Monthly Archives: May 2007

I’ve been making myself cranky with my endless COE rant. It’s times like these when a trip out to visit Ray Ahlgren helps to clear my head – and reminds me what world class obsessiveness really looks like.

You may remember Ray from my first blog entry. He’s the one on the far left in the photo of The Crew at the start of Bullseye. He’s also on the left in the Inner Hippy episode.

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Former college buddies, long-ago studio partners, now two of Portland’s resident Old Glass Farts, Ray and Dan can still talk kilnforming to death – this Saturday morning the subject was a cast Tlingit shield form Ray had cast for Seattle artist Preston Singletary.

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When visited in our last blog episode, Ed the Cat was sitting prettily – a word he would surely have detested – in his Chintz-y metal box on our kitchen windowsill. Dan still hasn’t managed to come up with a bone ash opal formula that’s worthy of Ed’s six ounces of dust.

What’s the hold up? It’s a color formulation problem. Ed just can’t become anything other than a red, yellow or orange glass – colors that are typically made with cadium/selenium oxides. Those of you who know a little glass chemistry will recognize them as the most ornery, irascible and unpredictable colors in any glassmaker’s palette.

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Dignified? What’s dignified about sitting around in a tin can waiting for a glass chemist to get his act together?!
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It’s a weird business climate today. On the one hand, anything you write from inside a for-profit business is going to be met with skepticism. On the other hand, a lot of people still buy into commercial messages without question.

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When will she quit??!?? Soon. Soon. Meanwhile, here’s a laboratory test glass with a measured COE of 89 (sorry, the 90 COE lab glass that we’d tested previously has been discontinued). According to popular understanding this glass should be within the range of expansion mismatch for a COE 90 glass (plus or minus 1 COE point). Not.

I’ve been ranting for weeks now about the misunderstanding of the Coefficient of Expansion within the studio glass community. Steve from Glasgow made the brilliant if obvious point in a comment to my April 11 posting that we’ll never get rid of this use of the COE as a shorthand equation for compatibility until it’s replaced with something else.
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