International Relations

Our art/craft of glassworking has its roots far outside the political boundaries of the United States, but by-and-large a lot of the products, techniques, tools and information comes from the U.S. We are a varied group of artisans and crafters who for the most part freely share information with our “cousins” overseas.

But, there is a problem, and it relates to safety. I see many posts, for the most part from our “cousins” overseas describing techniques and installations that here in the U.S. are clearly unsafe and by U.S. law are illegal. One of the most prominent of these is the storage and use of propane indoors. The U.S. law is that you can have no more than two (2) one-pound cylinders of propane inside a residential/commercial/industrial building at any one time. That’s not true in Canada, in Europe or in Australia. But that does not mean that U.S. glassworkers should follow the laws of other countries.

I think for the most part, glassworkers here in the U.S. are wise enough to know that the U.S. laws are different, but the process breaks down when there are “newbies” involved in the discussion. One prominent Canadian retailer who frequents a lot of the glassworking forums is quite outspoken about his “interpretation” of the U.S. fire code and thinks that it is perfectly OK for U.S. glassworkers to have a 20# propane tank sitting next to them at their work bench, and frequently voices this opinion, but, interestingly enough, never in any of the safety forums, where he is sure to have his ass handed to him.

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