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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #31  
Old 2024-02-09, 9:06am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
I just bought some of the double pink and labeled it ready to go in my bins but I won't be able to get on the torch for a little while. If you message me your address I'll cut off a few inches and stick it in the mail to you so you can test it.
Done
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  #32  
Old 2024-02-09, 10:04am
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I don't remember which Effetre this one is, but it's pink on the outside and sort of weird gray on the inside in layers. When heated it puts off a weird powdery substance on metal surfaces, and it comes in a couple of shades, the darker of which is almost a purple-pink.
There is one particular shade of it, the 2nd lightest in the series, that turns these out...


And in the sunlight, it will literally turn gold colored...
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  #33  
Old 2024-02-09, 12:24pm
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Also a huge public thank you to echeveria and lenora, you two are just awesome.
Hugs to both of you!
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  #34  
Old 2024-02-09, 2:39pm
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Ok the results of the 96COE comparisons... Huge thanks to echeveria for sending me the samples to try out!
I apologize for the lighting, it's crappy.



If you want closer images of any of them individually, let me know!

*The Hot Pink was really really close, but it has the odd streaks in it which I've never seen any glass do before in minis, kind of cool but weird.
*The soft rose was also similar but it's not nearly dark enough I think.
*I'm totally digging the Opal Rose just on it's own merit, very pretty color.
*Bright Pink and Purple are almost indistinguishable, both very pretty in their own right though.
*The raspberry is pretty awesome, it's going on my to do list as well.
*The lilac is a nice color, reminds me of one of the effetre colors I have back there but this one is less streaky and more of a solid purple.

Damn...
Gellys Sty really is/was a unique and beautiful glass, there's a translucence to it that I've just not been able to find in any other pink glass as of yet. I hope CIM will eventually get around to making some more of it. My thanks to all of you for helping me out on this though!
I've never touched a piece of 96coe before, its a hair stiffer, a little less shocky and some of those colors are pretty awesome in their own right.

Join me in raising Caine at CIM, if you get a chance, drop them an email and tell them we want our dang Gellys back!
info@CreationIsMessy.com
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  #35  
Old 2024-02-09, 2:49pm
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Here's the email I just sent them...

"Hi, my name is J. R. Hooper. I am a glass artist in Western North Carolina, and I've been making miniature glass marbles for about thirty years now. Your color, Gellys Sty, which is no longer in production, was the only pink colored glass that would retain it's color at 2-3mm in diameter.
Now that it is nowhere to be found, my assorted miniature marbles no longer include this awesome Pink Color. I cry every night before I finally weep myself to sleep, my wife says I just moan 'Gellys Sty' all night in my night terrors. My customers rain angry letters upon me, demanding more beautiful pink miniatures in their assortments. My life just hasn't been the same since I ran out of it, and I walk the streets begging passers by for just a gram or two of that sweet Gellys Sty. If you guys don't put it back into production, it could be over for me. Life just isn't worth living without it.
-J. R. Hooper"
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  #36  
Old 2024-02-09, 3:49pm
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Good letter!
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  #37  
Old 2024-02-09, 4:19pm
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Good letter!
Thank you, I will admit to some hyperbole there, but like Springsteen once wrote, 'Hit 'em in the funny bone, that's where they expect it least.'
Take a minute to drop them an email though, if enough of us do it, maybe someone at the executive level there will listen. That glass really was dynamite.

You should have read the one I wrote to the Winsleydale Creamery LOL
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  #38  
Old 2024-02-10, 4:03pm
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Originally Posted by jesnbec73 View Post
I don't remember which Effetre this one is, but it's pink on the outside and sort of weird gray on the inside in layers. When heated it puts off a weird powdery substance on metal surfaces, and it comes in a couple of shades, the darker of which is almost a purple-pink.
There is one particular shade of it, the 2nd lightest in the series, that turns these out...


And in the sunlight, it will literally turn gold colored...
Was it fish pink? There were a few that came out at the same time but I can't remember the names. They were a weird pink gray. If it was that, those marbles are the only good use for that glass.

