Spectrum Glass To Close

spectrumWoodinville, Wash. – In a move that shocked many in the art glass world, Spectrum Glass has announced that they are going out of business. Spectrum, which makes System 96 fusing glass and numerous varieties of stained glass, intends to continue making glass for roughly two more months, then sell off its inventory and exit the art glass business.

Craig Barker, CEO of Spectrum Glass Company, shared this statement on the closure:
“After serving the art and specialty glass industry for 40 years, it is with very heavy hearts that we have decided to close Spectrum Glass Company.
“Our primary concern is to help ease this difficult transition for the fine employees, customers, retailers, and glass artists that we’ve been proud to work with and serve. We’re committed to doing everything we can to provide career assistance for our people, and are of course offering severance to our employees. For customers and end users, we are exploring opportunities to transfer our product lines to other manufacturers to help minimize disruptions in sourcing.
“The decision to close our doors has been extraordinarily difficult. We postponed it for as long as possible,and arrived at this conclusion only after immense consideration. However, due to several factors, it’s no longer financially feasible for Spectrum Glass to continue to operate.
“Market factors have played the most significant role. Our facility was built to support product demand at the height of art glass movement, but our sales never fully recovered following the Great Recession. We have watched our sales dwindle dramatically to only 40 percent of production capacity, while overhead expenses have continued to increase. Our consistently reduced levels of sales simply cannot cover the fixed costs required to operate a facility of our size.
“Additionally, the entire U.S. art glass industry is now being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with respect to potential new regulations. Long-standing interpretations of air quality regulations are being reevaluated, and if new regulations were applied to our facility, it would require substantial capital expenses. Spectrum Glass Company has operated well within existing environmental
guidelines and has been the only stained glass manufacturer to employ baghouse technology on furnace exhaust. Still, we have already accrued extraordinary, unanticipated expenses since the start of the EPA evaluation and cannot withstand additional investments of an unknown scale for an already faltering business.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of our partners, customers, artists and others who have supported Spectrum Glass over the past four decades, and who continue to support us now. We will continue manufacturing for the next 60—75 days, and will continue selling the product inventory we currently have on hand over the months ahead. We will communicate updates as we wind down our operations.”