100+ new colours on their way to a studio near you! Yes, that’s right! They’re on their way to my studio, at 127 Church Street, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia.
Why we are getting 100+ new colours?
After the complete debacle that started at a community meeting in February of 2016, when Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) air toxics specialist Sarah Armitage publicly stated “… yes, we’re confident it’s Bullseye [Glass Company]” being the source for pollutants in the Brooklyn neighborhood”, it started the dominoes falling.
The events of 2016
The Bullseye Glass Company is a major manufacturer of coloured glass for art and architecture with worldwide distribution and a strong commitment to research, education, and promoting glass art.
Bullseye was forced to radically reduce their manufacturing to refurbish and fight their lawsuit, (If you want to know more about what I’m talking about you can read more here.) The neighbors were alarmed, the media went into overdrive and as a result the legislation changed.
Renowned manufacturers Spectrum Glass, Woodinville, Washington State announced on May 12, 2016 it was closing its operations permanently, and Uroboros Glass, Portland, Oregan, announced closure on September 28, 2016 resulting in devastation to the art glass community (including Oceanside Glass & Tile who utilised their glass in many product lines).
This was the worst news for the Warm Glass family across the planet as there was almost nowhere else to purchase our basic product. Yes, there are other producers of fusing glass, but none that produced high quality product in quantities enough for us fusers. Everyone I know of, in our glass world uses either Bullseye glass, Spectrum Glass, Uroboros, Kokomo, or Youghiogheny glass.
The world of art glass appeared to be the verge of collapse, and the world as a whole would have been poorer.
Who saved the day?
So with fearless creativity and a hunger to keep art glass alive Oceanside Glass & Tile made a phone call that would change the history of art glass forever … they purchased Spectrum Glass and Uroboros Glass and their recipes and their equipment.
The story of Oceanside Glasstile is fascinating. This is from their website. “Our story begins just over 25 years ago in the year 1992. Three artists and a young entrepreneur (all who love surfing) created a game-changing trifecta – Tile, Glass and Sustainability. Forging into uncharted waters to develop handcrafted tile with recycled bottle glass, Oceanside Glasstile was born.”
The founding fathers of this business were Sean Gildea, Boyce Lundstrom, John Stokesbury and Don Petty.
Who are they – this Oceanside?
A humble backyard operation grew its roots in Oceanside. These glass makers broadened their horizons of artistic expression inspired by travel, nature and modern design. With customers who shared their vision for a renaissance of art tile, they helped pioneer a new era. The adventure was catalyzed by a boundless spirit of innovation as Oceanside made waves across the design and building industry.
Quickly outgrowing the shop on Cleveland St. in Oceanside, they expanded to a funky factory down Coast Highway in Carlsbad.
The old barrio WWII era buildings were perfect for a glass production line. With homegrown equipment and a salvaged conveyor oven (Lehr), the founders could feel the swell picking up. The housing economy, product desirability and design trends all lined up to produce a perfect storm that propelled the team from a small shop to a more sophisticated enterprise.
With a continued commitment to innovation, the company outfitted a new manufacturing facility with state of the art equipment, producing contemporay tiles and even bespoke tiles for unique designs. See the violin pool above!
Then in 2017 3 Factories Become 1 ! with a big warehouse move to a new offsite location, El Aguila in Mexico – which means “The Eagle” in Spanish.
This opened up space under the Oceanside Glass & Tile factory roof to move in Spectrum’s production, but not without additional improvements to the gas, electric, and water lines. Over the course of the next four months, trenches were dug, conduits were laid, and machinery was assembled. Take a virtual tour here to see how much the factory has changed.
Oceanside Glasstile has been an environmental steward since their inception in 1992.
All Oceanside Glass & Tile is made primarily from silica sand, an abundant natural resource, and recycled content that may include recycled bottle glass from curbside recycling programs.
In June 2017 the factory was finished and Oceanside created an enormous time line of when they would be producing the glass needed for the cold workers (mosaic artists, leadlighters, etc) as well as the fusible glass that all the warm glass people were waiting for. The two glasses aren’t the same. The two glass recipes are different. The two glasses had different requirements completely. When they had scrap of COLD GLASS they couldn’t add it to a batch of WARM GLASS for lots of different reasons.
So guess what some genius decided?
Let’s make all the glass WARM GLASS so any scrap anything coming out of their new factory can have two functions – it can be used by the WARM GLASS people and the COLD GLASS people. Happy Days! The only drawback, and there always seems to be a drawback, is that the price of warm glass rose enormously. Its not a cheap hobby! Don’t take it up if you can’t afford it!
Hence the 100+ new colours on their way!
There are loads of colours that we used to purchase that have been “retired”: here is a PDF of those colours if you are interested to know.
However, much more exciting are all the new colours that they used to make for the leadlight industry and the mosaic industry that we will now be able to put in our kilns safely and happily! Oh Frabjous Day!
I haven’t seen any of the new colours “in the flesh” yet, but I’ll share them with you when I see them. The good news is that colours and designs that have been unavailable since 2017 are now on their way back into production and hence our studios!
I’ve attached a list here of the colours which will be available eventually.
The shipping to Australia, of course, will add to the cost and time delay in them actually getting to 127 Church Street, but if you want a particular colour for a project, let me know and I can get hold of them and get them flown out, just for you, from the USA wholesaler fairly quickly. I’ll even get back in stock, my beloved 171SF (the orange/red) that I love so much for my Barcelona series which goes all over the world, and that our students love too.
Lagoon Opal Art glass will be coming back too … people love it as the base for their jewellery.
More on this as soon as I see the new glass colour combinations that the people at Oceanside Tile and Glass have created.
Thanks for reading, please let me know what colours you’d like to learn more about. Exciting times, huh?! Let your imagination loose!