Also, the Double Helix Oracle Pink (not double) looks like a nice pink. You could email Jed and ask him about it. After all, they make glass and are in the US.
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  #39  
Old 2024-02-10, 6:17pm
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Originally Posted by Three Muses Glass View Post
Was it fish pink? There were a few that came out at the same time but I can't remember the names. They were a weird pink gray. If it was that, those marbles are the only good use for that glass.

Also, the Double Helix Oracle Pink (not double) looks like a nice pink. You could email Jed and ask him about it. After all, they make glass and are in the US.
I've still got a little piece of a rod, I'll snap a pic when I get in the studio. It really is kind of a nasty glass, I've seen little puffs of some kind of smoke come off it if it got an air bubble in it or boiled. I melted a little piece of it on some soapstone once and it left some kind of powdery gray residue behind.
Going to try the DH pinks at some point in the near future though, hopefully it will be at least somewhat pink at 2mm, time will tell. I wish I could get the recipe for Gellys, I'd almost pay for a batch.
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  #40  
Old 2024-02-11, 8:09am
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I love fish pink. It’s a Vetrofond color.
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  #41  
Old 2024-02-14, 1:46pm
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Thank you JR! These marbles are so amazingly tiny and cute
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  #42  
Old 2024-02-15, 7:36am
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You are very welcome! Thank you for helping me on the quest for a Pink replacement LOL
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  #43  
Old 2024-02-17, 8:46pm
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Originally Posted by echeveria View Post
I love fish pink. Itís a Vetrofond color.

Kathy, how did you use it to make it do something nice once melted? I loved the glass rods, they were great as long as I didn't melt it.
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  #44  
Old 2024-02-17, 8:47pm
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JR, those little transparent/translucent pink marbles look amazing!
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  #45  
Old 2024-02-18, 5:25am
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JR, those little transparent/translucent pink marbles look amazing!
It's one of my favorites for minis, it's weird how it changes from pink to gold in sunlight and as far as I know it's the only color that will do that.
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  #46  
Old 2024-02-21, 8:09am
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I bought an assortment of Pinks from Devardi yesterday, I've never used any of their glass before. I know it has a reputation for being shocky but their pinks and purples are supposed to be pretty saturated, it's a long shot but will let you guys know how it turns out.

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  #47  
Old 2024-02-21, 1:43pm
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Mmm, pretty!
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  #48  
Old 2024-02-22, 4:42pm
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I picked up some more glass today at Mountain Glass, CIM Dollhouse Misty, Heather, Lilac and Douglas Aster were all no good, at least in terms of replacing Gellys. I didn't get to try the Ballet Slipper color, GOOD LORD!, it has to be the shockiest glass I've ever handled in my life and I'm going to wait for my Rod Warmer to get here before trying it again, it looks promising as a color on it's own though.

Douglas Aster turned out some beautiful minis, and I think I'm going to be adding it and the Dollhouse Misty to my regular lineup so it wasn't a total bust. If I'm not mistaken all of those are limited runs (damnit!).

I also grabbed one of those DH Sample packs with some of their new colors in it, pretty excited about trying some of those, the sparkly ones look really cool. I have not gotten the Devardi Pinks yet, but if any of those end up close to Gellys I'll keep you guys updated. That R96 Hot Pink was so close... if it wasn't streaky it would be just awesome.

Thanks to all of you guys for helping out, I can't believe this turned out to be such an undertaking.

I actually held about ten rods of Gellys back in 2016 and put most of it back because it was so expensive. They still had a box in the 104 section at Mountain Glass with Gellys Sty label on it today, maybe they are going to start producing it again, but I daren't hope.

Big public thanks to Eileen as well, Hugs to you!
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  #49  
Old 2024-02-22, 4:51pm
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I do not personally expect that CIM will ever produce glass again, at least not any time soon.
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  #50  
Old 2024-02-23, 6:36pm
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I do not personally expect that CIM will ever produce glass again, at least not any time soon.
Do you know what the scoop is with that, I've been out of the loop for so long since my spine injury that all of this is news to me? I thought they were doing really well, their glass was pricey but some of the glass they were putting out was worth the extra couple of bucks IMO.
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  #51  
Old 2024-02-23, 7:30pm
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This email was sent out in Jan 2023.

