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

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  #1  
Old 2024-05-03, 9:32am
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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Default Rubino Oro...light?

Am curious if this is commonly known. Effetre Rubino Oro is not a solid glass color. It actually has a clear core that appears to be layered into a cane. A glass-color making friend of mine said it actually looks like frit was picked up over 3-5 layers. See pics. Importantly, the inner layer does not strike to pink as you can see in the orb shape I made.

I just purchase 1/4 pound at $75/pound from Frantz. I mean to cast no shade at Frantz, I am sure that this is simply a reflection of the wholesale price from Effetre. To me, this is like watering down a drink and charging more for it. The per kg price of this color would be $165. Right now, Gold Pink from Reichenbach 96 is going for $80/kg and I know that this is a SOLID color bar. The 104 R-Gold Pink is $110/kg...huh? Not sure why the glass color makers view lampworkers as an opportunity to make up their profit margins.

In terms of Rubino Oro, it seems fair to state that the 104 COE buyer is getting a truly inferior product and paying more for it. If they are using a frit to make this, it is reasonable to assume that there is a solid color being made. Where is it? The only Rubino Oro in their entire catalog is this weak sauce.
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Old 2024-05-04, 8:12am
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I have some older Gold Pink Rubino from Effetre from 2004-ish, it is so saturated you can actually fume with it and it strikes from a clear to a beautiful transparent pink that is all the way through the rod. Supposedly, Rubino Oro is the same glass, but the difference is night and day and the rods seem 'pre-struck' now and nowhere near the same color. Like an idiot, I as a noob at the time, gave away like five or six rods of that original Gold Pink to family as stir rods with little pink hearts on the end (they were far too fragile for this) and I imagine they inevitably broke and got tossed. But there is no way this 'Oro' is the same recipe as the original 'Gold Pink Rubino', not even close IMO.
Gold is at an all time high now, we used to buy little 1 gram ingots for like thirty bucks, they now average around 100 bucks. I guess they just cut back on how much they put in the batches, but I sure miss that Gold Pink. I have about 2 ounces of it left in little shorts, it's in a drawer next to some of the other colors that are out of production or hyper-expensive.

CIM made a 'cranberry' for a while that was really nice, you could see metal crashing out to the surface as you worked it, I imagine it would have been fairly saturated if you can find any of that, it's an awesome color that I think is gold based?
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Old 2024-05-04, 8:42am
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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I realize there is little to do about it other than look for old stock. Thanks for the heads up on that. I'd love to get my hands on that nice rich color. The cost of gold has gone up, but I imagine, so has the cost of this color. It is so much more expensive now that Gold Ruby or Gold Pink from Reichenbach 96. The fact that they are selling it as a watered down, more expensive version is simply a reflection that 104 lampworking artists have no other choice.

I just bought 1/2 pound of Kugler 104 Gold Ruby from Hot Glass Color so we'll see how it looks. Unfortunately, the catalog says this is the end of their 104 product offerings.
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  #4  
Old 2024-05-08, 8:05am
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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As an update, I offer the following image. I made a Trident seal to test the glass for compatibility (it passed). Then I ran a full-fuse program to see if I could get any more strike to occur. Pretty conclusive that the clear core is not unstruck Gold Pink, but actually an attempt to dilute the color.

The Ruby does seem more intense in this sample and I attribute this to the fuse which compressed the color and may have helped fully strike it.

As an aside, Kugler 104 is being discontinued and Hot Glass Color (a major retailer) is completely out of the Gold Ruby in 104.
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Old 2024-05-09, 11:07am
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Yes. This is a known fact. It’s not recent either. As far back nearly twenty years ago:

http://dragonjools.blogspot.com/2008...o-oro.html?m=1

Rubino is one of those that changes from pull to pull, like many of Effetre colors. You get subtle differences. Some dark ivory curdles more. Some opal yellow is milk pale. Chemistry happens. *shrug*

Another more recent comparison.
http://dragonjools.blogspot.com/2018...is-vs.html?m=1

Last edited by SGA; 2024-05-09 at 11:11am.
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  #6  
Old 2024-05-09, 11:21am
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGA View Post
Yes. This is a known fact. It’s not recent either. As far back nearly twenty years ago:

http://dragonjools.blogspot.com/2008...o-oro.html?m=1

Rubino is one of those that changes from pull to pull, like many of Effetre colors. You get subtle differences. Some dark ivory curdles more. Some opal yellow is milk pale. Chemistry happens. *shrug*

Another more recent comparison.
http://dragonjools.blogspot.com/2018...is-vs.html?m=1
Here's the difference. Color dilution is not a chemistry issue, nor is it subtle. It is a deliberate attempt to "stretch" profits. If you looked at a cross section of earlier cane, I'll bet it was solid color rather than having a clear core.

