Discovery of the oldest glass furnaces Israel near Mount Carmel


glassmaking furnaces dating back to the late Roman era were discovered at the foot of Mount Carmel, between junctions Ha-Amakim and Yagur, announced Monday the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA). This archaeological discovery is further evidence of the place occupied by the Israeli glass industry on the international stage.

Israel, a major glass production center

Furnaces glass splinters, discovered during excavations carried out in the framework of a railway project underway in the Jezreel Valley, prove that Israel was indeed a leading glass production centers of the ancient world .


"This is a very important discovery with implications for the history of the glass industry both in Israel and in the entire ancient world," says Yael Gorin-Rosen, chief curator of the department glassware in the AIA. He added: "We know from historical sources dating back to the Roman era that the Acre Valley was famous for the excellent quality of its sand, particularly suitable for the manufacture of glass. Chemical analyzes of glass utensils from this period discovered in European sites and wrecks of sunken ships in the Mediterranean region have proved that the glass is rooted in our region. Now, furnaces have been discovered, for the first time, where the raw material used to manufacture the glassware was produced. "


The extraordinary results of these almost accidental excavations have attracted glass experts worldwide. "This sensational discovery is of great interest for the understanding of all the glass trade system in antiquity. Here we have evidence that Israel was a production center of international importance; his drink was widely distributed in Europe and all the Mediterranean countries, "says Professor Ian Freestone of the University College London, an expert in the identification of the chemical composition of the glass.

The site was located by Abdel Salam Al-Sa'id, an inspector of AIA who oversaw the construction of the new railway line linking Haifa to the east. The archaeologist, whose task is to ensure that the work does not affect sites that may have historical significance, discovered pieces of raw glass, antique stalls and a layer of ash in a trench. "We also found pieces of glazed bricks from the walls and ceiling of the oven," says the director of excavations.

Industrial production for a growing market


Furnaces included two compartments: a combustion chamber where burning kindling to obtain a very high temperature, and a melting chamber in which the raw materials (the pure sand and salt) were inserted and then fused to a temperature of about 1200 Co. The glass was then heated for one to two weeks, until huge pieces of raw glass are formed. Some weighed over 10 tons. At the end of the production process, the ovens were cooled and the glass pieces were broken into smaller pieces and sold to workshops where they were re-melted to produce glassware.

The use of glass has largely developed in early Roman times, because of its characteristics very popular: its transparency, beauty, delicacy and manufactured utensils and speed production blow. Become a necessity in every home of the Roman Empire, glass was produced in industrial quantities in specialized centers. The site discovered in the Zvoulon Valley is an excellent example of such glass manufacturing centers.

Remember also that the edict of Maximum, issued 301 of the vulgar era by the Roman emperor Diocletian, mentions two types of glass: the first known under the name Judea glass (that is to say, the Land of Israel) and the second glass of Alexandria (Egypt). The glass Judea was light green and cheaper than Egyptian glass. This discovery now allows to locate one of the centers where this had occurred prized commodity in the Roman Empire.

The ovens will be transferred to the regional school "Carmel Zvoulon" and exposed to the public in a few months.


Glass Performance Days – 25 Years Anniversary Conference June 28-30, 2017

Dedicated to Information Sharing

The age of digitalization makes customer relationships personal


The Glass Performance Days started in 1992 triggered by the observation that glass processors had something very important in common: Effective use of state-of-the-art equipment and technology. It was equally evident that this know-how was something that needed and could well be shared. The road from a seminar with limited participation to a truly global, world-leading conference was swift and successful. The dynamo of the concept and long-time Chairman of the Conference Organizing Committee Jorma Vitkala sets the essence and substance of the Conference into perspective:

-        The success formula we have followed is crystal clear. We have always believed in the power of information sharing for the development of the industry. In fact we have worked from the hypothesis that information is the only commodity that grows from continuous sharing, he says. When information sharing is conducted in the manner that we call the GPD Spirit it produces results. We have seen that this atmosphere creates benefits for all and the more experience participants possess the better information sharing travels between them. The search for new forms of cooperation and information at the GPD is on-going. In this way participants and speakers have made the Conference into what it is and the organizers are naturally more than grateful in being able to facilitate this high-level exchange.

A note of appreciation

The GPD has worked from a platform of cooperation since the beginning. The participants and sponsors as well as the organizations behind them have contributed remarkably to the common good.

