Monday, November 7, 2016

I was a later adopter of Twitter, but now that I use and understand it, I could never be without it.  AAMA uses Twitter more now than ever before to engage with members and others in the industry, as well as to shout out those doing good things in fenestration or to share window, door and skylight news. The association also uses Twitter to live-tweet, post photos and send updates from our events, conferences, or during tradeshows. 

Even if you’re not currently a user, there’s still time to get into the game. And if you’re already on the platform, maybe you’re looking for ways to use it better. Regardless of where you stand with that tiny blue bird, I think you’ll find something in this post that benefits you. I’ve put together a list of Twitter tips and some general advice for getting the most out of the platform.

  1. Schedule posts. The most pushback I hear about Twitter, and social media in general, is that companies don’t have time to post every day. That may be true, but I bet most have time to set aside 15 minutes per week to schedule a week’s worth of tweets. AAMA uses Hootsuite, but Buffer is another great option. You can choose when to send out your tweets, including links and photos.
  2. Keep hashtags short. Companies,or individuals, can use one or a few various event, product or concept hashtags, then encourage participants and customers to use them, too. By keeping AAMA's event-specific hashtags short, we make it easy for those attending to add them to their live updates. Search for #AAMAconf on Twitter to see what I mean.
  3. Think before you tweet. It’s always important to think twice about what you post, regardless of whether you consider your account personally, or professionally, focused. Know your audience!
  4. Follow often; unfollow the unhelpful. Even if you decide to follow someone today, that doesn’t mean you have to do so forever. If you find an account isn’t adding to your positive experience, or that a user posts information you don’t find interesting, feel free to unfollow. No harm, no foul. I go through the people I’m following every now and then and unfollow accounts from which I don’t gain anything.
  5. Follow back at will. Don’t feel guilty about not following back everyone who follows you. Twitter works best when you follow accounts you value, so the experience is mostly what you make it. This is your account! It should include only those you want to follow.
  6. Have a purpose. It’s important to know why you want to be on Twitter. Are you there to promote your company? To network? For professional development? Knowing your goals will help you measure whether or not you’re meeting them, and how to adjust.
  7. Interact. Twitter is a water cooler, not a bulletin board. Be human, be responsive and reply to people on Twitter. They will definitely appreciate it!
  8. Mix it up. Diversify who you follow and you will learn a lot. I enjoy following writers who come from different backgrounds than I do so I can get a better understanding of their life perspectives. In our industry, you might take this approach and follow peripheral accounts to yours. If you’re glass-focused, maybe follow some aluminum-centric companies; see what they are interested in and how your interests may overlap.

Happy tweeting!

Meryl Williams is communications coordinator for AAMA. She produces national and regional newsletters, writes editorial content and helps lead AAMA’s social media outreach, including the Socially Speaking blog. She has seven years of professional communications experience in both journalism and public relations. 

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

The major news from the past week was the deal between J.E. Berkowitz and Consolidated Glass Holdings. This was one of the major rumors that was circulating at GlassBuild, and it came to fruition. It’s a great deal for CGH, with the very high profile of Berkowitz and its long track record of success. This is a game changer for them. Plus I am sure it was a great deal for Arthur Berkowitz and his family, as I can’t imagine he’d agree to anything less than the best. And as for those other rumors? I think a few are very real and will be happening in the near future. So hold on tight; there’s a lot more to go.


  • Last week I mentioned the Dodge Outlook results, and I have had some time to dig through those results as well as some other points of information out there. Here are some tidbits…

Residential growth is positive: single-family housing especially is ticking up 7 percent in 2016 and 9 percent is forecast for 2017. In fact, residential had its best year since 2005. Why that matters is when residential starts to tumble, that’s when the warning signs start to show up on the commercial side. So far, the coast is clear.