I'll pay the price increases for Gold Pink knowing it's expensive and difficult to make. But I'm not happy when they increase the price AND give me less color. I've got plenty of clear already...thanks Effetre.

That second blog post you added is documenting what has happened. Effetre once made a "veiled" Rubino Oro with a clear core and started slapping on the stickers for normal Rubino Oro. One can hope that they made an error.

Mike at Frantz is on the case and I hope he and his staff can help figure this out.

Last edited by danieljanse; 2024-05-09 at 11:27am.
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Old 2024-05-09, 11:28am
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Is it manipulative, purposeful color dilution or a clear pull of rubino, which is known to happen? That’s speculation.

However: Effetre took a huge hit in 2020 and they are recovering. The alternative meant financial death to an island of dependents while juggling a general drop in global sales. I am careful not to smack their business practices owing to the price of gas and rising costs of gold.
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Old 2024-05-09, 11:44am
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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Absolutely could be an error but that is NOT a clear pull of rubino. The clear center which remains after torching, fusing and 2 cycles of annealing ain't gonna strike.

I simply do not want to pay for one thing and get the watered down version instead.
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Old 2024-05-09, 12:09pm
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Hereís a snip from the end of one of my rubino rods, purchased in 2008
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Old 2024-05-09, 12:16pm
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Reichenbach 104 gold pink slice from 2014
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Old 2024-05-09, 1:03pm
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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Wow! That is very interesting. Thank you so much.

Do you think that was the veiled version of rubino from 2008 or was this the only version available as it is today?

Wondering if something happened between 2004 and 2008 that continues to the present. Reichenbach seems to just be following the lead of Effetre, unfortunately.

Reichenbach 96 Gold Ruby for glassblowing is $66/kg and I promise you it has no clear center in the 1 kg rod form. It may well in the 96 COE lampworking cane form though...which sells for $71/kg.

The Reichenbach 104 Gold Ruby is $106...does anyone see a pattern emerging?

Last edited by danieljanse; 2024-05-09 at 1:11pm.
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Old 2024-05-09, 1:11pm
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I have rods from a friend that were purchased earlier than 2008, and they are the same. I have about 4 lbs of various batches of rubino, all purchased before 2008. All rods have a clear core. I have some Vetrofond that is the same. I kind of doubt Reichenbach give an isht about what Effetre is doing. I have some 96 Gaffer Gold Pink Extra in my receipts, but I can't find them in my shelf. If I do, and the rods are bigger than stringer (because thanks Gaffer, I can pull my own stringer) I will show a slice.
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Old 2024-05-09, 1:23pm
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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I disagree about Reichenbach not caring about Effetre. They only recently started selling 104 glass and it was only because they saw the Effetre market size and possibly an opportunity when, to quote SGA:

"Effetre took a huge hit in 2020 and they are recovering. The alternative meant financial death to an island of dependents while juggling a general drop in global sales."

That and the loss of Ventrifond...CIM is hurting too. Is Laucha still made?

Kugler did the same but don't seem to have been able to break into the market.


BTW...if an argument is being made that the Gold Pink just isn't thoroughly struck consider the process. Each successive layer is added after allowing the core to cool. Striking occurs when glass is heated and then cooled. The LEAST likely layer to remain clear is the center which is cooled and heated more than any of the outer layers.

Last edited by danieljanse; 2024-05-09 at 1:30pm.
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  #14  
Old 2024-05-09, 1:56pm
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I am not making any arguments about anything. Just showing what I have and stating what I know about my stash.

My first purchase of Reichenbach 104 and 96 lampwork cane was in 2009. Pretty sure I started lampwork in 2007. I don't know what was available from Gaffer or Reichenbach before then. When I spoke to Gaffer about the consistency, or lack thereof, in their lampwork cane, they said cane was just an afterthought, and they slapped it out at the end of their runs, and basically had no intention of making nice cane for lampworkers, take it or leave it. I love a lot of the colors, so I kept buying it anyway. Most bundles were a mix of 1mm to 10 mm canes.

