Q What type of glass do you use?
A The glass we use is a 96 COE soda lime formula developed by Philips Lighting in the Netherlands especially for the studio glass industry. Soda lime glass is one of three main families of glass which include soda lead and borosilicate. The glass comes to us in pelletized form and is charged by hand into the 450 pound electric furnace twice each week.
Q How hot does the glass get during the process?
A We charge (add more batch) to the furnace at 2280 F. When full we increase the temperature for fining to 2380 F for 8 hours, and then slowly lower to 2000 F. Our normal working temperature is 2100 F.
Q How do you color the glass?
A We melt only crystal glass in our furnace. We add various colors made at several glass operations around the USA. We use Bullseye, Spectrum, Youghiogheny, Fenton and Kokomo glass frit, sheet glass and ladled cullet. Take a look at the video to see how a paperweight is made. Glass is colored by the addition of a variety of chemicals such as cobalt oxide, selenium, copper, cadmium, nickel and even gold.
Q How do you come up with new products?
A We are always looking for new items to create. Sometimes an “accident” may lead to a new item. Many times we respond to requests and experiment with creating objects that no one else has made. The past also has a wealth of wonderful art glass objects to which we add our personal touch.
Q What is final step in the process of creating your artwork?
A The glass is allowed to slowly cool to around 1000 F. A sharp tap will release the weight from the pontil. The bottom is torched and the signature is applied. Each object is then carefully placed in an annealing oven to soak at 950 F. At the end of the shift, we set the program to cool at 50 degrees per hour to remove any internal stress that might cause breakage.
Q Do you ever get burned?
A When you work with molten glass at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, there are many opportunities to get burned if you are not careful. However, although burns do occasionally occur, they rarely result in serious injury and rarely come from the glass itself. Most burns occur from steam when shaping the glass with newspaper and wooden blocking tools that are saturated with water, touching tools that have been in contact with the glass, or touching the pontil too close to the glass.
Q Do you do commission work or custom designs?
A Most of our business is special order. The beauty of creating art glass objects by hand is that no two are ever identical. We will respond to special requests if we can create the glass in our daily routine. Many companies, not-for- profit groups, schools and individuals ask us to do limited editions just for their needs. We are happy to oblige them and have developed many wonderful relationships over the years.
Q How long will it take to receive my order?
A If the order is placed before noon, and is in stock we will ship same day with credit card approval. Our normal production lead time varies on the time of year. Most orders will ship complete within two weeks.
Q How do I buy through House of Glass?
A Feel free to call us for personalized attention. We welcome new clients and look forward to serving your art glass needs. Returning customers may fax or email their requests and we will acknowledge their order as soon as possible.
Q What type of payments do you accept?
A Cash, Visa, Master Card and Debit Card are the main payments types, however we do accept money orders and checks. Please keep in mind we wait for the money order to arrive before we ship your item. For checks, we wait for it to clear before shipping your item; this could take up to 10 days. Prepayment is required except for established customers.
Q What is the difference between House of Glass and an architectural glass studio?
A The House of Glass employs old world off hand glass techniques working from a pontil and shaping each item with care and precision. Everything is created entirely by hand with a personal touch. While our techniques are not known as “architectural” we have incorporated leaded glass creations into our line of work in the lamp shades for our collectors lamps.
Q I didn’t see exactly what I wanted... is there anything else?
A Even though we have many images on our website of our artist’s work, there are many more that we have to photograph due to the immense time required. It is virtually impossible to represent everything our artists can do. We invite you to stop in our showroom to discover all the choices available.
Q What if I’m not happy with the work?
A One of the greatest rewards of an artist is the appreciation of the work. If someone is not satisfied we will do everything possible to correct the order. We will accept undamaged returns with a valid receipt. The cost of returns will be the responsibility of the individual returning the product. Anything damaged in shipment requires a claim to be filed with UPS or the U S Postal Service. Please notify us as soon as possible so we can begin work to replace your order.