And now, you may want to get a cup of coffee/tea and sit down, as Iíve taken a lot of care and effort with this email. I am going to be painfully honest with you about the state of CiM and where I see lampworking trending.

Iím noticing a lot of challenging trends in the 104 market that have incrementally worsened over the past decade. Market demand has been steadily decreasing since 2013. As my sales have dwindled, the cost of labor has increased (I have always insisted on good wages for our team in China). At the same time my operating costs have continued to increase across the board. Iíve borne the brunt of increasing costs of raw materials, energy, and shipping, unfavorable exchange rates, increasing regulations, tariffs in the USA, supply chain / delivery issues, and difficulties doing business given the global political situation.

My resellers have also reported difficulties. In general, resellers are simultaneously shrinking their 104 glass inventories overall, parking on old CiM inventory that doesnít move, and stocking up on Effetre (for fear that their temporary closure may be permanent).

What I've done to respond to this situation:
Over the past few years, we reduced our pot size to make smaller and smaller batches and melt less and less frequently.
We have been focusing on responding to the marketplace by making new colors constantly. The vast majority of resellers report that new colors sell through much faster than "old" colors - even though it is much easier for us to reproduce "old" colors.
I reduced costs as much as possible without sacrificing quality.
I started an Instagram presence and did more social media promotion, public speaking, and advertising.
Ultimately, none of my efforts have been able to stem the tide of decreasing sales. I have just been working more and making less.
I am not ready to close the door yet. Iím taking three new measures to move forward in 2023.
I need to reduce costs further. Unfortunately, the next thing on the chopping block is our testing program. Importing the samples by FedEx, re-packaging and mailing to all our testers costs thousands of dollars a year. I need to produce & sell a certain volume of glass to justify this expense. I have been below that threshold for the past several production runs but have been reluctant to cut testing because my testing team has been the bright spot of my work. Unfortunately, now it is a necessity. Moving forward, Iíll reduce our testing to the two beadmakers (Jenefer Ham & Claudia Eidenbenz) who help me decide which colors can ďpassĒ or if the hue is off (in which case it needs to be a new Ltd Run). Testers, an enormous shout out of gratitude to you! Youíve gone above and beyond to support me for over a decade. Iím sorry that I cannot continue with testing, and I am so thankful for how much each and every one of you has contributed to CiM!
CiM sales no longer sustain this work as a full-time venture for me. Iíve been putting my heart and soul into the work, but Iím planning to find other work and make CiM a side hustle to relieve financial pressure. I will have less time to dedicate to CiM accordingly.
I decided to sell seconds in North America & Australia. [Virtually all colors are still widely available at my European resellers.] Weíve scoured our warehouse in China to find the most requested colors. All these years we have focused on selling only the highest quality product. Selling seconds is a way for all of us to move forward and enable your palette to be as wide as possible. Many of the seconds, once gone, are gone. The trends do not show that I will have the opportunity to melt any of these colors again, so if you rely on these old colors, I recommend stocking up. ***I'll send more information about the seconds after the shipments arrive in 3-4 weeks time.
Iíd be most grateful for your support of our resellers who have invested in our new colors and all those who have high levels of back stock. Iíd also appreciate any promotion you might offer via social media. If we are going to be able to continue in 2023, weíll need the support!

Here are the resellers buying this round, already arrived:

Netherlands: Artyco
Germany: Glasgestaltung, Farbglas Werkzeug
France: L'Age du Verre, Hobbyfrance
Kuwait: Yadawi
Australia: Bead Glass (about to arrive)

Still in route:
Given the COVID situation in China, it was more difficult than usual to organize shipments to arrive at about the same time. The North American shipments will arrive in February. Thanks for your patience as we do our best to keep our team safe!

Canada: Nortel
USA: Ed Hoy's International, ABR Imagery, Flamedame Glass, Frantz Art Glass, Howaco Glass, Kiss My Glass, Melt Glass Art Supply, Mountain Glass Arts, Stained Glass Express

Please keep in mind that there are no big corporations here. I have been supported by resellers who have loyally invested in stocking inventory for our glassy community for the last 17 years of business. They, like Zhou & I, are small family-owned businesses. (Read our FAQs below if you don't know who Zhou.)