Lauscha makes cane on an occasional basis now, per the supplier I have used in the US. There seems to be a bit of a dispute about that though, with some German beadmakers stating that there is still plenty of Lauscha cane.

Kugler could not break into the lampwork market because their glass was often not compatible, and they declared it was not their problem, all product should be tested for compatibility before using. I think they did not understand the 104 market very well.
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Old 2024-05-09, 2:33pm
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Lauscha and Effetre have both resumed production, CIM is not. Very sad to lose them!
My rubino @2008 onwards has always had a clear core. Some runs were better than others, as far as striking. There was one darker batch that always ended up with the dreaded black specks, no matter how careful I was. When Double Helix started melting gorgeous 104 pinks, I switched to them happily and never looked back.

Rubino oro is lighter now, we know. And it could be a marketing issue as well, I see you've spoken to Frantz so it will be interesting to know what he was told, or what he shares with you about that.

Many of the glass colors changed when new regulations came into play, EDP is among them and widely mourned, although the batch he is selling now is ok too. But that is the last of it.

So I like to think of glass as a living and changing landscape and we should just stay aware and perhaps stock up a little to get us through the next change, whatever it may be.

But at least some furnaces are firing up again! and lots of new folks starting, or older ones returning too, which is always good to see.

And yes, it's expensive. Lampworking is a smaller market and we buy in smaller quanities even if we are full time. Shop around and decide if there is enough value for you. And check out DH glass if you want some good pinks. Howaco sells them by the rod I believe, and DH might have some samplers too. The price is comparable to Rubino but the results are extremely reliable!
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  #16  
Old 2024-05-09, 2:47pm
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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Thanks for your response and advice. I am happy to be blowing the 104 and glad I make most of my own color. I had a request for some pink Hummingbird feeders and was less than thrilled with the pinks available and the prices. When I saw the clear core on the Rubino Oro it was just too much.

Lampworkers do use less but is that a reason to pay a premium? Just my 2 cents.

DH pink isn't really comparable...it's almost twice the cost of Effetre (and no import fees, imagine that). BUT...you do at least get a full cane of color, I suppose. LOL
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Old 2024-05-09, 4:13pm
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CIM is soon going to melt some old colors Kristin. Zhou is doing it without Kathy, and will be deciding what to make.
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Old 2024-05-09, 8:12pm
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I'm just reading and learning but are you saying you saw DH at $150 per 1/4 pound? (you said you had paid almost $75 for 1/4 pound for some Effetre).

On their website Eros and Flora are each $31.50 per 1/4 pound; were you on an auction destash site when you say that price? I have seen people get carried away on those auction sites. (but maybe it was a typo, I know they are easy to make!)
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Old 2024-05-10, 12:26am
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Double helix has Eros 1/2 lb for $47.25 right now in the bargains section. I think this is the color closest to Rubino. It strikes very easy and consistently.
https://doublehelixglassworks.com/product/eros-seconds/
I always buy seconds if i can, I never have a problem with the quality.

Lotis is $31.50 for 1/4 lb. A DREAMY softer gold pink. I use it for watermelon beads.

They won't be melting Rhea again until next year. That is more of a gold Ruby and might be similar to the old dark rubino as well, I think.

Well worth checking out if Rubino frustrates you.


And what I meant, of course I dont think things should be more expensive for us but we don't have the buying power of studios. We are mostly independent and make smaller pieces. So dealers will sit on inventory longer before it turns over. Plus typically we want smaller rods which takes more time, or different machinery or something. So I imagine their prices are in line with that.

If that is true about Zhou, I really hope the prices are not stupid expensive. Was there an announcement somewhere? I wonder if there are still tariffs. Fingers crossed, they did amazing work. I was really bummed.
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Old 2024-05-10, 6:13am
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Quote:
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If that is true about Zhou, I really hope the prices are not stupid expensive. Was there an announcement somewhere? I wonder if there are still tariffs. Fingers crossed, they did amazing work. I was really bummed.
Facebook. Canít remember who, it was someone that had been communicating with Kathy. And I expect it to be expensive. I doubt I will get any but I am happy that it will be there for people. And I hope Ed Hoy is not the main distributor this time because their prices are at least 50% or more over Frantz and Howaco. Tariffs are still in place.
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Old 2024-05-10, 7:14am
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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First, a little math.

Effetre through Frantz is sold by the pound: ~$75/lb

DH is sold by the 1/4 pound which comes to ~$35*4= $140/lb

Selling by the 1/4 lb was a smart idea as it has provided a first glace at pricing that makes Effetre sound more expensive than DH. That seems to have worked on a couple folks who posted here. LOL

I'm just glad Frantz and the other suppliers have come around to allowing smaller increments of color to be purchased.