-        There have been many spinoffs from the GPD, regional conferences have followed and the formula has been generally accepted and even served as a catalyst for other events, Jorma Vitkala says. Our supporters and contributors deserve genuine appreciation for the input they have contributed and that has made the Glass Performance Days into what the Conference is today – not to mention what it will be tomorrow.

25 Year Anniversary next

Now that the Glass Performance Conference heads towards its 25 Year Anniversary in what will be the 16th Conference June 28-30, 2017 GPD can look back at an impressive record of collecting and sharing glass industry essentials. A total of over 13,000 delegates have attended 3,000 presentations, listened to 1,000 speakers and formed 30,000 contacts over the years.

But a Conference like the GPD is much more than impressive numbers. It is a get-together that brings specialists together for the purpose of learning from an open exchange of information on a personal level. Above all it is something that changes very much over time as experiences and business environments develop. One of the main reasons for going to the GPD is to sense the atmosphere of the times together with colleagues. Business development has a lot to do with intuition and creativity. To stay competitive professionals have to stay in the mainstream of the leading trends. Development is driven by people and that is very personal. The same applies to the career paths of glass professionals. New experts enter the scene, others may leave it but the core remains to pursue continuous development.

-        As important as the live Conferences are networking and continuous development is in no way limited to the physical conferences only, Vitkala observes. Web documentation and professional portals are open for facts presentations within the world of glass between conferences as well. The Glassfiles-portal that started up earlier now contains some 8,000 pages of technical articles and offers GPD-speakers an opportunity to communicate with the registered users of the portal.

Bloggers welcome

The latest addition brought on by the digital age is the portal introduced and spearheaded by Miika Appelqvist of Glaston.

-          We have taken on this initiative to serve the entire supply chain of the glass business, from designers to researchers and industry. The mission of the portal is to invite and serve individual bloggers primarily from our GPD sponsor networks representing professional views on the development of the glass business to share information with colleagues on-line and to form acquaintances that go beyond sheer business relationships. The professional respect gained makes on-line contact activity quite personal, Miika Appelqvist remarks.

The next generation

-        Twenty-five years could well be labeled one generation in the life of a business, Vitkala ponders. Many things have changed and some essential basics, like the physical properties of the glass material, have remained the same. New technology has been adapted to the inherent physical properties of glass and new products have been developed by utilizing the best the material can offer.  A look at today´s city planning and building designs plus the requirements put on energy-efficiency, environmental comfort and stylishness reveals how far we have come from the very first use of glass to cover window openings in buildings, Vitkala reflects. Looking back at the major advances of the latest 25 years of the glass industry one has to mention coating technology, especially LowE and solar applications that have hoisted energy-efficiency to a completely new level. The changes and shapes of modern building design, increased glass sizes, new bonding techniques and the use of glass as a structural element are other notable and significant advances.

Essential GPD features

The special workshops arranged in conjunction with the GPD are tailored for special audiences that have the need for hands-on information on specific issues. At GPD 2015 one of these was the spotlight put on high-rise construction. The lecturers represented leading experts on high-rise and participants were particularly appreciative of the special challenges attached to high-rise – quite different from normal housing or low-rise construction. This workshop proved to be a real eye-opener even for experienced and widely recognized architects. Quote:

-          The significance of extensive experience was very evident, special buildings have special demands and the technical requirements of high-rise increase exponentially. The presentations by Keith Boswell and Leon Jacob complimented one another extremely well, from the inside out (building typology and space allocation) and the exterior (curtain walls). The GPD  is a super concept, in one-two days one can amass a lot of information, the internet-summaries are excellent, too (Pekka Helin, Pekka Helin & Co. Architects).

Although the GPD is an international forum and English the language participants represent different regions of origin. Some participants hosting business partners at the Conference have arranged simultaneous translation to make sure nothing is lost behind any language barrier. These visitors voiced both appreciation and thankfulness for this special consideration.

The effort of the organizers to screen and streamline presentations added a lot to their clarity and visual appearance. This clearly contributed to the efficiency of communications and also helped keep presentations structurally uniform and within their allocated time frames.

The 16th GPD in its 25th year also coincides with the 100th Anniversary of independent Finland – the home of the main Conference since its beginning. That fact will also contribute to the feeling around the Conference that takes place at the height of the Midsummer season in Scandinavia.


