Bullseye’s new product catalog is out, informative as ever but with my same old (minor) gripe, which I’ll get to inna minnit.

You can order the physical copy (or pick it up free in retail places, or I’d imagine they’ll send it to you with an order of glass). Or download it–it’s 12.3MB, so it might take awhile if you don’t have high-speed access.

I keep product specs for all the glasses I use in the studio–Bullseye, Uroboros 90, Gaffer casting crystal, Uroboros billet–where I can get at them easily. By the time the new literature comes out, I’ve usually got the old marked up with all sorts of firing notes, striking characteristics, viscosity observations, etc.

Of all the product literature, Bullseye’s is by far the most useful–they stick a LOT of stuff between those catalog covers, including coverage of favored artists and Bullseye events. So far I’ve identified a bunch of non-BE buddies in the new catalog’s photos–Richard, Emelia, Steve, Jane, Kari, Linda, Sondra, Alex, Carol and Catharine–and there are probably more if I look hard enough.

But here’s what Bullseye DOESN’T stick between the covers, which means that every year I gotta get out my pen and add this by hand (right, in progress):

Those little scribbles flag the reactivity information for Bullseye glasses. It’s critical stuff to know if you’re mixing frit with any kind of glass.

Or at least it’s critical if you don’t want that beautiful pink whirly top on the new catalog cover, above, to become that beautiful mottled grey-and-pink whirly top because you tried to intensify it with a lovely red frit.

(Or whatever color(s) are in there. It looks like a lead-containing pink but despite more than fifteen years of using BE, I regularly miss. I am not one of those who can glance at somebody else’s sushi dish and say, “Ahhhh, I see you’ve layered 1827 over 0243.” It’s all I can do to remember that 1401 is the colorless one…)

Now, to be fair, all it takes is a few unexpected color reactions to engrain reactive colors on your brain. Basically, if it’s a beautiful cool crystalline blue, a lovely clear magenta-pink or -purple, a rich earthcolor with golden overtones, or a gloriously sunny hue, watch what you mix with it.

Bullseye does make this info available on their website and I salute them for it–if it’s available on other manufacturers’ sites I sure haven’t seen it.

Still, unless you have a computer in your studio, having reactive info on a website isn’t much help when you’re working. If I’m flying through a pate de verre pack, color isn’t always obvious, and I’ve got a bad habit of grabbing an unplanned powder and dumping it in BEFORE I remember that it will turn the whole concoction ick brown.

So I mark up one catalog with reactivity info, keep it close at hand, and guard it with my life. Studio visitors seem enchanted with that catalog and apparently disinclined to write all that stuff themselves. The markup catalog has been “borrowed.” Twice.

It’s not a huge deal, of course, a minor miss in what’s still the best in class. But I was kinda hoping that Bullseye would take several LARGE hints I dropped last year and just print in all those little Pbs, Ags and stuff for me.

Seems like an especially good deal to include it if some colors are especially meant to react with, say, copper or silver glasses. Maybe even add it to labels?

Wouldn’t take much–maybe put them on the right side under the image, on the same line as the color number.

IOW, about where I’m writing them now. Hint. Hint.

ADDENDUM: Our good friend Sunny from Spain forwarded this–it’s an image file of some of the key Bullseye reactive colors. He says we’re welcome to download it, print it out and tape it to a locker or something. Thanks, Sunny!