|Cut cylinders on a conveyor belt on their way to being flattened into sheets.|
I’ve been away for a while now, I hope you didn’t miss me too much. I’ve been in Frauenau, Bavaria, taking an Engraving workshop with Wilhelm Vernim, which was awesome. More about that after I’ve unpacked and taken pictures of the results, though.
While I was there, I got to spend a day on a road trip to Lamberts Glass, where they make hand-blown sheet glass, mostly for stained and architectural glass.
Lamberts has an extremely diverse palette of colours that they keep in stock, as well as recipes for many colours that they can make but don’t regularly. It was very interesting to see the sample rooms, especially the colour mixing workshop, where they keep records and samples of every melt they have ever done. We were told that they worry constantly about not being allowed to make some of the colours that they have made in the past due to changing EU regulations on things like the cadmium and selenium sulfide that they use to create some of the colours. The use of the ingredients they need is not being outlawed, but regulations require permits, which are expensive and time-consuming to obtain for each element, and the permit only covers its legal use in one very particular way. A new permit must be obtained for each separate use. This makes it very difficult for a small company with an extremely diverse product range to afford the costs associated with the system of regulation as it stands, so Lamberts is making what they can, when they can, and limiting their colour range when they have to. It seems like this system of regulation was strongly influenced by major producers in order choke out smaller competitors.
Alas, they don’t formulate their glass to be compatible colour-to-colour, or to be predictable after added heat work, so I’m told it’s not very good for kilnwork other than simple slumping, and it is quite expensive. While I’ll probably stick to Bullseye for most things, I did have the chance to engrave some of the Lambert glass while I was at Frauenau, and it was really really wonderful. The flashed colour is just thick enough on some sheets (often it’s way too thin for my purposes, as it’s most made for acid etching) to make modeling figures a joy, and since I’m used to engraving through thick layers of colour that I make myself in my kiln, the work was much more spontaneous and faster. By the way, if you want to use their glass, and you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for in their catalogue, give them a call, they probably have a sheet or two of whatever you want somewhere in that warehouse.
There are more pictures below the cut.