Once we've sold through the new shipment stock as well as some of the older inventory, we can consider melting again.
If youíd like to see CiM continue,
hereís what you can do to help!

Share this information with your beadmaking friends.
Support our resellers by treating yourself to some CiM old colors, new colors, restocks, and seconds. Trying to figure out what colors are available? See FAQ below.
Try a new (to you) color. Thereís so much good information on all our colors and itís super easy to find with Googleís help. Try bookmarking a search so that it is easy to switch out the name of the color you're looking for. That will take you straight to the colorís page with examples showing how others have used the color.
Support resellers who have chosen to invest in CiM, even if they are not your favorite or preferred shop. Please support our resellers who carry a wide variety of colors.
If your preferred reseller does not stock the colors you want, please encourage them to expand their stock.
If you are looking for a particular color that is not in stock, peruse our web site to scout out a close substitute. Often, we wait until similar colors are sold out before we plan a new melt. We aim to keep a full & affordable palette (without too much overlap/duplication) for resellers to stock.
Join in with your local lampworking / ISGB community to do a bulk buy. Bulk buys are a great way to save on shipping and also negotiate larger discounts with our resellers.
Use our drop-down menus to find the colors you want. Don't know how? See FAQ below.
When I started the business in 2006, I loved creating something from nothing. I love China (Iím a former exchange student, Mandarin speaker, and China Studies major). I was so happy for the flexibility of being able to work odd hours while raising my kids. Over the years, CiM has shifted for me into a heartfelt desire to serve the beadmaking community. I have immensely enjoyed being your liaison, working between you and Zhou to bring new colors to life.

Thank You, a most deep and wholehearted thank you, to all of you. CiM is my lifeís work and exists because of YOU and I am grateful. I am so grateful to our loyal testing team most of all, to our resellers, who have sold CiM loyally for so many years, and to all artists who create with CiM. Thank you for making the world more colorful with us.

Yours most truly,
Kathy

FAQs for those of you still reading (thanks for that!) and who have further questions.

Isn't CiM just a Chinese factory?
I know many think CiM is a Chinese factory with a team of personnel here in America. The truth is I own CiM: it is my business. I work from a desk in the dining room of my home and my partner is Zhou Defei (pronounced Joe Duh-fay), a brilliant chemist who personally hand mixes every batch of glass in his small, family-owned studio. We met through a former business association and have cultivated a close partnership. The amount of product that Zhou produces for CiM is a portion of his total work. He has never melted CiM full time- at our peak it was four times annually. I could not ask for a better partner, chemist, or friend. CiM has always been a small hobbyist business venture between me, Zhou, the glass blowers who hand pull every rod, and a few lovely people who wash the glass and roll it into tissue paper.

My web and market presence have contributed to making CiM look larger than reality. Due to the support of my illustrious CiM testing team, Iíve managed to create a professional presence that shows everyoneís efforts. This is a true labor of love for all of us and has shown the size of CiMís quality and value, while inadvertently masking the actual size of the team.

Why can't you just melt a couple of pots, or one color now and then, and keep going?
There is a scale involved in our production: turning on the furnace, hiring workers, organizing the raw materials, etc. Itís difficult to hire our skilled glass blowing team to work for less than a 30-day stint. It does not make sense, from the perspective of production or ocean shipping, to produce one or two pots at a time. I need to be able to melt for a minimum of 30 days straight with a daily 110 kg pot in order to make a go of it.

What's happening with CiM resellers?
My resellers have reported a shifting landscape. Some no longer choose to carry 104 [or CiM in particular] because customers arenít buying enough from them to bother to stock it. The size of many of my resellersí orders have been decreasing over the years. Many cannot afford to stock any old colors- even Ďwinnerí colors like Sangre and Wisteria- they can only afford to purchase new colors with actual sell-through. There are others that only buy a few select old colors and will not invest in new. Some aim for a balance. In all these cases, our resellers have increasingly reported that they end up parking on inventory and that increased levels of de-stashing have adversely affected their sales. They report an initial burst of sales when new colors are released, but often nothing after that until the next color release. In general, resellers are simultaneously shrinking their 104 glass inventories overall, parking on old CiM inventory that doesnít move, and stocking up on Effetre (for fear that their temporary closure may be permanent). While I of course examine this from a CiM focus, the reduction in volume appears to be an industry-wide phenomenon.