I think DH does what a smaller operation has to do to survive. I won't ever buy from them due to the scale at which they operate. I need more color for glassblowing but they make smaller quantities and charge more for it.
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Old 2024-05-10, 7:29am
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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Kjohn I think it is easy to talk yourself into the idea that lampworkers should pay more for their color. But the fact is pulling small cane is easy and less cost intensive that large diameter glassblowing rod. Still, cane costs more than rod.

In little 1lb bundles, I would also argue that it is an easier item to stock.

Has everyone seen glassblowing color rod? It is 40mm diameter, hand drawn from the furnace (except for Oceanside, but they don't really count, LOL). Bubbles are kept to an absolute minimum and it MUST be annealed. Annealing=more energy. Cane isn't annealed other than just stretching it out.

I know because I looked at my 104 cane under the polarimeter and the stuff is unannealed and STRESSED. If you are getting a lot of cracking from a particular color it would be wise to reanneal your cane before using it.
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Old 2024-05-10, 7:39am
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I've never met Kathy but we have chatted a bit. I even sent a color recipe to Zhou through her. It was mostly to raise his spirits after she revealed that he is going through an illness with his Mom which hit home for me. Sometimes work is the best distraction.

I recently bought my first CiM cane and each one was individually wrapped. I hope they can weather the storm and come back strong.
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Old 2024-05-10, 8:54am
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Lots of beadmakers anneal some of the more notoriously shocky rods before using them. I just preheat them, go slow, and sit back lol. I have a couple of colors that just break off in little half inch chunks as I try to use them.

I really don’t feel like anyone owes me a price. I either want it at the price offered or I don’t. I have pulled stringer from furnace rods and cullet (no hot shop, just my torch) and frankly would rather just buy cane. But this is a hobby for me. No cost of goods or profitability to consider.
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Old 2024-05-10, 9:21am
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I think there is probably a good percentage of lampworkers who feel the same way. Afterall, we are talking about an addiction here really...glass may start off on a nice tidy little budget but soon blossoms into $2000 torches, oxygen concentrators, an assortment of tools and, of course, those yummy colors.

If there are levels of addiction than glassblowers are even worse. It's expensive, humbling and frankly hurts.

Everybody is making great points! Let's just remember the root message of this post. Rubino Oro from Effetre and Reichenbach is a clear-veiled color and neither are labeled as such. Sorry, but that ain't right.

Actually "veiled" always meant transparent color over a white core to me. Transparent over clear is just weird, again, to me. LOL
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Old 2024-05-10, 11:39am
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Ed Hoy is indeed horribly expensive. But he would be selling to the other US suppliers so it depends on them too. I will be checking there.

And Daniel, thanks so much but I don't feel fooled by DH prices. It's expensive, I agree. And that is why I buy seconds, which are frequently available. So the Eros seconds are currently closer in price as Rubino but much better in quality. You get what you pay for. It's definitely worth it to have dependable results. I don't know by what principle you would refuse to buy from them?

And no I'm not saying we SHOULD have high prices, I was explaining WHY we likely do and will continue to have. I'm sure there are other reasons I haven't thought of but oh well. We will all continue to look for bargains, and fingers crossed that the new glass is affordable.

You are wrong about Frantz not selling 1/4lb bundles until recently. That is nothing new. I usually buy that way and have been doing so, from Frantz, for 16 years. A few suppliers even go further and sell by the oz. There is one that sells by single rod as well, so we could sample before purchase. I think the suppliers do a good job to try to take care of us, and they do need to make a profit. But I don't think they are here to rip us off.

Anyway, you did what you needed to do and talked to Frantz about your dissatisfaction. What did he say? You should return the glass if he will take it, or sell it if you don't want to use it. And get some good stuff. It's a little more expensive, sure. But it will NEVER let you down. You'll wonder why you waited.
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Old 2024-05-10, 2:18pm
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Thanks KJohn. We can agree to disagree. I'd rather never use Gold Pink again than spend DH prices for it.

Why should you pay extra for a glass to work consistently? Why would anyone sell something that wasn't working and why would anyone buy it? Color makers are all only as good as their reputation.

