Monthly Archives: April 2007

While barreling through Southern California this weekend, we collided with a jolly mob at Cal State Fullerton, enjoying a remarkable exhibition:

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A thread started on the popular Warm Glass Bulletin Board about experimentation, failure and success seems like a good reason to wander away for a moment from my COE rant where I’m probably leaving the impression that I think the misunderstanding of COE was the biggest goof-up ever at Bullseye.

Not likely. We mess up so much and so regularly that it’s hard to identify the real award winners here. But this is one I especially like:

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LIQUID VELOCITY 3. One of a series of works by artist Jun Kaneko in which the internal flow of one glass through another – a totally unanticipated disaster – became the central dynamic of the work itself.

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After dragging you tediously through how we test for compatibility, what the COE is, how it is tested and what it does NOT tell us, the obvious question is: So, who ever suggested that matching COEs could identify compatibility in the first place?

We did.

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GETTING OUT FROM UNDER SOME SERIOUSLY OLD INFORMATION. Written almost 25 years ago by my partner Dan and his then-partner Boyce, Glass Fusing Book One was the first – and is still the most definitive – book ever written on the subject of kilnforming. Today, even Annie is too smart not to dig out from under that old story.

Yes, this entire mess started at Bullseye. We made a mistake. We (actually, it was Dan Schwoerer and Boyce Lundstrom. I wasn’t here at the time, Your Honor) believed that matching the LEC would insure that glasses “fit” when fired together.
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READY, FIRE, AIM. Before you start kilnforming on this scale, you might want to understand what you’re doing.

I was about to unmask the fools who started the COE mess when I got a private email asking me why I was making such a fuss about compatibility standards when – by our own admission – Bullseye’s are likely tighter than they need to be.

First of all, that wasn’t quite the point of my rant, but I’ll take a momentary detour here to explain why this stuff matters…
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I’ve got a brilliant vet. She’s coming to our home to help Ed “pass over”. I wish there were a glass doctor who’d do the same thing for the sick old myth of the COE.

Fat chance. This misunderstanding about compatibility and the Coefficient of Expansion has been around for longer than many people have been fusing. They were raised on it. Sadly, it may be around forever, mucking with basic technical information in our field and making it harder for users to solve problems when they occur.

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We’ve never labeled Bullseye glass as “90 COE”. At the beginning, we labeled the sheets – and still refer to them today as – TESTED COMPATIBLE. Due to the confusion that arose when other companies entered the market and adopted the term we’d coined, we now label our sheets BULLSEYE COMPATIBLE. My two earlier blogs in this series define exactly what this term means.
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I’ve gotten a few reminders that my blog is stalled. My excuse of sorts:

Some of you know Ed. He’s the fifteen year old serial slasher and resident Grump who’s lived with us – and our visiting artists – for as long as we’ve had a formal artist program and a place to house them here at our Portland hillside home.

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Edward in his prime, 2004. The Fullback freeloader, hard-partying, tough loving, namesake of the magical Scissorhands.

Ed’s a Collector. He’s drawn blood from the elite of the glass art world. His preferred method has always been the bed-snuggle followed by the lightening-swift jaw-lock on exposed flesh, should the recipient have the audacity to roll over in his/her own bed.
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