SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN - WarmGlass.com

SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

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Rick Wilton
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SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Rick Wilton » Wed May 11, 2016 9:38 pm

Rick Wilton

Rick Wilton
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Rick Wilton » Wed May 11, 2016 9:46 pm

To Our Retailers and Professional Studios;

It is with heavy hearts and great remorse that we must inform you that we will begin the process of closing Spectrum Glass Company. This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision, and its ramifications were not taken lightly. We are keenly aware of the impact this decision will have on all of our employees, and customers worldwide. While there are many factors that have led to this decision, the hard economic realities that finally pushed us to this point are outlined below.

Our proprietary manufacturing process and furnaces were built to handle the demand that existed at the height of the art glass industry movement, which for many of our good years equated to sales of well over a million square feet of glass per month. Beginning with the rise of Chinese art glass production, followed by the Great Recession and the accompanying crash of the housing market in 2007-2008, we have watched those numbers dwindle dramatically to only 40% of production capacity. We have restructured several times, making necessary adjustments to reflect our diminished sales, but we cannot cut our workforce anymore and still operate in an efficient and sustainable manner. With the U.S. and worldwide economies continuing to struggle, and no significant signs of stabilization or growth in the foreseeable future, the business model for continuing to produce such a specialized, niche product simply no longer works for a facility of our size. While sales have declined, overhead expenses have continued to increase. Whereas our size was once a strength, it is now our greatest weakness.

Additionally, the entire U.S. art glass industry is now being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with respect to potential new regulations. Long-standing interpretations of air quality regulations are being reevaluated, and if new regulations were applied to our facility, it would require substantial capital expenses. Spectrum Glass Company has operated well within existing environmental guidelines and has been the only stained glass manufacturer to employ baghouse technology on furnace exhaust. Still, we have already accrued extraordinary, unanticipated expenses since the start of the EPA evaluation and cannot withstand additional investments of an unknown scale for an already faltering business. Due to all these factors, it's no longer financially feasible for Spectrum Glass to continue to operate.

Our plan is to produce glass for another 60-75 days. We will begin looking for other manufacturers to whom we can transition our product lines. We will simultaneously begin the process of selling the remainder of our existing inventory. Our sales staff will work with our distributors to make the process flow as smoothly as possible.

We wish to sincerely thank each of you for your years of support for Spectrum Glass products, and deeply apologize for any hardship this change brings about for you, and your customers.

Craig Barker
CEO, Spectrum Glass Company, Inc

Kyle Barker
President, Spectrum Glass Company, Inc.
Rick Wilton

Tom Fuhrman
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Tom Fuhrman » Wed May 11, 2016 10:00 pm

I warned of this demise of the glass suppliers several years ago, I hope that the artists can endure until other companies can step up and fill the voids left by the problems affecting our art glass community.

Rick Wilton
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Rick Wilton » Wed May 11, 2016 10:03 pm

I'd have thought that Spectrum would be survivor not the first to fall. Shows what I know
Rick Wilton

WackyPup
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby WackyPup » Wed May 11, 2016 10:55 pm

Wow! I am so sorry to hear this! Not surprised, another EPA success story, but really sad. I have used spectrum glass for 30 years. It is consistently the easiest to cut and the most forgiving to fuse as well as being beautiful. Thank you for all the wonderful things I've had the pleasure of creating with it, and I'm very sorry to see you go.
Liz

Tony Smith
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Tony Smith » Thu May 12, 2016 5:33 am

A sad day.
The tightrope between being strange and being creative is too narrow to walk without occasionally landing on both sides..." Scott Berkun

Marian
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Marian » Thu May 12, 2016 5:46 am

I am shocked, now what? That's a big loss for art glass world wide.

Barry Kaiser
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Barry Kaiser » Thu May 12, 2016 10:25 am

the industry will survive this event .
The real question is, will the nationwide glass industry survive. In my (uninformed) opinion, Uroboros could well be on the chopping block (I hope not). Once the EPA gets involved, it becomes a witch hunt. Even if there are no proven problems, the expense and effort that companies are forced to undergo are still huge. This is regulation by financial Armageddon.

Glass sales have been poor since the beginning of the great recession. For this EPA thrust to come at this time puts all glass manufacturers in a quandary. Plug in more $$$ to appease the EPA, or give up the ghost.

and related to this, a pet peeve of mine has been the support the industry has (not) given the Glass Expo in Las Vegas. That is the only nationwide show to showcase glass fusing (and stained glass). Many companies have pulled out sighting the poor sales due to the recession. this could well be shortsighted. The industry needs a show like this to focus attention on glass fusing (and stained glass). It is needed to entice newbies to take up the craft. This show is needed for the future health of the industry. It may well be on the chopping block.

Back to the Spectrum issue. Do any of you really expect anyone to voluntarily buy Spectrum's production and face the wrath of the EPA?

Like everything else, I see China picking up the slack. No environmental issues to worry about. I am sure that right now there is some entrepreneur in Bejing calculating the size of the international glass market. They already have one manufacturer who puts out a rather poor fusing glass. This may give them the incentive to upgrade.
Shipping container loads of glass to the US is fairly cheap. If they come up with decent (that is a key word) fusing glass, can you not see the rest of the glass industry under further pressure.