Surprisingly non-residential building did have an off year in 2016; not sure we felt it in the industry given where we are in the chain, and also the previous bounce backs carrying on from the past years. On this one, there are many industry folks who believe we run a good couple of years behind this metric. So potentially this could mean we’ll have some weak spots in 2017, but the forecast going forward is strong, expected up 6 percent with spending up 8 percent. So if we dip, it may not be sustained.

Last, the most positive data point for our world? A look back. When reviewed, the amount of infrastructure projects started in 2015 were more than any time in history, and the analysis says it will generate spending through 2017 and deep into 2018. 

Obviously these are forecasts and they can and do change. And a certain election in the United States will have an effect, just no clue on what that effect will be!

  • Just a heads up for those of you who deal with submittals for LEED. Note that the LEED v4 is now in effect. No new jobs can be registered under the previous standard of LEED 2009. If the jobs have already been registered, but not started, they can proceed and finish with that previous standard. So you’ll still see it, but otherwise get yourself familiar with LEED v4 as it's now here to stay. Guardian has a great online resource. They do a nice job of explaining the two standards, the changeover and then details. Good stuff.
  • Speaking of good stuff, great blog post from Pete DeGorter last week. Love that he took the time to do it and document with pictures. Nice work there.
  • Ever wonder how the mega sky scraper is built? Really well done and informative piece here. I just love the thought process that goes into it. 
  • It’s that time of year again to have our Industry MVP award. Once again, lots of great candidates out there. So this will not be an easy choice that is for sure. As always, I am open to suggestions so send them my way. What makes the MVP? Someone who works hard for the industry, communicates well, is involved at the trade level, and is always looking to advance our cause. That could be on the technical, education or innovation side. So who will join Tracy Rogers and Jon Kimberlain as winners?  I’ll be listing the runners up on my post the week of 12/11 with the winner honored the week of 12/18 on my last blog of 2016.
  • Last this week, this Friday is Veteran's Day in the United States. Please take a moment to appreciate what the women and men of the military have done (and still do daily) to protect our way of life. They are the true heroes. Thank you.

Read on for links and video of the week... 

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

This year’s glasstec exhibition in Germany in September impressed me with its display of truly inspiring glass products, from advancements in EVA lamination to dynamic glass flooring. This blog presents my top seven coolest things from glasstec 2016. They provide a look forward at what’s to come, as economies of scale bring these products to affordability.

Feel free to leave comments about these or other products you saw as well.

1. EVA processing without green tape 

The largest bottleneck of EVA lamination--the time needed to clean the edge of excess material after it has been processed through the laminating oven--has been solved by Hornos Pujol. While maybe not the coolest product, it is the most practical product capable of having a large effect on many operations. Hornos Pujol's technological focus in lamination has allowed them to solve a big issue for many processors. No more green tape to hold in the EVA material or trimming with hot knives! 

2. Smart Shower

Not only can you add users to this shower for varying water temperature and display settings, but this shower also has a 24 karat gold insertion. If things ever get really bad, this shower could give you a small return based on the value of gold. This shower does it all; music, weather, email, web browsing, and even has manners, wishing you a great day when you exit the shower! I might have an even harder time getting to work on time with this kind of product.  

3. OLED Screen

For a measly $18,000 you can have one of the nicest computer monitors I’ve ever seen. This screen is using black OLED screen laminated with resin between two lites of glass. Full HD resolution produces image quality exactly as you would expect. Plus, this monitor is 55 inches; a big step up from my 27-inch.    

4. Flexible Glass

Thin is in for the U.S. market, and we have all watched the progression of products like Corning’s Gorilla Glass, which continues to get stronger and thinner. This is produced by SCHOTT, but there are others on the market like Willow by Corning. This was the first time I have seen flexible glass in person, other than fiber optics of course. Applications for this type of product could be limitless as a barrier or protector of the product behind the glass.

