wish I had seen while it was still operating. Kokomo was founded in 1888, making it the oldest producer of glass in the United States. The transition caused lapses in production, and we have not been able to stock as much as we would like. One of their key personnel retired after returning from a bout with Covid. Apparently Covid took its toll at Kokomo, which also slowed down production because of employees being absent. We have been assured that all is back on track, and we will be seeing more glass!
Oceanside also reported some difficulties in 2021. Many people were not happy that the glass is “different”. Vince Moiso shared how hard it has been sourcing chemicals. They follow the “recipe”, and some glass has come out different, we had some orangey reds and other differences. He also reported that we will be seeing more bubbles in the glass. Even though they do make the glass like Spectrum did, they do not have the long ribbon or glass system that Spectrum had, and the shorter run will create bubbles.
On a positive note, Youghiogheny seems to be just smoothy flying along. After purchasing the Uroboros hand rolled sheet process from Oceanside in May of 2020 they continue to add more Uroboros glass to their already amazing lines of Youghiogheny.
In general, we have seen unprecedented price increases. These come from increased shipping costs, raw material sourcing issues and increased labor costs. Less product at higher prices.
Tools and supplies have been difficult. In addition to not having any Glastar products, we cannot get Morton products. Some that have been difficult are: spray a, score one plus, didymium glasses (clip-ons), value tools, bevel clusters, fid’l stick, some silver products (earring findings), glass pro silver protector and cleaner, Breda nippers, Hifire, Thinfire, and resin. Some products were difficult for awhile because people could not get packaging for them, like glue. Right now we are waiting on Inland Grinders.