Category Archives: Glass Safety

News and tips on glass safety and safety concerns of the stained glass industry


Some Info from The Frog Blog

Dichroic glass is so beautiful and there are so many uses, it is just delightful.  However, there are a few problems that knowledge can help deal with.

One is that it is impossible to tell 96 from 90 COE if you get them mixed up.  The answer to this one is—DON’T mix them up.  Keep them labeled.  If you keep scrap, keep it in a well-marked box.

It is often important to know which side the dichroic coated side is to get the look you are going for.  If it has a dark base, no problem—you can see it.  However, on a transparent base, it can look the same on both sides!  Reasons you may want to know this?

Cutting.  Always cut on the non-coated side of the glass.  It will help prevent chipping, especially on textured glass.  It also saves your cutter.

Coated Side Down.  When using the coated side down or capped with clear glass, the dichroic glass will have a smooth glossy surface and sparkle like glitter.  It will also change colors between the transmitted color and a completely different reflective color, depending of the angle of view.

Coated Side Up.   If you use the dichroic glass with the coated side up or uncapped, the dichroic surface will have a highly metallic sheen.  The piece may additional be rough and textured depending on the type of dichroic glass you are using.

This is what to do.  Place the glass over a dark background.  Look at the glass at an angle so that you are seeing the reflection of the dichroic.  Touch the surface with a paperclip (don’t scratch it).  The paperclip will reflect.

To know your answer.  Does the reflection meet the paper clip, or there a gap between the clip and its reflection?

Tips from the Glass Academy: Cleaning Tips – Dichro

Cleaning is always major.  This tip is from Profusion Glass one of the manufacturers of Dichroic glass that we stock.

Their tip is to wipe the glass with a 50/50 solution of pure ammonia and distilled water followed by a wipe down with denatured alcohol.


There are other products out there also.  Our preference in our studio is The Solution Flux Solution Flux Remover.  It is a concentrate, so it goes a long way.

Probably right up there with a favorite with our customers and staff is Kwik clean.   It does a good job and is very convenient because of the spray bottle.

Stained Glass Dreamcatchers


The Legend of the Dreamcatcher is that Native Americans of the Great Plains believe that the air is filled with both good and bad dreams.

According to legend, the good dreams pass through the center hold of a dream catcher and to the sleeping person.  The bad dreams are trapped in the web, where they perish in the light of dawn.

Historically, dreamcatchers were hung in the tipi or lodge and a baby’s cradle.

Make your own dreamcatcher.  Here are some useful items to help.

Click here to buy your own dreamcather bevel kit!



The Transformation and Rebirth of Uroboros Glass

This just could not be more exciting.  Last May when the Glass almost died and a lot of thought it had, was a real time of scrambling around to keep glass on the shelves.  Now the anticipation of a steady supply chain is just so uplifting!

The Uroboros image of the dragon consuming its own tale is a symbol of nature’s infinite cycle.  One thing ending and another beginning.

So here we go!!!

Tips from the Glass Academy: How To Cut Murrini Without Having Flying Glass

How To Cut Murrini Without Having Flying Glass

This great idea comes from Glacial Art Glass


How do you cut murrini without hearing these sounds? The very simple method you are about to learn will show you how to:

  • Cut murrini without chasing your glass slices across the room.
  • Avoid breathing the dust created when cutting.
  • Keep all those tiny shards and chips of glass from getting everywhere.
  • Have your cane and cutting tool clearly visible and freely mobile so that you can get consistently good quality murrini slices.

Note that this method is very cheap, easy to set up, and can be used to cut other small pieces of glass with a pair of mosaic cutters or ceramic tile nippers.

Here we go:
You’ll need a few things besides your murrine cane and cutters.

– A cheap snap and seal plastic baggie.
– 4 Safety pins or Binder clips.
– Scissors


When it comes to plastic bags, go for the cheapest, thinnest sandwich bags, at about 6 ½ inches by 5 7/8 inches. Of course, whatever you have on hand will probably work, but the cheap sandwich bags are the right size, and thinner plastic (think generic store-brand vs. the sturdier ziplock brand) seems to stay clear longer. Over time any bag will lose clarity due to dust, abrasions, and wrinkles, so that you will unfortunately have to throw them away and start with a new one occasionally. But you can cut a lot of murrini with just one bag.

Step one: Put the cutting end of your tool into the bag, with the handles sticking out, and seal the bag around the handles. It’s not necessary to get a complete seal, just try to keep the two sides of the bag lined up to reduce gaps. You don’t need a lot of the tool in the bag, it’s more important to keep as much of the handles sticking out as possible.

Step two: Secure the seal, including between the handles, with safety pins or binder clips. If you are using safety pins, run each pin along the edge of the bag, not perpendicular to it. Binder clips need to be sufficiently small that they don’t impede the cutting motion. The one securing the section between handles is most likely to get in the way, so opt for the smallest one you can get here. While cutting you’ll notice that there is still a slight gap around each handle. This is fine as long as murrine slices wont readily work out of the bag.

Step three: Cut a slit in the bag where you will need to insert the murrine cane. Cut a corner off the bag from where you will be able to pour your slices out. You will have more control over short pieces of murrine cane or other small pieces of glass if you can hold them with your fingers directly, even though they might not be protruding from the bag. The most effective way to enable this is to make the holes big enough to fit a forefinger and thumb through with the glass.

