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what? all done? why?

 
hello,
   i am no longer taking on any new projects. my focus will be on repair and alteration. too many factions have added up to the craft becoming far too expensive and too much a hassle to continue.
   around 2008, the economy took a hit. many people lost money and the housing market suffered. people stopped spending on frivolous items, such as custom art glass.
   as a result, many stained glass shops went under or scaled back. this prompted the only art glass wholesale company in florida to close it's doors. in addition, the cost of the basic materials required for the craft, began to rise sharply, vastly exceeding the average inflation rate, especially lead, solder, and copper. glass companies produced less product and suppliers kept less inventory, creating shortages, supply delays, and higher prices.
   a box of lead that went for less than $75 not all that long ago, is now approaching $300. solder i once bought for as little as $2.25 a pound, shipped, is going for $17 and up, plus shipping. metals and sheet glass that was once easily ordered and shipped reasonably within the state, is now an expensive venture, having to come from many hundreds of miles away from out of state. shipping crates of full sheets is ridiculous and u.p.s. only ships sheets that have been cut down to unreasonable sizes. glass can be had in sarasota, somewhere between retail and wholesale, but i will not go the 130 mile round trip, every time i need something. even then, availability is spotty. the last time i needed some glass, it took over a month to come in.
   the government saw fit to further restrict glass production through tougher e.p.a. standards. this in and of itself has caused glass to go from what used to be about $25 a sheet wholesale, to upwards $70-150, if it's even available. 'spectrum' glass, perhaps the best glass for the money, has left woodenville, washington and and is currently setting up in mexico, because we all know the emissions from mexico never cross the wall and contribute to global climate change.~ they hope to get production up and running in 2017, so perhaps things will get better at some point. 'bullseye', in oregon, was also hit with restrictions, but from what i understand, they are upgrading their emission output, no doubt resulting in higher prices as well. all glass manufacturers' prices have gone up, production has gone down, and availability has decreased.
   i love this craft and will continue to do what i can, but creating new custom projects has become nothing but a hassle and prohibitively expensive.
   this site will remain, as it's just as easy to leave it up. you can look at the pretty pictures. i will, however, continue to document some repairs and alterations as they happen.

thank you for your consideration,
  
mike straub
 
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