5. Dynamic Glass Flooring

Switch your flooring from a volleyball court to a basketball court with the push of a button or a few clicks of an app. The floor is made of glass panels with LEDs behind them. The glass panels are slip resistant and perform identically to the traditional wood flooring in sports courts. In addition to courts, the glass can display images and video as well. Can you imagine a concert where they use the floors as part of the visual display? 

6. Interactive Glass Whiteboards 

Smart screen lamination has made great strides over the last 10 years. This classic glass whiteboard gives you the freedom of working just like a whiteboard with markers, but with the advantages of a computer board. With modern networking capabilities, these whiteboards can become much more, as they display in real time with you or others' ideas. 

7. Zum Schiffchen Baked Pork Knuckle 

(photo taken from Schiffchen website

No trip to Dusseldorf is complete without a visit to Zum Schiffchen for the baked pork knuckle and a few Alt beers. It's the oldest restaurant in town, and the food shows why they’ve been open for over 350 years! Rest assured you’ll experience traditional German food and enjoy a great atmosphere. This was my third visit to glasstec and to The Schiffchen. Each time we have had the same server who remembers us each time we sit down... maybe because we make him drink an Alt beer with us! Visit them the next time you're in Dusseldorf.

Brauerei Zum Schiffchen GmbH & CO.KG
Hafenstraße 540213 Düsseldorf

Pete deGorter is vice president of DeGorter Inc. Contact him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

One of the bigger stories that came out of GlassBuild America was the co-locating of the GANA Fall Conference with GlassBuild in 2017. The Fall Conference brings some crucial technical pieces to the forefront, along with other important industry news and updates. Having it now integrated with the largest tradeshow in North America will surely open it up to more people who had never attended before, those that used to attend but scheduling prevented them from doing so, or additional members from a single company when normally a company would only send one person.  Moves like this are very good for the industry. We have so much out there education wise, but I think only a small percentage of people are taking advantage of it. Hopefully with a wider base things like this and the newly re-launched will reach the larger audience and we can continue to grow and prosper as an industry!



  • Speaking of education and growth, one group who I admire is the Efficient Window Collaborative. I have written about them a few times here and I am fan. Recently they launched an updated website, and it is absolutely fantastic. Please check it out at and remember this too is a great training tool for your folks and resource for your customers. Kudos to Kerry Haglund and team for a job well done.
  • Also on the website resource side, Mark Spencer of SAPA turned me on to www.Shapes.Al and it is a really interesting and helpful resource for all things aluminum. They took an interesting approach with writing more feature-like pieces than technical articles. Lots of content and worth visiting.
  • The industry lost another long-time player last week with the passing of Tom Petersen. Tom spent 46 years in the glazing world and was extremely well known and respected in the Missouri/Kansas region. He will certainly be missed and condolences to his family and friends. 
  • Anyone else suffering with healthcare costs? My monthly costs will now be 110 percent more per month than they were three years ago. It really is an issue that has gotten lost in the absolute mess of the U.S. election.
  • As you may have seen, the Architectural Billings Index did decline again last month making it now into a mini-trend of two downers in a row. The analysts think the election may have some bearing on that; I guess we’ll see. Overall though the metrics out there are solid as Dodge did their annual outlook conference and from the reports I have seen, they are still bullish on 2017/2018. I have been gathering those reports and will have some additional takes on that in next week's post. 
  • Last this week, amazingly this blog just celebrated its 11th anniversary. Every time I note a milestone, I seriously get more blown away that I’m still plugging along and this thing is still alive. Anyway, I thank you for following along and putting up with me every week. It still is my therapy, and while my content has surely changed (I’m much more kind), I hope you can find at least a nugget or two worthwhile each week. Thanks again for reading; I truly appreciate it!


Read on for links and video of the week... 

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Three key concepts trended on the show floor during GlassBuild America 2016, held last week, Oct. 19-21, in Las Vegas: innovation, automation and investment. It seems markets are trending positive, companies are getting more jobs, and money is available again for big business investments. 