WackyPup
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby WackyPup » Thu May 12, 2016 8:23 pm

The most irritating, and totally frustrating thing about this is that all this regulation is accomplishing is closing down plants that are not big polluters and sending the manufacture overseas to countries whether there is no environmental concern, very little quality control and putting massive pollution into our planet. Do the politically correct do gooders not realize that not only are they shutting down our manufacturing capabilities and putting our people out of work, but contributing to the destruction of our planet???? So not only does the planet suffer, but the quality of product suffers. It seems that the powers that be in epa should take into consideration what will replace the industries they are so vigorously killing.

One more note, I would not use any China glass for dishes. They already put poison (melamine, etc) into food there is no telling what they would fuse into glass to make the color prettier.

Liz

Terry Gallentine
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Terry Gallentine » Fri May 13, 2016 11:10 am

It is easy to use the EPA as a scapegoat. According to Spectrum's statement, it appears that the closing was necessitated more by financial problems associated with the recession and perhaps just glass buying in general. Whatever the reason, I think we need to put our heads together and try to figure out what to do because of this huge hole in our glass supply. I need to find out other sources for 96 COE glass. I have been using System 96 for more than ten years and have developed most of my techniques based on using it. I use sheets, frits and studio nuggets for my work. Spectrum talks about finding other manufacturers to take over their lines and I have written them to find out specifics. The thing is that a 60 to 75 day notice of closure is just too short a time to deal with a lack of supply. With the upcoming temporary shut down of Bullseye, we really need to figure out alternatives.

Brad Walker
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Brad Walker » Fri May 13, 2016 1:04 pm

Uroboros has announced that they intend to take over the System 96 line. I suspect it will be different, but it will be 96.

And you're right, I would agree that Spectrum's issues were more related to too much capacity than anything else. It's the shrinking of the stained glass industry as much as anything else.

I

Jerrwel
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Jerrwel » Fri May 13, 2016 1:34 pm

I am totally offended by those coming on this board to make this a political issue; this is an affront to the hospitality of the board owners and those of us who enjoy the board as a friendly learning medium. We do do not need politics here.

My decisions to buy are based on many factors including buying locally and product quality, however, if a business owner is too free to express personal opinions sure to offend potential customers contrary to a Business 101 tenant (never offend a potential customer), I have to wonder what else about Business 101 they don't know and I do not patronize them.
Jerry

Tony Smith
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Tony Smith » Sun May 15, 2016 8:19 am

I'm surprised that they are blaming excess capacity as a reason for shutting down the entire plant. Perhaps they don't want to let people go, but now they have to let everyone go. I expect there are other reasons for giving up the business.

Tony
The tightrope between being strange and being creative is too narrow to walk without occasionally landing on both sides..." Scott Berkun

Judd
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Judd » Mon May 16, 2016 10:44 am

Well, change is good (for artists at least). Maybe it's time to focus exclusively on float/ bottle glass? Everyone can do a pattern bar. What new technique is waiting to be discovered?

helenM
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby helenM » Mon May 16, 2016 2:56 pm

Sad to hear they are closing, hope Uburous do take over.

DonMcClennen
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby DonMcClennen » Tue May 17, 2016 10:52 am

To "Judd".. pretty insensitive comments to this news!! I hope you find yourself happy flattening bottles. :roll:
"The Glassman"

Bonnie Rubinstein
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Bonnie Rubinstein » Wed May 18, 2016 4:06 pm

Sadness. Can’t get my head around this.

What a huge amount of resources (machinery and technology), Spectrum will be leaving behind! I am hoping someone picks up on this and keeps producing the wonderful glass products Spectrum creates. As Uroborous is only hand rolled, and Spectrum is machine rolled, I wonder how Uroborous will keep up with production demand. And they certainly won’t want the machinery. So, Terry, maybe we should all drive out to WA and keep the business up and running!
Bonnie Rubinstein

Judd
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby Judd » Thu May 19, 2016 9:30 am

Don McClennen,
Why flatten bottles when you can make art?
And, insensitive? Spectrum was a business. Their business model didn't succeed. That's life. Nothing sensitive or insensitive about it.

jolly
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby jolly » Sat May 21, 2016 12:46 pm

I stopped making glass objects because the market dropped out with the Great Recession. I moved into my studio and rented out my house and went back to doing remodel work. Now people are asking for glass again and my kiln has been running almost daily for a month. So I understand Spectrum having to close its doors. Look at the beginner forum here, almost nothing on it. It used to be constantly filled with questions. Hopefully it will be again. We don't actually know what requirements the EPA will put on the industry or how long they will have to conform so we can't blame the EPA. I, for one, don't want more heavy metals in the environment so if something can be done to reduce it, I'm all for it. Maybe Bullseye could do a funding campaign to meet the cost if it is too high.
There is more to life than increasing its speed.-Mahatma Gandhi

BobbieMatus
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Re: SPECTRUM GLASS CLOSING DOWN

Postby BobbieMatus » Sun May 22, 2016 4:07 pm

It is a sad day for me to see Spectrum go. I just bought all the spectrum I could afford hopefully to get me through my season here in Fl going from Oct to March. I got an email from Uroboros stating that they will produce 96 however, they will not be making any Baroque or smooth glass. Can't imagine a world without Baroque glass. I quess this will have to be my last season and will be forced to retire after 27 years as a show artist.


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