The  Aniche float will restart


In mid-September, the float Aniche restart. After an eternity. In April 2012, the furnace went out. After being trained in the new process, workers will produce new glass. But with a small change. Dedicated far the only building market, the site will now produce predominantly for the automobile.

After sixteen years of operation in April 2012, the glass furnace of Saint-Gobain Glass France was dying. But it was better for résuciter. By a company agreement signed in March 2011 by all unions, management pledged to invest 26.6 million for the modernization of the site Aniche. Bodes well for the plant, a thirty-five float glass production units of the Saint-Gobain Group worldwide. Except that the restart was much, much longer than initially announced. Of deferrals, the oven 350 meters long, will have remained more than four years off!

"We were expecting this news with impatience. Staff clung to restart ", recognizes, relieved, Christian Brice, who during all these years has drawn many bells, the Officer of Saint-Gobain France, policies ... What was the daily employees during these four years? Management has posted to some other sites. Of Anichois worked at the Saint-Gobain plant Eurofloat Salaise-sur-Sanne (Isère). It also has been shutdown to be equipped with a new oven. Homecoming of anichois workers who themselves have lost none of their experience (see below). "An oven, it does not call into heated overnight. It takes a month to get the correct glass, "says Christian Brice. The rebuilt furnace has a capacity increased to 670 tons / day against 600 tonnes / day in the former and reduced energy consumption by 15%. And it will not produce as glass for the building. "Its use will be mixed, automobile / construction, with a predominantly auto assignment," says management.

Set foot in the stirrup. For C. Brice is the number 1 concern for those employees who were no longer in contact with an oven. "We must reclaim the manufacturing process, become familiar again with the safety rules ...", means the union. Adding: "Everyone will be holding sleeves. It is not about to slow restart. This restart is excellent news for the labor pool. " In the coming months, staff will undergo a training program. Especially as the management indicated that it plans to hire twenty people. "Before the stop, we were 206. And I am not talking precarious and employees of subcontractors, C. Brice said. Currently we are 180

Dear Spectrum Glass Customers;

We are making an extraordinarily difficult announcement today. After serving the art and specialty glass industry for 40 years, it is with very heavy hearts that we must announce the closure of Spectrum Glass Company. Due to several factors, it is no longer financially feasible for our company to continue to operate.

We will continue manufacturing through June and July 2016, and will sell the product inventory currently on hand over the months ahead.

Please know that our primary concern is to help ease this difficult transition for you and all the people we’ve been proud to work with and serve. We are exploring opportunities to transfer our product lines to other manufacturers to help minimize disruptions in sourcing.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of our partners, customers, artists and others who have supported Spectrum Glass over these past four decades, and who continue to support us now. We will communicate updates here and via other channels as we wind down our operations.



Histoire de la pierre, marbres et granits :


Les origines


A l’origine étaient appelées marbres toutes les pierres que l’on pouvait polir sans aucune référence à leur composition. On a donc appelé marbres, des roches qui étaient en fait des granits, des basaltes, des calcaires… qui sont considérés comme des marbres anciens par opposition aux marbres modernes qui dérivent tous du calcaire.

Le mot marbre est dérivé du terme Grec Marmaros qui signifie "pierre brillante"

Le terme granit apparait lui beaucoup plus tard au  17 ème siècle et dérive du terme Italien "granito" qui signifie grain. D’ailleurs en Anglais on parle de "granite".

Les marbres se sont formés au fond des océans par dépôt de calcaires pendant une période située entre -380 et -330 millions d’années.

Les matières en suspension dans l'eau se sont peu à peu déposées en lits les unes au-dessus des autres et ont constitué des formations géologiques appelées bancs.

L'action de différents éléments naturels (mouvements des couches, pression, action du soleil, de l'oxygène..) ont changés peu à peu les caractéristiques originelles et la couleur donnant à la pierre son aspect définitif.

Les mouvements des couches plus profondes vont soulever et faire se déplacer ces couches de marbres que l’on retrouvera le plus souvent dans des collines en faible altitude au pied des principaux massifs montagneux.

L’action de la lumière et de la chaleur va faire cristalliser ces roches et lui donner son aspect actuel.

Ces marbres, que l’on appelle marbres primaires ne contiennent jamais de fossiles car ils se sont formés à une époque où la vie n’existait pas encore sur la terre.