"Now that the economy is better, companies are becoming more quality oriented," says Jack Van Meerbeeck, president, Matodi. "There's money again."

Many of the exhibiting companies at the show debuted new products that answered specific challenges facing the industry—machinery that helps offset labor shortages; handling equipment that increases safety; products that are advanced, yet cost-effective. The new offerings are truly innovative. They have been reconsidered, re-engineered, streamlined and automated to help industry companies capitalize on the positive momentum and continue to profit. 

"I'm excited about the automation options and interest within the industry," says Mike Willard, CEO, Salem Distributing Co. "Companies are trying to take out the human component to reduce quality issues, offset labor challenges. But, they can use their headcount assets elsewhere within the business."

Business leaders from across the industry see growth and a positive economic climate sticking around for the next 18-24 months. Officials from GED Integrated Solutions are "overly optimistic" instead of cautiously optimistic for the first time in several years. And while a downturn may come again, industry companies are pushing to stay ahead of the curve. "We're continually pushing fresh automation. That's our safeguard against a downturn," says Bill Briese, engineering manager, GED. 

For more latest news from GlassBuild, click the links below. 

NGA\WDDA Names Board Leaders for 2016-2017

Economist Ken Simonson Forecasts Growth, Addresses Labor Concerns

IGMA Hosts Preventing Insulating Glass Failures Seminar in Las Vegas

Guardian Glass ​Brings Diverse Products and Services to GlassBuild America​

Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America to Promote New Products, Expertise at GlassBuild

Vacuum Technology from Schmalz at GlassBuild

Monday, October 24, 2016

GlassBuild America 2016 is now in the books and it truly did not disappoint. The combination of a great economic climate and a well-organized tradeshow made for three incredible days for our industry. There’s a lot to cover, so here goes.

First, this show once again proved that these events work. The networking is huge and the education crucial. Missing it is simply not an option. One of the overall takeaways was that people are either expanding their equipment needs, upgrading them or both. The action at all of the machinery booths was impressive. And keep in mind, the Las Vegas show is not really known for its equipment set up--that’s the Atlanta one--so this really was a big happening. 

The diversity of products on the floor was strong. One glazing company owner told me of a story about seeing a process at GlassBuild that solved a major product need he had, and he had no idea the process existed until he saw it at the show. That was awesome. Also, software options for every aspect of our industry really took a step forward this year, in my opinion. 

Overall attitude of the attendees was positive and the exhibitors really raised their game this year with even more booths that were eye catching and smart. More on that below. If there were any concerns it was the upcoming election, the circus that it is, and the potential negative effect on the economy, but that was it. 

Last on this, the rumor mill was surely churning. Some massive moves will most likely be busting open in the next several weeks, though with our industry, you just never know. But that added some more spice to it all.

As I do every year, here are some thoughts on what I liked, who I saw, who I missed and more…

