Shoplifting becomes a topic of conversation often in a retail store.  We think we have something in inventory because our computer data says we do, but when we are looking for it to fill a customer order we may find we do not have what we thought.  Most times this is because someone stole it!  Horrifying.  I often say, it is even more annoying because “I don’t sell anything that anyone needs.  They might want it, but they don’t need it”.  Of course, I am referring to that they are not stealing milk to feed the baby back home, or toast so the little one can have a sandwich or toast.

Even though not milk or bread, I have decided I will not say that anymore.  The longer I am in the art world, the more I think people do need art to complete their lives, to help them cope, to express themselves, to help them heal, to engage with other creative beings and as many other reasons as there are people.

Here are what some well-known folks have to say:

“Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the object presented to patients are an actual means of recovery.” ~ Florence Nightingale

“Art making has the ability to move people along their journey of grief and loss into a more balanced place of healing and hope. In the face of tragedy, the creative process can help re-calibrate a mourner’s life.” ~ The Chandler Gallery at Maud Morgan Arts

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him… We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.” ~ John F. Kennedy


The Emerald Green Healing Portal by Jaentra Green Gardener.  Jaentra has a series title “Healing Arts”.  To see more, click here:

I am convinced that art is needed but really does not need to be stolen!

The Beginner’s Torch Trap: A Lampworking Torch Buyer’s Guide Part 1

Thank you to Bethlehem Burners for this Blog!

If you landed here, you must be interested in buying your first lampworking torch! It’s an exciting time and you’ll want to feel confident in your purchase. In part one of our Lampworking Torch Buyer’s Guide, we’ll address concerns about buying a less expensive torch versus a more top of the line torch for beginner skills.

They say: “Your first lampworking torch should be cheap and something you can destroy while learning.”

Bethlehem Burner’s says: While this advice definitely has merit, a beginning lampworker should also keep in mind what type of torch they hope to use once they move past their “beginner’s torch.”

For example, there are different style torches that produce different style flames. These different style flames affect the way glass reacts in the flame, which in turn affects the way the glass should be manipulated in the flame to produce the desired effect.

Modern lampworking, using both soft and borosilicate glass, involves the use of a lot of color. Fuel mixture ratios and flame velocity affect the chemical composition of each glass color differently. This means flames produced by one torch will affect a glass color differently than the flames of another torch.

If a lampworker learns to lampwork on one style of torch, they will need to adapt a lot of their glass techniques when they switch to a new torch style. This transition can be very difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. In order to make this transition as smooth as possible, it is best to choose a new torch that produces flames similar to the flames produced by the torch they learned on.

So, while, “your first torch should be cheap and something you can destroy while learning,” isn’t necessarily wrong, it isn’t your only option. Kate Hayes, VP and resident torch expert at Bethlehem Burners weighs in on the topic:

“Get a smaller version of your dream torch. Choose your first center fire style wisely, because the transition from premix center fire to surface mix center fire is the hardest and most expensive transition to make,” suggests Hayes.

Stained Glass Express is a proud distributor for Bethlehem Burners.  Click here to see the burners we have in stock.

We are always happen to order in other Bethlehem products for you.


There has been talk that the glass manufactured by Oceanside has more bubbles in it than when it was manufactured at Spectrum.  In April, I was at the Glass and Bead Show in Vegas and the Retailer Association I belong to, met the representatives of Oceanside during the event.

I sort of remembered that they said something about no buying the big furnace that was at Spectrum, so their continuous ribbon was different.  I was wondering if that was causing the bubbles.

I went back to my retailer group and asked what they remembered about the conversation.  These are some of the answers I got.

“It wouldn’t be caused by annealing, just like fusing bubbles are trapped at higher temps.  The annealing tunnels are just slowly lowering the temp, removing stress, and making the glass user friendly. Their glass used to be relatively bubble free. At some point, maybe in the late 90’s or early 2000’s because of the cost of natural gas, they converted part of the process (I may have these backwards, or wrong) to an oxygen/gas mixture.

It caused one of the first significant brand wide price increases I remember.  Base retail went from 4.25 to 5.95.  I bet someone else remembers those details better.  There was also a large amount of glass going to china, being made into lamps.  It was said, that the glass was too perfect making people think they were purchasing a plastic lamp.  Who knows if that was part of a decision, or in any way historically true.”

