Art glass manufacturer Spectrum Glass Company is preparing to close operations owing to hard business and economic realities.
The Washington-based company will produce glass for another 60 to 75 days during June and July this year and will sell its existing inventory over the coming months.
Spectrum Glass Company CEO Craig Barker shares in the statement of closure that, after serving the art and speciality glass industry for 40 years, it is with very heavy hearts that it was decided to close Spectrum Glass Company.
“Our primary concern is to help ease this difficult transition for our 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,” he lamented.
Barker asserted that for customers and end-users, the company was exploring opportunities to transfer product lines to other manufacturers to help minimise disruptions in sourcing.
He reiterated that the decision to close the company’s doors had been extraordinarily difficult adding that it was postponed for as long as possible and had arrived at this conclusion only after immense consideration.
“Owing 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 the art glass movement, but our sales never fully recovered following the great recession,” he commented.
Barker elucidated that the company had watched sales dwindle dramatically to only 40% of production capacity, while overhead expenses had continued to increase. He added that the consistently reduced levels of sales simply could not cover the fixed costs required to operate the company’s facility.
He further pointed out that the entire US art glass industry was being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with respect to potential new regulations.
Barker mentioned that long-standing interpretations of air quality regulations were being re-evaluated and, if new regulations were applied to the 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.”
Barker concluded by expressing the company’s deepest gratitude to all of its partners, customers, artists and others who have supported Spectrum Glass over the past four decades, and who continued to support it.