  • I liked the LAMATEK approach with their booth a ton. They went with the “voting” theme, and it was smart and creative. I also liked Smart Builder offering free cups of coffee. Speaking of beverages, so many exhibits had beverage service and party-like atmospheres, who needed an expensive Vegas club? I thought the Vitro/PPG booth was outstanding. Rob Struble continues to be one of the sharpest guys in our industry. And I have to give props to everyone who did a great job being social on Twitter, but special recognition to FeneTech and their program. Really fun stuff there and kudos to Ron Crowl and team. And once again, the team from Salem Distributing rocked the best shirts. That’s becoming old news, but a special mention to Paul Knadler of Arizona Shower Doors who had a shirt the same color as my crazy media vest. That one was something to see!
  • From the people side, I saw so many people that I had not seen in years. My past lives were all intersecting constantly. The most fun was seeing Mike and Joyce Cully of United Plate Glass. Unless I am crazy, the last time I saw them is when they came to my wedding… in 1994! That was cool and neither of them has aged a day. Also seeing past coworkers like Tom Olson, Joe Marini, Jeff Kirby, Wardi Bisharat, Mike Dishmon, Kevin Heim, and of course the great Dave Michaeli (you know the should-be NFL hall of famer if his knees held up) was incredibly cool. Amazingly they were all nice to me too after all these years. Speaking of nice, it's hard to top people like Stanley Yee of Dow Corning and Urmilla Sowell of GANA; just good folks for sure.
  • It was a miracle to see Michael Frett of after he had the most adventurous trip to Vegas. The story is so amazing; it needs to be saved for another post!
  • I always enjoy running into folks like Tom O’Malley and getting updates on his world. Good to hear that Clover Architectural is doing super out there. Tom Herron of NFRC is a gentleman, and I give him tons of credit for putting up with me always whining, complaining, etc. I rarely get to see the folks from Glass 3 Enterprises, but when I do it’s always a pleasure. Good to see Paul DeGray who probably hopes I never pick the Rangers to win anything ever again. And speaking of sports, I am happy for guys like Mark Silverberg whose Indians are in the World Series. Catching up with Mark was overdue and quite important to me. 
  • Meeting new people at these events is also a high for me, and this time there are two of note. Bill Pollock of Northwest Glass in Montana chased me down and introduced himself. That was incredibly nice. Also new for me was Tony Montez of Montez Glass. What an impressive guy and fun to catch up on the world of glazing in Northern California. Though, Tony noted he’s never read my blog, so that means I need to work on adding audience in the west, obviously! 
  • I also love other marketing and PR folks that are crazy talented. Getting to see my good friend Rich Porayko doing his thing at the highest level was a pleasure. Shawn Donovan is always ahead of the curve, so getting to just chat with him for a few minutes was tremendous. Heather West is one of the best in her craft, so catching up with her is meaningful to me in hopes that her talent may rub off on me some day! 
  • I missed a ton of people since the show was so busy. People that I wanted to see and chat with like the great Shelly Farmer of SC Railing and of course good pal Garret Henson of Viracon. Hopefully next time I’ll get to run into you guys. I would’ve also liked to have seen rep extraordinaire Margaret Brune but missed her too as well as the folks from Gardner Glass Products. I got to see old pal Jim Ventre for a split second, but not long enough to catch up that is for sure.

Now we put this one into the books and look forward to the next. Time to keep moving our business and industry forward!

Read on for links and video of the week... 

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, October 17, 2016

In the past four weeks, I have witnessed a grand display of future-focused aspiration and innovation in the glass industry. This began at glasstec last month and will continue this week at GlassBuild America in Las Vegas, and it was the central tenant of last week’s 2016 Facade Tectonics World Congress.

The two-day façades conference, organized by the Facade Tectonics Institute, brought together academics, architects, engineers, manufacturers, façade contractors and more for high-level research based discussions on the future of the façade industry. The message of the conference was clear—the construction and design industry is witnessing a remarkable and fast evolution toward buildings that perform better, are made with more sustainable materials, and are healthier and more comfortable for occupants.

“What drives me is the recognition of the role the façade has in addressing the issues that affect our planet—climate change, sustainability,” says Mic Patterson, current president of FTI and director of strategic business development for Schüco USA.

“We are committed to the advocacy for high performance facades,” says Helen Sanders, incoming president of the FTI and vice president of technical business development for SageGlass. High-performance buildings of tomorrow will not only need to lessen the impact on the environment, but will also need to be healthier for occupants, she says. “By 2020, according to the World Health Organization, the top two health issues will be heart disease and mental health. Our challenge is to create a building that is healthy for people. The building envelope is part of that,” Sanders says.

These future buildings, and their façades, will be more complex; they will feature new materials; and they will push the envelope of what existing materials, like glass, can do. Meeting the demands of these projects requires collaboration among all players, from the architects to the glazing contractors. It relies on continued advancements of materials and changes in how those materials integrate with the building as a whole. This future building industry will present great opportunities to companies up and down the chain, if they get on board.