Why can't I find stock of the colors I want?
Over the years, weíve melted about 600 different colors. It would be a seven-figure investment to hold inventory of our color line and, given the rate of sales for most colors, it would take decades to sell out. I used to be able to sell all new colors we made within six months quite easily; now some new colors take us three years to sell out. It takes even longer than that to sell a single pot of an ďoldĒ color. As the market shrinks, cash flow shrinks and our ability to stock a variety of colors shrinks. To manage this situation, I do my best to stock the colors that are most in demand in the moment.

Why don't you promote more?
Like most businesses, most of the of work in running CiM is invisible. Quality controlling, selling to resellers, organizing shipments and Customs paperwork, doing taxes and administrative tasks, etc. are all largely unseen by the public. This work must continue for the business to continue. I hope that you trust that as I move to make CiM a side hustle, and my more visible role diminishes, I will be working behind the scenes. I plan to focus on making and delivering an excellent quality product and reduce the less imperative work like social media, e-newsletters, website updating, and personalized responses to customers. I will rely on our loyal community to do that work for CiM, as you always have.

Why aren't you on Facebook?
After years of focusing on the core of my business and letting CiMís high quality stand alone, I reluctantly started an Instagram presence and did more public speaking and advertising. Opening the door to social media has opened public comment and negativity to a degree that I have not experienced before, personally or professionally, and Iím embarrassed to admit that my enthusiasm for the work and business has waned accordingly. Many have suggested I create a presence on Facebook and take a more active role in communicating our challenges with beadmakers. In all honesty, I value my emotional/mental health (and my privacy) very highly and am unwilling to take this action.

Shouldn't the prices be cheaper since it comes from China?
I am frequently asked why our prices, when manufacturing in China, are not cheaper than Europe/USA. The only reason Chinese products are cheaper in many arenas is because labor is cheaper. The cost of raw materials (for glassmaking anyway) is similar worldwide. CiM is- and always has been- 100% hand pulled; the price of artisanal hand pulls can never compete with European machine pulls. Since our labor is not cheaper, our prices cannot be cheaper.

Why didn't you ship seconds to Europe?
There are many resellers in Europe who still have stock of those colors available. Try using our drop-down menus to find them (see below).
How can I use drop-down menus to find the colors I want?

Each CiM color that is actively available in the marketplace has a drop-down menu available. In the drop-down, I listed the resellers who have invested in stocking at least 60+ colors. If the reseller has that particular color in stock, the link will lead you directly to that color page. If the reseller has sold out / does not stock that particular color (or their shipment hasn't arrived yet), the link directs you to a general page for CiM at the reseller.
How do I know which colors are currently available in the marketplace?

I've updated the palettes pages to reflect which colors (including seconds) are currently or soon to be available after the USA/Canadian shipments arrive in a few weeks. Colors that are sold out have been moved to the Color Archives.
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  #52  
Old 2024-02-23, 7:33pm
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As far as I can tell there has been no new production and no further announcements
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  #53  
Old 2024-02-23, 10:24pm
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Holy crap, thanks for posting that. It reads like some kind of suicide letter, I guess that's probably it for CIM then. Ugh. Too bad the Czech Republic never got off the map, they really had some nice glass back in the day too. Damn, that was depressing... Had no idea Effetre had also closed temporarily. I kept hearing about the market slowing down, but didn't know it had gotten that bad. I can't even get a call back from the smaller batch companies out there, it's like a ghost town.
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Old 2024-02-23, 11:30pm
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Effetre shut down because the gas prices soared almost overnight to astronomical proportions. They are limping along but Murano was struggling economically for a while.

Soda lime glass has also taken a hit due to legalization. Artisan glass manufacturing has found a niche market with the marijuana industry. You will find that early 1990s glass prices are still there, but not for beads or 104 production. The manufacturers in North America which produced both 104 and boro reduced their selections to primarily boro in an effort to keep up with demand.