I just re-watched the first 10 minutes of Vince’s presentation.  He talks about them not buying the continuous furnace, that they are using a day tank.  I think they are saying the day tank is now the continuous ribbon and that is different than hand rolled.

“Tom Giles (rip) once told me KOG could eliminate almost all bubbles (& therefore surface pits) if he could hold the batch longer in the furnace (usually just a day longer).  But he was not allowed to because of the expense of gas”.

I guess we still don’t know why, but we do know there are more pits in the glass.  In fusing this will not matter but it will in stained glass.




I guess it is obvious that our logo includes the Fibonacci spiral.  Fibonacci was a person, an Italia mathematician in the late 11th and 12th century.  In addition to other mathematical achievements, he is given credit for the Fibonacci Sequence. The Sequence is where each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 (and so on)

It may not seem obvious, but there is a strong connection between this sequence and artwork composition.  If you look at our logo and visualize each square as a number that increases in size the same as the sequence you have the Fibonacci Spiral. (or our logo).

Another connection is what is called the Golden Ratio or the Divine Ratio.  Two quantities whose ratio is the same as the sum of the total to the larger ratio.  (does your head hurt?)  Just think of it as the Rule of Thirds.  It is a way of balancing the composition of a picture.  Nicer than just centering something.  These pictures come from



Manufacturing the World’s Finest Art Glass since 1976

We are pleased to announce that we are now the Northeast Distributors of Youghiogheny Glass.  In the sales world there are generally end users, retailers, distributors and manufacturers.  These lines have become more and more blurry as manufacturers sell to end users and distributors open retail stores.  In April Youghiogheny asked if we would be willing to take this on.  We will have more glass, more variety and better pricing.  Our first large shipment will arrive in late September.  Our sale for October will be Youghiogheny glass.

Youghiogheny Glass is a small manufacturing company that specializes in the production of stained glass sheets and glass products for the art and stained glass industry.  Its products are distributed world wide for use in the making of stained glass lamps, panels, windows and other arts and crafts.  Youghiogheny Glass is world renowned in the artist community for it uncompromising quality and color artistry, designed to recreate the magnificence of nature’s palette.

Youghiogheny manufacturers Stipple, High Strike, Tiffany Reproduction, Oceana and Y96.

Stipple Glass has a waxy, ice-like effect that sets it apart.  Due to the translucent quality of the glass, there is a 3D effect when colors are streaked together.  This type of glass was first made by Tiffany Studios.

High Strike is a mottled art glass.  It is mostly one or two-color mixes and some are rippled or iridized.

Tiffany Reproduction (rg).  This a series of authentic Tiffany Reproduction Opalescent Glass.  These three and four-color mixes use a specifically formulated opal base glass.  This base creates a true white cast, surface hazing, and the waxy quality that is generally associated with glass made by Tiffany.

Oceana.  Oceana mottles are soft with a delicate wispy background.  Each sheet contains varying degrees of density, which create a stringy dimensional quality that is uniquely Oceana.

Y96.  This is a line of 96 COE compatible glass.  It has a robust palette of opal and cathedral colors.


1st picture is stipple, 2nd is Oceana, 3rd is High Strike, 4th is reproduction and 5th is fusible.

To see more:



I totally learned something this week.  We always think that we know compatible glass by its COE.  I really thought that when Bullseye started saying Bullseye compatible they were really trying to brand themselves and set themselves apart.  Now Oceanside is doing the same.

I read a very interesting article that was written by Daniel W. Schwoerer from Bullseye Glass.  It is Bullseye Technotes #3. If you would like to read the entire article, click here:

To summarize, the article says that you really must take more than coe into consideration when deciding if glass is compatible.  Mr. Schwoerer says you should also consider viscosity.

COE would be how much the glass expands when being heated and how much it contracts when cooling.  The viscosity would be the thickness.  A high viscosity glass when melting would flow slower.

The article does say how to test.  I guess if you were doing a large piece and mixing glass (manufacturers) it may be important to do it.

So the question is can you put 90 dichroic with Bullseye glass?  It is small generally, probably not a lot of expansion and contraction and not a lot of viscosity flow.  It is safe to put Wissmach with Youghiogheny or Uroboros or Spectrum.  Goodness knows we have and we have done it successfully.  However, now and then we hear “my piece cracked for no reason”.  Well maybe now we know the reason?


