"System 96" is not a company, it is a family of tested-compatible glass products. The red triangular logo is your assurance that every one of our products has been designed and produced to work together, both technically and artistically, in every facet of the hot glass arts; Glass Fusing, Glass Kiln Casting, Glass Blowing, and Glass Torchwork.
The System 96 family is produced in the United States by Spectrum® Glass Company (Woodinville, WA) and Uroboros® Glass Studios (Portland, OR). Spectrum and Uroboros together bring nearly 80 years of art glass manufacturing expertise to the hot glass community and the fast-growing kilnformed glass arts. We are dedicated to making these arts affordable, accessible, and friendly for everyone.
System 96 users tend to be passionate about the brand. The glass is soft and forgiving to cut. Surfaces are largely smooth and uniform. Compatibility is assured, "devit" is practically non-existent, and the price is substantially less than competing products.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference in kiln forming with "90" and "96"?
Really very little. What you learn with one glass will largely apply to the other. System 96 is a lower temperature glass ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬" that is, it takes less time / heat for System 96 products to reach a given viscosity than it does common COE 90 products. Understanding this, and looking over the System 96 Firing Guidelines, a kiln crafter will quickly adapt to the differences.
Should I test?
Testing is your best teacher. You'll discover subtle nuances in different glasses, monitor color shifts, and be better able to predict various characteristics that may result from the fusing process. Plus, because our equipment and procedures differ from yours, you just might uncover a set of circumstances in which our "Tested Compatible" glasses don't act as expected in your system of variables. Better to discover that in testing than in a disappointing project.
What's compatible with System 96?
Let the red System 96 logo be your guide to products that have been "Tested Compatible" within the System 96 program. Please note that that products labeled as simply "COE 96" may not actually be compatible with true System 96 products. If in doubt about a product, ask your supplier!
Are projects made with System 96 glass "dishwasher safe"?
System 96 glasses were not designed to stand up to the stresses of modern dishwashers. However, we know people (reliable sources) who swear they've been eating pancakes off fused Spectrum dinnerware (capped with 100sfs) and running it through the dishwasher for years, with no signs of weathering. This doesn't surprise us, as ours is a very durable glass. But we can't recommend selling your System 96 products as "dishwasher safe." Better safe than sorry: "Hand washing recommended."
How can I prevent bubbles from forming between the kiln shelf and the bottom layer of glass?
This problem is gas. Small amounts of moisture in the kiln shelf or shelf primer may be turning to steam at high temperatures. Or, some organic material (dirt, filings or other debris) are burning and gassing off at fusing temperatures. The best way to prevent these types of bubbles is to use PAPYROS® Kiln Shelf Paper between the shelf and the glass. The paper is air-permeable and will allow more air to escape than in direct-shelf contact.
If you want to keep using shelf primer, try increasing the time spent around 250°F (hold it there for, say, 1/2 hour). By this point, the moisture has turned to vapor. Holding the temperature there for a brief period will allow time for the vapor to find its natural avenue of escape.
If you still have a problem, there is probably some chemical reaction taking place between the kiln shelf and the shelf primer. The reaction, which will be occurring at higher temperatures (1100 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬" 1300°F) is giving off a gas, which is creating the offending bubble. Solution? Again, first try taking it slower between 1100 and 1300°F. Spend an hour making that ramp. If that doesn't work, then try
a. a different shelf primer
b. a new batch of your existing shelf primer
c. a new kiln shelf, preferably made of a different material
When fusing your OpalArt™ glass, I find that bubbles sometimes change the surface color of the glass, creating lighter colored "spots." Am I doing something wrong?
OpalArtÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“s color swirls lay largely in a very thin layer on one surface of the glass sheet. When bubbles form, as they are prone to in the fusing process, they can stretch this already-thin color layer, creating a pale mottle. Use the bubble-avoidance techniques you normally would, or fuse color-side-down, to minimize or avoid the effect. Here is our standard text on the subjectÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬"
The variegation in an OpalArt sheet rests on top of the base glass surface in the form of a sheer layer of intense color. These thin swirls of topside color are light permeable, and bubbles trapped between project layers can present as antique-like surface mottling. You'll also find that the bottom side of an OpalArt sheet looks different from the top ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬" sometimes with fainter color streaking, sometimes void of streaking altogether.
Should I be concerned about gasses or fumes coming off your glass while I'm fusing it in the kiln?
When System 96 products are originally made, the raw materials are melted at temperatures that are around 1000 degrees higher than normal fuse temperatures. Any volatile components in the raw materials are driven off and captured in our baghouse filtration during this process. Therefore, there are no volatile gasses or particulate matters left to escape from the glass during the course of fusing.