Stained Glass Production: at the Corner of Art and Environment

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Interior corner at the Uroboros Glass studio in Portland, OR.

The art glass industry is facing many changes lately, and it’s hard for me to get on board with the direction things seem to be going, even though I feel like I “should” think it’s all for the better. Even though it IS for the better. Likely.

In the Pacific Northwest where I live, two of the three nearest art glass manufacturers have essentially gone out of business recently, in large part due to newly imposed environmental regulations. Growing concern about poisonous contamination from glass factory operations have led to tighter – and very costly – restrictions on manufacturers, and the expense of implementing the revised safeguards has been crippling to the industry.

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Glass bins were nearly empty at the Uroboros Glass factory as of mid-July, 2017

One could question the impetus for such strict mandates: How viable were the environmental studies, and did they provide an accurate depiction of environmental impacts? Was there consideration and investigation of other potential sources of contamination in the tested areas? Are the specific restrictions and requirements that have been imposed actually effective and/or what is needed to improve safe factory operation?

Maybe it simply boils down to “better safe than sorry.” Environmental, ecological and human preservation and safety are paramount, and if the art glass industry has to sacrifice certain hues of glass to contain unhealthy contaminants, then so be it.

A no-brainer, I suppose. But still…

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Entry to Uroboros Glass Studio in Portland, OR.

Production of art glass previously produced by the two closed factories, Uroboros Glass and Spectrum Glass, has been taken over by another glass manufacturer, Oceanside Glasstile, and moved to a different, less restrictive location. But that doesn’t really resolve the issues.

There are still myriad choices in color, texture, opacity and other facets of art glass, certainly enough to feed my artistic soul for a long time to come. Perhaps I need to be open to “turning the corner,” and seeing what new “avenues” appear, so to speak; non-toxic avenues that will help sustain ALL of us for a long time to come.


The Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Corner

About Maggie C

Stained glass artist, writer, respecter of life.
This entry was posted in Colors of Glass, photo challenge, Photography, weekly photo challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Stained Glass Production: at the Corner of Art and Environment

  1. I am a mosaicist, so this is concerning but not as concerning as the effect on the environment. Guess I’ll have to turn to stone and marble which can be very costly…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Art and Environment, Again | Glass Manifestations

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