This week I was waiting on customer who wants to do mosaic something that will be outside.  When she asked for the correct products, I could not help but think of this situation that was written about in the Fall and Winter 2017 issues Stained Glass magazine. (Info comes from there and an article in Alabama Living.)   All I could think of was “make sure it is weather proof!”  This amazing piece of art is located at the Huntsville, Alabama First Baptist Church.  It took seven years to complete (1966 to 1973) and contained approximately 1.4 millions pieces of Italian tile – none larger than a thumbnail.

This mosaic is giant!  There are seven bays and each bay is 18’x45’.  It is about 5,600 sq ft of mosaic.  It made the news because it was falling apart!  A team went in to asses the issues.  They determined the problems were: Glass tiles were used instead of smalti, (Smalti are ½-1/3 the size of tiles but twice as thick.  Smalti do have a beveled edge) the mounting of the tiles to a netting with epoxy was not the best method, the materials used were of dubious quality, the cements used to install the mosaic were not the best choice, and the methods used to apply the cement and mosaic sections were suspect and probably incorrect.  Within a year of the installation glass started to fall!  50 years later the team was trying to determine the best way to fix it.

The decision was made to remove the entire mosaic and replace it with new.  The design was to be reproduced and this time fabricated and installed correctly!  The color palette was to remain the same, but it was allow to increased the depth of color and make some minor corrections to the design.  This project is still going on.  At the time of the Winter issue of Stained Glass bay two was complete and Bay 3 was underway, schedule to be complete by Easter.

If you have a difficult time adapting to change—LOOK OUT!  There will be so many changes in the upcoming months, it will make your head spin!  Oceanside made several announcements in July, 2018.  We have been passing this news directly on to you through our eblast which go out a few times during the week.  If you are not signed up for these and would like to be, click here:

One announcement made was what would be retired July 1, 2018.  For that list, click here.  To help you understand this list a bit and not to get too upset.  A-100G does not mean clear granite is going away.  It means clear granite in large sizes is going away.  That is what the” A” in the front means.  Architectural.  The “I” in front of the next list means Iridized!  Yep—that is a long list of iridized.  Gone!  Spectrum was outsourcing coated glass and Oceanside is having logistical problems doing that because it means crossing borders and dealing with NAFTA.  Not easy.  So they are hoping that in 2019 they will buy the equipment and start production again.  The spoa number are the very beautiful opal arts. These:  Nautica, Godiva, Sour Apple

The next batch of numbers are Spirit glass numbers.  Again just beautiful Art Glass.  Rio, Valhalla, Sedona, Seattle.  (and they even had cool names!!)



All this info comes from the Epilepsy Foundation site and note that the pyramids rights are protected.

I never had the privilege of knowing Kevin, but I know his mom, Patricia Barnes, and I have met his delightful brother and I have even helped clean the pyramids!  Trish made this incredible collection of pyramids (out of stained glass, of course) after the drowning death of Kevin when he was not quite 17.  These pyramids have been donated to the Epilepsy foundation for fundraising for epilepsy research and hopefully new therapies and strategies to improve the life of people living with seizures.  Money raised from the sale of the pyramids fund young researchers called “Kevin’s Fellows”.



For a few years now, Stained Glass Express has been offering 33 coe glass.  We are still learning and still adding product.  One of the growing stock is our 33 coe tubes and rods.  We stock Simax tubes and rods made by Schott.  This is a high- quality borosilicate glass.  The main ingredients are silica and boron.  Boro has a high heat resistance and a low thermal expansion.  (thus the low coe number).

Simax works best in high heat and is commonly used in lab equipment, industrial equipment and cookware.  However, in our art world it is a favorite because it creates smoot, transparent and strong beautiful pieces.

For Simax to work at it’s full potential it must be annealed properly.  Annealing is the process of eliminating internal thermal stress.  This stress comes from one area of the glass getting hotter than a neighboring area and will later develop cracks.  Usually it is annealed at 1050 F for about one hour and then cooled slowly.  If you cool too quickly it will crack.  Of course, this can vary depending on the thickness of the glass and other variables.

You can use Simax glass with other 33 coe glass like Glass Alchemy, Golden Gate, imported, Momkas, Northstar, Tautman and others.

We have not put simax on our website but if you talk to us and allow us to cut it to fit a box (or are willing to pay for oversized we will ship it.  Our colored rods are on the site.


In the art world the top item made is tobacco pipes, but also ornaments, pendants and other wonderful works of art!







Sign up for one of our torch room classes and learn this art!