Friday, August 08, 2008

The Glass Factory, Portland, Oregon

Karen Rathmann works in a glass factory called Bullseye Glass, so while we were in town, we asked for a tour. Unfortunately, you cannot take pictures in a good majority of the factory, but I got them when I had the chance!!!It was really cool to see the whole process of actually making glass. Karen is kind of the mad scientist, if you will, behind the recipes for certain types of glass. She mixes all the chemicals to make certain colors and certain types of glass. They manufacture glass for big companies that make furniture, windows, mirrors....the normal types of things you think of when you think of glass. What I thought was really cool though, was all the glass they custom make for artists all around the world. They make huge sheets of glass that is used for stained glass pieces. The glass is all tested after it cools completely, and any sheets of glass with any weak spots is set aside for other types of art. I can't take credit for this picture, but it looks just like the work they were doing in Karen's factory. After 16 hours of melting at about 2500 degrees, the glass is ladled out of the tanks by hand. It is then spread out on a conveyor belt that runs the galss through rollers to flatten it and even it out. It looks like the picture below as it rolls through. This is a small area where they had several of the glass sheets stored for future sales.

The next few photos are all from the art display that was going on in the store for the factory. These pieces were all made by artists using glass that was made at Bullseye Glass. The pieces were all for sale.........................for thousands of dollars...literally!!!!!

I thought this piece was really cool. I have no idea what kind of process the glass has to go through to make it look like pewter, but this Batman statue is in fact made from glass.

This dish was one of my favorite pieces in the show. I don't know what kind of purpose it would serve other than looks, but I thought it was really cool.
Even the little sprout looking things on the side are made from glass. Each one was just a tiny little sliver.I thought these dishes were beautiful. The colors reminded me of something Andrea would like.
This oblong flower vase was also gorgeous. The plaid look was created by individual pieces of glass fused to the clear glass.

Karen also works with glass and has made many beautiful pieces. Their home is full of them. maybe one day I'll be able to afford a Karen Rathmann original...............in my dreams!!!!





















13 comments:

KellyAnn said...

awesome

Andrea said...

I'm flippin going to Oregon! Love, Love, Love it!

alli-gal said...

Well, after I go back to school, relocate my mom and Will out there, and get a place, you'll have a free place to stay.

I'm not kidding............

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