During my trip to Portland for my bullseye workshop I also went to a Uroboros factory.
I’ll be honest I didn’t know anything about Uroboros until I took this tour. Ken was extremely helpful and so was Carmen. Ken gave us (there were 3 of us) a tour of the factory. He also explained what Uroboros means it “is an alchemist’s term often represented by a dragon or serpent devouring its own tail. The ancient symbol represents an endless cycle of renewal or life everlasting.” Which is true if you think about it, because glass factories like Uroboros and Bullseye use non-precious sand to make precious hand-casted art glass.
So not only are glass artist creating glass artwork they are creating it from handcrafted glass and that’s pretty fantastic!
Sadly during my tour they weren’t making sheet glass. However, we did get to see them making tiny stringer to add to glass to create confetti glass. It was kind of cool, there were two guy’s and one would dip a steel rod or ladle and then just swing it back and forth across a steel table and the hot molten glass would go across the table – the part that went off the table was just reused in other ways, but not in sheet glass. The part that was on the table was cut by the other guy and moved to another table for inclusion into the confetti glass. It was kind of hypnotizing. Sadly they wouldn’t let us take pictures on the factory tour.
They have eight or nine furnaces then the annealer and two rollers; one so they can make the textured glass i.e., ripple, etc. In fact, they had clear ripple that was being sent to CBS (place I’d love to go) for dichroic to be added, it was cool seeing the clear ripple knowing it was going to be dichroic ripple soon.
The other impressive aspect of Uroboros is in addition to Art glass i.e., “non-fusible”, they have both 90 COE and 96 COE glass. I asked Ken whether or not Uroboros was compatible with bullseye glass and they said it was. They do tests by fusing it with bullseye then view it with the polarizing filters. I’ll be honest I’ve never really used Uroboros glass and I have definitely not combined it with bullseye. But I did buy a little bit of frit and sheet glass to test with bullseye and use my polarizing filters. I made one piece when I got home and had no problems. No halos under the polarizing film. However remember to test glass that isn’t the same manufacturer.
The retail shop was small and they are not really set up well for retail customers, but I was able to chose a couple of sheet glass colors from quite a selection from the factory floor. They also had a lot of frit. What was really great was they just shipped my sheet glass to D&L with my name, so I didn’t have to ship it myself!
I loved some of the glass pieces they had on display. Very beautiful. I also liked that they just incorporated the art glass into functional areas of the factory/store. Glass is so versatile!
If you would like to see more of my fused glass work or more of my activities please refer to my website Elegant Fused Glass by Karen.
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Keeping my Kiln warm,