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“U.S. Glass”

Top Take-Aways

This impressive handler was about three stories high in the air.

Glasstec was a great show—and now that it’s over, I’ve had a little time to reflect. So if you’ll forgive me for my jetlagged pontifications, I’d like to share my top five take-aways from this year’s event. Here goes: 1. Thin Is In—and Out. I wrote a full story on this one on Friday, as it was the top story to emerge from this year’s event. 2.  You’ve Got to Move It, Move It—the second most pronounced theme was the advancements being made in glass handling equipment and machinery. The robotics we glimpsed at at glasstec in 2010 and 2012 have now gone mainstream, and just about every handling equipment… Read More »

Glassy Eyes at glasstec

The stands of manufacturers such as Saint Gobain and Guardian were packed as tightly as a Tokyo subway.

There is so much business being done in these halls that it’s hard to keep up with it. A buoyed economy coupled with pent-up demand has resulted in a deal a minute here in the halls of glasstec. “We sold our machine,” said one machinery maker five minutes after the show opened. It’s been like that ever since. Even through a Lufthansa-planned strike on Monday afternoon and Tuesday, organizers report that opening day foot traffic was the same as the last show. This is a sizable victory given that nearly 1,500 Lufthansa flights were cancelled during the job action, which has now been suspended. And by Wednesday morning the floodgates… Read More »

Happy Harbingers

avertotech

Everyone has his or her own indicators of the future. Whether it’s of good things to come or bad things to watch out for, we have a unique set of harbingers that we swear by. Some are solid economic indicators, and others are not—but they always prove true. Well, mine relates directly to GlassBuild America 2014, which came to a close last Thursday, and it is this: The residential growth (or contraction) of our business always preceeds the commercial. In short, if you know what’s going on with the door and window end of the business, fast forward 16-18 months, and you’ll see the same on the commercial side. Oh, the… Read More »

The 33rd

33 glass

I woke up this morning at 3:33 a.m. Eastern time. For reasons I’ll explain, I’d already been thinking about the number 33. Then, true story, it was the first thing that loomed in front of my very sleepy eyes—in a weird sort of prophetic double vision. So I decided to see if little old 33 had any additional significance. Now, 7, 13, 100, those are numbers that have history and get respect. But what about 33? Does it have any claims to fame? Turns out it does. It’s rather infamous in mathematics being that 33 is a number and all. It’s the smallest sum of two positive numbers, each of which… Read More »

No Paved Paradise, No Parking Lot

The city of Cartegena Spain is home to ruins that date back to the pre-roman era. These are its most famous Roman ruins, its theater

It was the smallest city in Spain that I got to visit, and I was warned there would be “a few things to see,” but nothing like a Barcelona or Madrid. Yet for me, the visit to the city of Cartagena on the Southeastern Coast of Spain was the highlight of the trip. And of course, it was the glass that made it so. It all began with the tour guide, Irena. She told a very American story of capitalism with a true Spanish flavor. It seems a local businessman had bought a piece of downtown property with the goal of building a desperately-needed parking lot in the southwestern part… Read More »

Viva el Vidrio en Valencia!

museoceramica

If Barcelona, the second-largest city in Spain, is notable for its dearth of glass in design, then Valencia is just notable for its explosion of glass. Spain’s third-largest city is a mere three-hour ride southwest along the coast from Barcelona, yet they are thousands of kilometers apart when measuring how each city embraces glass. Madrid may signify power and Barcelona the arts, but Valencia has crafted an image as a modern city of the future while still paying homage to the past. And that amalgamation gives the 2052-year old city a decidedly adventurous spirit. Valencia pays homage to the history of glass–and ceramics–through its National Ceramics Museum, El Museo Nacional… Read More »

Did God’s Architect Hate Glass?

"Gods Architect" Antoni Gaudi

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, or just “Gaudi,” as most of us know him, overwhelms the city of Barcelona like Lebron James overwhelms Cleveland. His power is unassailable and, though entirely distinct, his influence is so large that he and the city have become synonymous. His work helps define the city. I just wonder why he hated glass. The story of Antoni Gaudi is quixotic in nature. An architect who became defined by the distinctive type of building he designed, Gaudi spent most of his life designing projects in Barcelona and throughout Spain, and his distinctive style is instantly recognizable. His signature project, and life’s work, became the completion of his… Read More »

Are We There Yet?

bunnypanckaes

The amazing growth in the sale and use of decorative glass over the past three years led me to wonder where the market is in terms of its maturity. Given all the new technologies and rapid growth, I don’t think we are quite there yet. There’s lots of business to be had in many different places throughout the United States. To check out my theory, I looked not only at what types of decorative category glass was being made, but where. The results tell an interesting story of manufacturers being concentrated in a number of areas throughout the country: View Where the Decorative Fabricators Are/Regional in a full screen map… Read More »

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