As many of you have heard already, Spectrum Glass Company announced a few weeks ago that they will be going out of business. This was a shock to everyone in the industry, and we will be sorry for the loss of their presence in the stained glass and fusing glass industry.
In addition, we are sure you have also heard or read about the EPA’s involvement in trying to determine the presence of toxic chemicals leaching into water, air and ground soil near the locations of Bullseye Glass Co. and Uroboros Glass Co., both located in Portland, OR. Bullseye has been issued a temporary cease and desist order by the Governor of Oregon who seems to be responding to concerned citizen demands for some visible action. To date, however, no one has been able to determine that Bullseye or Uroboros are the culprits in this issue and both companies have worked fast to add filters and begin making some changes to glass production that would allow them to meet the new standards that the EPA is working to impose. The issue for us is not should these standards be imposed – for of course, we all want the people who live, work and go to school near these industries to be safe, but how fast the EPA is demanding these small batch glass manufacturing companies who are privately owned, be asked to make these improvements. Many larger industries have, in the past been given years to become compliant with these standards. The financial burden it puts on a small company is enough that it could potentially force a company out of business. This was one of the issues that Spectrum pointed to in its decision to cease production, however there were many others as well.
Both Bullseye and Uroboros have indicated to us that they plan to be fully compliant with the EPA’s requirements by the end of the summer. Uroboros has also informed its retailers and distributors that they plan to continue making their System 96 glass and will be taking on the production of many of Spectrum’s System 96 glass colors although the glass is going to look a little different in terms of texture. Because Spectrum did not inform the distributors or Uroboros of their decision prior to making it public knowledge, they were all caught with normal production and supply levels. Because people panicked in light of the announcement, there was a run on the glass by people buying as much as they could, so our wholesaler is currently out of stock on most System 96 glass. In addition, because the Governor of Oregon has issued the cease and desist letter to Bullseye, we will be in short supply of their glass through the end of the summer as well.
FOR OUR FUSING CUSTOMERS AND STUDENTS, THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!!
When Spectrum made their announcement they also said they would be producing glass for the next 60 days and any glass we are able to get we will try to get for customers, however we will not be bulk buying this glass. If you need something, call or stop by and we will see
if its in stock or if we can get some. Wissmach and Uroboros are two companies that produce a 96 COE glass as well as regular stained glass. We have already added both to our stock and we are confident of their ability to carry us through the summer until Uroboros can get the Spectrum glass up and running. You can help us by pre-ordering anything you think you are going to need over the summer.
Wissmach and Uroboros also make 90 COE glass so we will continue carrying them as well. Again, pre-orders are helpful.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OUR STAINED GLASS STUDENTS AND CUSTOMERS?
It means you will need to consider using some of the the other beautiful stained glass manufactured by other companies. We carry glass from Kokomo Opalescent Glass Co., Wissmach Glass Co., Armstrong Glass, Uroboros, Bullseye, Youghigeny, Pilkington, Oceana, Fremont, St. Just, Chroma, VanGogh, Duncan, and St. Gobain. While it is a loss to our industry to have Spectrum close its doors, they are relative new comers to the stained glass industry and there are many other companies to choose from to allow you to make beautiful windows, doors, transoms, boxes, and lamps.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
We think it is important to let our political representatives know that Glass Art is an important medium in the art world, and as such should be regulated in such a way as to allow those who do the art to have access to the glass and other things needed to make their art, and at the same time to be good neighbors and protect the environment as much as possible without destroying the industry. There are ways to do this, but as with all things, it costs money. At Suevel Studios, we will be letting our representatives know that we agree with the efforts to keep the industry clean, but we feel they also need to avoid putting undue burdens on small batch, family owned companies, and instead give them a reasonable amount of time to apply the necessary changes, just as has been done in the past for multi-billion dollar corporations. If you feel so inclined, adding your voice to the message can only help!