Bead making has dropped since the explosive prices arenít as common, so Reichenbach has reduced their 104 and 98 to rod, not cane.

AndÖ. Finally you have the air quality panic a few years ago when the state fully shut down Bullseye because they discovered there was toxicity in the air. That was an incredible hit to North American glass production. Especially around the Seattle area. Spectrum shut down because of this incident. I believe they sold and moved production to Mexico.
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Old 2024-02-24, 6:16am
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Spectrum is now Oceanside, and yes, in Mexico. I talked to OCR about cane once, and was told it is a miniscule part of their production just because the scale of how it’s used is so small. Same with Gaffer. They told me lampwork cane is basically what they made with the end of the rod pots
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Old 2024-02-24, 9:02am
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Wow. Sounds like I picked a lousy time to put a studio up... Sounds like it's only what, three companies that are still actively producing 104 now? Devardi, Effetre, and DH.
I hope it doesn't come down to just Devardi, as much crap as we've all gave them over the years it would be kinda ironic to have to buy from them exclusively.
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Old 2024-02-28, 8:57am
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Sure would, but I would have suggested Devardi as well for some of the pinks. Curious how they worked out for you.

I really really miss CIM and still spend too much on glass to stock up on that. I haven't heard anything about Effetre, Lauscha or Rbach lately. darn darn. See what happens, I guess.
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Old 2024-02-28, 9:35am
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So far I've tried four or five of them, two of them were actually pretty decent, one of the clear pinks kept trying to boil on me. That one almost seemed like it was scummy, but it looks clear as a bell so I'm guessing it's some kind of impurities? I started working it in the outer reaches of the torch at a cooler temp. and that helped a little, but the opaques were alright.
All of it seems a little shocky but once you get used to it and take your time waving it through it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Some folks like to just stick their glass straight into the torch but I was always taught to preheat soft glass anyway, Devardi definitely takes some getting used to and I know not to try to mix it with other brands, no big deal in terms of miniature marbles though. The rods are definitely hand pulled and one rod will vary from 3-4mm to 8-12mm in a single rod, which makes for some very skilled (tedious) torch work.
I will try to get some pics posted of the couple of colors that did turn out some pretty minis. I've got a couple of pounds of other colors coming in from them next week as well and I was so nervous about it, I actually bought their rod warmer too LOL. I ordered some Effetre clear 16mm rods so the warmer might not have been a bad idea anyway, I kind of underestimated how thick they were and the wife is terrified of them.
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Old 2024-02-28, 9:38am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJohn View Post
I really really miss CIM and still spend too much on glass to stock up on that. I haven't heard anything about Effetre, Lauscha or Rbach lately. darn darn. See what happens, I guess.
Paula posted on her FlameDame page that Lauscha had not melted cane since before the pandemic. On Facebook, someone in Germany stated that they had made some specialty cane for a Christmas Festival this year, but that does not sound like a return to production.

When I last talked to OCR, about a year ago, they said 1. Reichenbach would continue to produce lampwork cane in both 96 and 104, and the best way to know when it is back is stock is to sign up for restock notifications. 2. Gaffer rod would still be made, but no lampwork cane. 3. Oceanside will still limitedly make 96 cane.

I think the demand for lampwork cane overall is not very strong. US suppliers need to know they can sell a shipment. The shipments come by sea freight, and it is expensive and slow. I dunno. My expectations for future supply are low. I think it's a good time to stock up on what you can find now.

In the early days of artisan lampwork revival, 1980's-90's?, there was a limited range of color, and people made beautiful stuff. Like Michael Barley, etc. We have been spoiled!
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Old 2024-02-28, 12:01pm
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I was looking at Reichenbach and saw this color in their 104 section...
https://www.farbglas.de/upload/091750-L6209.jpg
Wow.
Is Olympic and EastBay their only distributors in the US? I'm assuming you can't order direct from the manufacturer, but looks like Olympic only sells 1/2lb bundles. If I were a wealthy fellow, that wouldn't be an issue but eight ounces at a time is intimidating not having much experience with their palette. I wish there was something like a glass rod co-op or someway to get into the distribution prices/stocks, but I guess most of us just use a few pounds here and there.
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