“The changes of the recent past are accelerating. We are seeing a fundamental change in material systems and how we use them,” says Bill Kreysler, president of panel fabricator, Kreysler & Associates Inc. “This is a time of change. The most dangerous thing you can do is not.”

“The drivers in our field are owners, manufacturers, architects, engineers, glazing contractors,” says Chris Stutzki, founder and owner of Stutzki Engineering. “It starts with the owner to push change to the architect and engineer. They have to push the manufacturers to make new products. They push the glazing contractors to learn how to install.”

Large-scale changes to the industry will be slow in coming. However, many smaller changes have already begun. Better-performing products, next-generation glasses, and more efficient equipment were discussed during the FTI conference and are on display at glasstec and GlassBuild America. These changes are all key to the greater evolution in building better buildings.

The time is now to get informed and get involved. In the words of Steve Selkowitz, senior advisor for building science at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “think big, start small, act now.” 

Katy Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Since a major majority of the industry will be there in one form or fashion, I am dedicating this entire post to GlassBuild America. Obviously I am heavily involved with the show. Those of you who go, know I’m running around the floor, camera in hand, wearing a bright yellow vest looking like I just left an earlier post of parking cars or landing planes. So, first and foremost, if you are a reader of this blog, please feel free to stop me to say hi. I’d love to meet you!

As for the show itself, this year is lining up to be off-the-charts on several levels. Do yourself a favor and download the GlassBuild Amercia app to guide you through the event. That and all of the things I will cover below can be found by clicking here. 

  • Major first key of this show for me? There will be more than 400 exhibitors from all over the world. If you are not looking to improve yourself or your business by adding or upgrading products and services, you’re missing out. As I have been planning my route around the show I am blown away at the amount of diverse options on display. 
  • Next is the education. Between the forums and the incredible Express Learning, there is plenty to get your arms around. On the Express Learning side, the schedule was slimmed down a bit so attendees can have time to walk the floor and network and still make sure they are catching plenty of free educational sessions. One session that I find fascinating is the “Cyber Security on the Plant Floor." We are in a new world and with all the automation I keep harping on here comes the opportunity for bad guys to disrupt. This will be neat to hear about. 
  • Wait until you see the new! It will revolutionize training as we know it and the re-launch of this program makes its debut at the show. I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview and this program is absolutely off-the-charts awesome. The program features some seriously important collaboration with heavy hitters out there too, so the training you get will have a longer range effect than you may realize. Sorry for being cryptic overall. I don’t want to blow the surprise of the launch. The official kick off is at Noon on Thursday, Oct. 20. If you care at all about training and growth (and you should), you will want to be at Booth #314 for this and learn more about it throughout the event.
  • Networking. This is my favorite aspect of the show and one that is truly the key of the event. Pre-registration was up 27 percent over last year as of two weeks ago. So between that and so many exhibitors on the floor, there will be no lack of opportunity to meet with people, renew and expand relationships and grow your personal and company brand. Even those companies that DON’T exhibit are still sending multiple people to the show to work/walk it. Why? Because they hit the floor and they network as they know so many in the industry ARE THERE. And while they may miss out on the potential business gain by having an exhibit, they are still making sure they are involved. So at the end of the day, everyone that has an impact on the industry, or wants to have an impact on the industry, is there… in one way or another. AND THAT'S what makes this show so important and so good.

So there you go, my passion pitch and preview of the week ahead. It really should be a great one. Next week I’ll recap it with my standard of best exhibits seen, those folks who I was fortunate enough to run into, those I missed and much, much more. I hope to see you there!

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, October 10, 2016

These days the bridging of art and technology for architectural glass applications is present in many forms. What is art without technology? What is technology without art? What will the long-term existence of each be on its own? How will the existence of both be perceived in the future?

As technology quickly advances, more and more applications for creating imagery and color on monolithic glass for architectural use are emerging. If properly designed and engineered, a dynamic, successful project is completely possible. Technology's focus is on process. 

