Back in the early ‘70s the Bullseye guys (Dan, Ray & Boyce) were pretty smug about making art glass out of recycled bottles. No doubt, it was a cool idea. Followed by a few other ideas that weren’t quite so cool. Like using recycled dogs – ok ok, just the ash, collected from the local pound – to make a “bone ash opal”.  (Who could have known that the metal tags would muck up the color?)

Ideas are one thing. Style is another. IMO Bullseye didn’t have a lot of it back then (whose idea was it to run those stupid glass worms across the pages of Glass Fusing Book One?)

Recycling + Style? Enter The Dutch. Must be in the air (or the canals?) Only the nation that gave us Droog could do THIS to Bullseye crating:


Built by Hans Vernooij for Tim Schoondergang. (A note to Bullseye’s warehouse team: please watch the penmanship when filling in those net and gross weights in the future – it needs to be worthy of someday hovering over the Hutspot.)

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So you think your energy bill is high? Imagine using over $100,000 worth of natural gas every month.

Then imagine that the cost of that gas has increased by 50% in the last year.

If concern for the environment isn’t reason enough, maybe red ink will get you thinking about ways to cut back.

One 12,000 gallon cryogenic tank + two vaporizers = 50% reduction in natural gas usage.

One 12,000 gallon cryogenic tank + two vaporizers = 50% reduction in natural gas usage per furnace.

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For Gary, Toni and Cynthia: a few more “where we came from” pictures on the way to Talking Values.


This one is Dan – SPF clueless – in 1974. He, Ray and Boyce were building the Bullseye factory, brick by recycled brick.

Most of the building materials for the furnace room came from Zidel’s, a salvage yard in Portland’s south waterfront, a junk-lover’s paradise where dismantled naval vessels gave up their innards to the inveterate artist-tinkerers whose recipe for glassblowing, commerce, and hard-partying pretty much summed up the Zeitgeist of Portland’s ‘60s-sprouted entrepreneurs.
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Recycling values. In the Beginning (1973) Bullseye glass was made of recycled bottle cullet. Thirty-five years later, a lot has changed. And a lot has not.

If you happened to grow up in America in the 1950’s as I did, you’re probably familiar with the self-congratulatory litany of virtues we were raised to believe were uniquely (US) American: inventiveness (aka “Yankee Ingenuity”), self-sufficiency, frugality, honesty, candor – all the Honest Abe stuff we truly believed contrasted us to “Old Europe” (even before a moron among us put a name to our arrogance).

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BEFORE: Ray Ahlgren & Dan Schwoerer, 1973.

After 33 years in business, Bullseye looks a lot different from the outside. But the soul is the same. So now, finally, I get around to the point of this first week of blogs: who we are, who Bullseye is.

Who we are is who we’ve always been: a slightly eccentric little factory driven by people with a lot of energy, passion about glass, some oddball ideas and a commitment to learning. In a serious, relatively professional way.
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This is circa 1975, maybe 18 months after Bullseye started. From left to right that’s Ray, David, Dan (my partner), Dave (without his magpie), Liz, Kerry and Vicky.

I got here in 1983. More about that – and me – later. For now, what matters is that this is my first blog. Where I’m going to try to tell you about Bullseye, the company. It’ll take a few episodes to get you up to date. Then we can deal with being BE – today.

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