A ring mottle is not some wierd kind of pigeon. It’s a type of patterned colored glass used by some of the best-known stained glass artisans in history, i.e., Tiffany, LaFarge, etc. (I believe Tiffany’s studio invented ring mottle, but don’t quote me.)

The ring mottles are gorgeous when you see them in person but I don’t think they photograph very well (see above). I’ve used them in cabinet doors, or just to hang on the wall. Never tried fusing them, but supposedly fusing/slumping temps make the distinctive rings go away. I’m told the rings are caused by localized crystalization, and remelting those crystals turns a ring mottle back into plain old streaked colored glass. Ring mottles are expensive enough (and pretty enough) that I’ve taken the experts at their word and never tried fusing one..

Anyway, got a newsletter from Bullseye announcing that they’re discontinuing ring mottle glasses “to concentrate more resources on our innovative line of Bullseye Compatible glass for art and architecture.”

Hmmm. Wonder if Bullseye will do that with their other non-fusible glasses, and if they’re part of a larger trend? Certainly in the circles I travel Bullseye is better known for compatible, i.e., kilnworkable glass, and there’s obviously a nice market there. The folks at Spectrum told me that their fusible glass business is accelerating much faster than their other glasses. Be interesting to compare stained glass vs. fusible glass sales ratios over the last 5-10 years and see what the industry is doing overall.

Oh well…I’m not an expert on modern colored glass business, so who knows? The rest of the glass industry seems to be waking up to the fusible glass market and as far as I’m concerned that’s a great thing. The more choices, and the bigger my palette, the better.

In the meantime, it’ll be sad to see the BE ring mottles go.