A few final tips:
While cutting, keep the corner hole clipped or pinned shut. If murrini slices begin to get in the way of the cutting tool movement, shake them into the corner, away from the tool.  When you get ready to pour the murrine out of the bag, dust, though you may not see it, will be coming out too. Take care not to breath this in.

This great idea comes from Glacial Art Glass


Since February of 2016 we have been hearing the term Baghouse.  It started with Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality shutting down several colors (which represent several chemicals) because they were polluting.  This first shutdown was at Bullseye Glass Manufacturing plant in Oregon.

Bullseye has since installed several Baghouse pollution controls on their furnaces. 

By October of 2016 they had 18 installed at a significant cost which we have seen passed down in the cost of glass.  The cost from Blogtown written by Daniel Frobes says it is between $500,000 and $1,200,000.  I think what they are saying is $100,000 per baghouse!

From the issue with Bullseye all the major manufacturers of art sheet glass and rods were investigated by the EPA.   We saw all opal reds, yellow, orange, green and some black disappear from production.

Bullseye installed their baghouses and resumed production.  Uroboros decided not to continue because of the large investment required and the age of the owner.  They have since been sold to Oceanside Glass & Tile but manufacturing has not resumed yet.

Spectrum already had a baghouse equipment on its primary color furnaces.  Below is a picture of it.  As you can see, it is no small deal!  The basic operation is:

  1. Furnace exhaust enters the baghouse via a system of ductwork.
  2. The exhaust travels through a series of filtering bags within the structure to filter out particulates. The particulates are then knocked off the bags by compressed air-pulsed jets.  It falls down the hopper and collected in a sack.  The filtered air is then released through an exhaust duct.

The lower portion of the structure contains the collector sack.  The “super sack” is disposed of by a certified waste-services company.

Even though Spectrum already had this technology in place they were operating in a plant that was at 40% capacity and not doing financially well because of that.  They decided that with increased testing and reporting requirements that they did not want to continue.  They too have been sold to Oceanside and we believe at this point, manufacturing testing is going on and we will see Spectrum glass hit the warehouses once again this summer.

Oceanside has also installed baghouse technology.


I was just reading that you can tell which tip has the smallest opening by looking at the number of rings on it! So no more straining your eyes to pick out the smallest tip in your collection to dispense glue. Keep them in line for storage and easy, easy!

Another aha moment we had in the store several years ago is  . . . . . Wait for it


The lid color of frit jars! Black for 90 Coe and white for 96 Coe. How clever is that. If you use both coes that is the end of confusion. You don’t even have to read the label! If a supplier does a mix up it should jump out at you because it will stand out when you add it to your collection.



New Product


We tried this product out last summer and really loved it.  It has taken us until now to clear a place in the classroom to have one to try and make room in the showroom to have them for sale.


This piece of art made by Steve Sinclair was cut on a Portable Glass Cutter.  Strip after strip after strip.  This piece won 2nd price in the 25th Annual Just For Contest in 2017 in the Warm Glass Category.


We have kept the price as low as we can so discount cannot be applied to us.  Currently it is $295.00.

The Portable glass cutter was designed to make cutting glass quick and easy. The cutting action is smooth and effortless. There is no assembly needed, just start cutting. The Portable glass cutter excels at cutting glass strips, squares and rectangles for large and small projects. It features a 13” cutting width, and a custom centering ruler. The custom centering ruler has both inch and metric graduations, with the inch side having markers every 3/8” for strip projects.

Be free to be creative. Don’t let the daunting task of cutting hundreds or thousands of glass strips, squares or rectangles stop you from creating your masterpiece.

WHEN WILL WE SEE YOU AGAIN (when will we share precious moments)

image from:

image from:

So now you will be hearing that song in your head all day!

The schedule below is what Oceanside is sharing about their Spectrum production schedule.  As you can see, it is going to take some time to have a steady supply of all the glass numbers.  Over a year.  We have already made many of our numbers inactive because all our suppliers are out of them.  Unless Oceanside put them on the list of glass they will not produce we will continue to save room for them.  We also, at this point have a pretty good stock.   We have tried to fill in the gaps in the 96 fusibles with Wissmach and have a great stock of that.

So no reason, as Oceanside says, that we cannot “keep it glassy!”

Oceanside just sent the following information about their schedule, hopefully this helps with your planning.

1ST SET OF FURNACES (Summer & Fall 2017):
Clear textures
Clear Fusible
Solid Opal Fusible 96:
– Ambers
– Yellow
– Orange
– Reds
– Champagne
– Bronze

2ND SET OF FURNACES (Fall & Winter 2017/2018):
Clear textures
Non-Fusible Opal mixes:
– Blues
– Greens
– Purples
– Black
– Teal
– Steel
– Navy
– Seagreen
– Copper
– Deep Aqua

As you know the color palette is vast and they are anticipating 9-12 months before they run through most colors. Note: not all products in each color base will be produced initially, their focus will be on the most requested products and will move on to those left behind as they make their way through the second cycle on each furnace.




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.


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.


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.”


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.