In the world of architectural art glass, artists focus on not only traditional methods of design and fabrication, but they are also embracing the merging of new technology with traditional methods. Many glass artists are trained in myriad artistic glass processes that yield a diverse cache of aesthetic results. Artist’s input in the early stages of design can make all the difference in any size space. It is not at all uncommon for artists to work outside the studio at other facilities that can provide the space and equipment needed to create large format work, often combining artistic processes. The artist’s application is also solution based, but the glass artwork is what connects the mind and spirit to the place or space. 

Just because technology is available, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best solution or the best way to do something. There will always be trade offs; physiological, cost, longevity, etc. Rather than going with a straightforward technical interpretation for a project application, collaborating with a carefully selected glass artist can result in imagery that has depth, dimension and greater meaning to the customer. An artist trained and knowledgeable in a wide range of artistic glass design, processes and technology can contribute greatly to a project by being part of the collaborative team, or by putting the best team together. Beyond function, technology is diminished without art. Without technology, art may not reach its greatest potential.

Nancy Gong is owner and director of Gong Glass Works, an art studio that focuses on the design and fabrication of contemporary architectural art glass. Gong serves on the Board for the American Glass Guild, is AGG’s 2017 Conference and Program Chair, is a member of the Glass Art Society and Stained Glass Association of America, and an Allied Member of the American Institute of Architects Rochester. She can be reached at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, October 10, 2016

When it comes to automation, glass fabricators have truly taken advantage of the innovations. Years ago those companies who put in an automated IG line had some sort of halo effect--they were above and beyond. Now it’s commonplace. And the next steps of automation continue with advanced robotics. Especially with many of the exhibits I saw at glasstec and figure to see at GlassBuild America--more and more fabrication plants are becoming more reliant on the robotic/automated side of things. But what about the glazier? Is installing framing and glass robot-proof? I have to think it is. Obviously I am talking about field fab and install and not unitized. So does that mean that unitizing is going to keep along the growth path and become a majority of the style of material installed? I am curious on what the glazing community thinks on that and will be one of the questions I’ll be asking when I see everyone next week in Las Vegas. If you want to chime in ahead of time on automation, unitized and the glazier, please drop me a line.


  • My friend Gary Tongco of FreMarq Innovations sent me this excellent article on the continued growth of green and sustainable projects. Many companies like Gary’s truly get it with the focus on advanced performance, and I think the days of having only “everyday” sorts of products are waning. 
  • The Vitro acquisition of PPG became official last week. I’m interested to monitor the next steps for new Vitro Architectural Glass. Obviously Vitro announcing a jumbo coater is surely a signal of some serious desire to grow the space.
  • I did have to laugh when I saw the Pittsburgh Penguins arena is changing its name from Consol Energy Center to PPG Paints Arena. PPG PAINTS. I guess they had to make sure the word PAINTS got in there in case one of us lowly glass people got confused, eh? Funny thing is, reading many of the message boards, many in the real world have no idea PPG is not in the glass space anymore. So they were commenting like crazy on why the word “paints” was so dominant. Example comment: “What about the glass… doesn’t PPG stand for “Pittsburgh Plate Glass?” I guess the commenters are not reading my blog, eh?
  • Glass Magazine is the official media partner of this week’s Façade Tectonics World Congress. The agenda looks outstanding and the show is promoting itself as one that goes deep into the info and not just a place for the “starchitect.”  Unfortunately I won’t be there in person but knowing between Glass Magazine’s twitter feed and that of John Wheaton (who I saw on twitter is attending), I am positive I will at least get as much flavor as possible. Events like this one can serve a great purpose in our industry for providing significant high level insight that is needed for us to keep pushing the envelope further.
  • Last this week, a Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the awesome country of Canada. Hope everyone enjoys with their family and friends and can give thanks to all we are so fortunate to have!


Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

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