I chatted via email a couple times with DH's Jed about making 104 color. I asked something about his polarimeter measurements and he just stopped responding. There aren't that many people making color and even less delving into the mysteries of chalcedony/striking colors. Some people like to share, some don't. Still, if they sold gold ruby/pink at $75/kg I'd be interested. $300/kg...no freaking way.

My experience was all Olympic Color Rods, Hot Glass Color and Gaffer (RIP) before a couple months ago. They never had 1/4 lb pricing until very recently. Could coincide with the time they started selling over-priced color to lampworkers.
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Old 2024-05-10, 2:41pm
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Generally speaking, I can’t think of anything that costs less, the smaller it is.

A 16oz Coke by volume costs more than a three liter bottle.

While it makes sense for the island to use 104 in their furnaces, since there is not the burden of transportation, it’s difficult to offer 96 furnace prices to a single 104 glassblower in the states.

Does it suck? Yeah. Is it expensive? Yes, most definitely. But I don’t see this as the fault of suppliers or manufacturers.


Regarding the clear core: again. It’s always been that way and while it isn’t specifically noted in the description does not mean they are underhandedly hiding the fact.
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Old 2024-05-10, 3:02pm
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Well I haven't seen Olympic charging 1/4 lb prices. They have always, for many years, charged for 1/4 kg bundle, which is about half a lb. Are you remembering to convert from Kilos to lbs? It doesn't sound like it.

The three Rbach gold pinks av $12-13 per quarter lb, less expensive than the Rubino on Frantz for $18.75. And about half the price of the sale priced Double helix.

But again, you get what you pay for. They are absolutely easier to work with than Rubino, but they can still be finicky to strike and work with, depending on your application.

Pink is a premium color and can have a lot of problems with compatibility, shockiness and inconsistent color, as you have found. Double Helix has perfected this, you will never find better. And many of us are willing to support them and have the quality. You certainly don't have to purchase from them. But in that case, you need to accept there are limits to what is commercially available and be willing to fiddle with the other brands for the results that you want. (Same issue with clear. Some companies just do it better with more expensive processes or materials and charge a premium. If you are making marbles or paperweights where it REALLY matters, then you might want that instead).

In the end, you are welcome to feel that we pay a lot for our glass. We complain all the time. Since you are now melting 104, you are "us" and right in there complaining too. LOL

But I will say no one ACCEPTS it. It is what it is. The prices of raw materials used in all glass, plus tarriffs and shut downs, and very high transport costs, have created a mess for producers and suppliers. I feel overall that they are doing their best. Jed from Double Helix told us all last year that he needed to raise prices a little bit which he hadn't done in years, and gave us time to stock up if we wanted to. And it wasn't a drastic hike, either. $2-5 or something like that.

I have NO IDEA what the new glass from Zhou (ex-CIM) will cost us and I will probably want to throw up. But i am hopeful.

GLASS prices are the least of our expenses as small businesses, if you are going that route. Many of us spend $600-$800 a year or less on glass unless we are stocking up, trying lots of new things and getting speciality glass as well.

The real money is in the equipment including big ticket items right out of the gate like kilns, concentrators, ventilation systems, lighting, insulation, electrical wiring for dedicated outlets and torches, and then there are presses (oh my goodness there are presses ) and dichroic and mica, and lots and lots of frit. Utility costs. Marketing costs. Time spent cleaning, sorting, photographing, listing, selling, invoicing, and shipping. Rinse and repeat.

Once you have built up a small stash, you will realize you don't go through it as fast as you did with bigger pieces. I did 80 encased beads recently using 2 rods of red for the base. I'll say that again. 80 beads. Lots of clear of course but still. It surprised me too, even though I know. So maybe this will help you reconsider your annoyance over the prices when you find it lasts you longer?
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Last edited by KJohn; 2024-05-10 at 3:10pm.
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Old 2024-05-11, 10:46am
danieljanse danieljanse is offline
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Just for clarity, if I said 1/4 "pound" was offered by OCR, that was definitely incorrect. But I believe all I said was that they are offering smaller increments which they had not done before, at least not formally, as on a drop down menu.

I am in your boat! No doubt...feel free to talk me down. I realize I can do nothing about it but express my "shock and awe". Perhaps some of the folks will see the way this scales and make a decision early on to use 96 COE glass.

You are a nice group of people and business savvy. I've always enjoyed meeting beadmakers and browsing their work. I can't believe how adept you all are at layering/combining color.

I am getting the impression that I simply use too much color for this conversation to be relatable. I hope I didn't tick anyone off. Back to the studio...
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