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Just For Fun Contest Winners 2022

Just For Fun Contest Winners 2022

What amazing talent by every participant this year for our annual Just For Fun Contest! Here are our 2022 winners in each category:

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In Celebration of National Stained Art Glass Month

In Celebration of National Stained Art Glass Month

In honor of National Art Glass Month, Stained Glass Express, hosts an annual contest called "Just For Fun Contest". Customers of ours, local artists, and any glass enthusiast can enter the contest under three categories: Stained Glass (Copper foil or lead), Hot/Warm Glass (Fused, Torched, Blown), and lastly Mosaics. All entries are due this year by March 26th, and we display all the entries in our store. We then host a special "Invite Night" exclusive to contest entry participants and guests. This night brings together such talented artists from all over the State of Maine, and with appetizers and refreshments, everyone can connect and enjoy being in the company of people who all share the same interests of glass and art. But most importantly, everyone invited to "Invite Night" gets advantage of the store's biggest sale of the year! Our customer's love this aspect of the contest because the store puts out so much product and glass at a very low price! We also receive amazing donations from our top glass distributors and give everyone who participated a "Swag Bag" full of awesome stuff from each distributor. Everyone involved from the loyal customers to the amazing distributors and the employees who put this on it is truly a special night uniting us all over the love of art and glass! During Invite Night, each person can vote on their favorite entries and the winners selected for each category will receive gift cards to our store. Each year we have an amazing turnout and we cannot wait to see all the entries and how beautifully talented everyone is who submits an entry. Janet Parkhurst, owner of Stained Glass Express stated " It really is the most fun event we do. Not only do you get a present, but you get to hang with people who love what you love, and you get to see amazing artwork."
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Louis Comfort Tiffany


I absolutely love this piece by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 - 1933). This was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris. It was later installed in Tiffany's country estate, Laurelton Hall. It is currently at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum in Winter Park, Florida, where I have seen it on display.

If you look closely there are intricate lines to show vines and cracked earth. These are done by dripping molten glass on the piece. No need for paint! Tiffany painted with glass.


The entire Four Seasons Window was also on exhibit at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. It was then on exhibit at the Prima Esposizione Internazioale d'Arte Decorative Modern in Turin Italy in 1902. It then went to Tiffany's living room in Laurelton Hall on Long Island, New York. It is now on display at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum in Winter Park, Florida. Entire portions of Laurelton Hall are on display at the Morse. If you are in Florida this is a "not to be missed" visit.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright also loved Fall Colors. In his original paletter there were 36 colors. They are arranged in "micro-harmonies". That means any four adjacent Frank Lloyd Wright colors create a pleasing and cohesive palette.

One of his signature colors was Cheroke Red. A beautiful hint of Fall.

It is honestly difficult to stop copying pictures of his designs. They are breathtaking. An interesting story of Frank Lloyd Wright is that he often designed everything in the house. Lighting, floors, walls, decorations. He was known to come back to a house after the owners had moved in and removed things, they added that to him they did not belong with the design.

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How to Design the Perfect DIY Workshop Station for Your Home

by Andrea Lozoya

Whether you enjoy working on a favorite creative hobby, making handmade arts and crafts, or doing a variety of DIY projects in your free time, it’s important to have a dedicated workspace in your home where you can focus. Designing your own workshop station will make it easy to keep everything together in one place, and it provides you with a dedicated area to complete all sorts of projects while keeping the rest of your house uncluttered. When you plan your workshop station setup, there are several important things to consider, depending on the type of work you plan to do. Let’s take a closer look at some inspirational ideas and tips that will help you create the perfect DIY workshop so you can fulfill your creative needs.

Determine the Size and Location of Your Workshop

The size of your new workshop area will depend on how much space you need and how much you have available. Here are some tips to help you determine just how much room you’ll need.

  • If you live in a single-family home, you may have more space for your workshop station. You may even be able to build or renovate a separate outbuilding in the backyard, such as a shed or small garage.
  • Living in a condo or apartment means you likely have less room to work. However, you can make a portable, smaller workstation that’s about the size of a desk.
  • Think vertically if you’re short on space. Storing items on the wall will give you more floor space to work with.
  • Use corners wisely, and create a comfortable workstation nook with shelving or a small corner-mounted table.

Where you choose to set up shop is just as important as the size. Here are a few helpful tips to make it easier for you to pick a location at home.

  • If you’re doing woodworking or using power tools of any kind, make sure that there are enough power outlets nearby.
  • Ample lighting is also essential, so check to ensure that you’re working in an area with plenty of windows or that you have enough light fixtures to help you see clearly.
  • Choose a quiet part of your home, especially if you’re planning to use loud power tools like a circular saw or if you plan to do a lot of hammering.
  • Some great options for a separate workshop include the garage, a room over the garage, a large extra walk-in closet, the laundry room, or even the basement or attic if you have space.
  • Consider building a brand-new workstation if you have enough room in your backyard. A nice shed with a few windows is a great option that will give you a separate place to do anything from DIY wood projects to artwork and more.

What Kinds of DIY Work or Crafts Will You Do?

Your setup, size, and storage will depend on the type of projects you plan to work on. These tips will help you configure the best space for your needs.

Art and painting. A nice studio with lots of natural light is ideal if you plan to make custom art or work on paintings. Make sure you have plenty of storage so you can keep brushes, paints, canvases, and other art supplies together and organized.

Woodwork. You’ll need a larger space if you plan to do some woodworking. Check to make sure you have enough outlets for power tools, and ideally, this space should be completely separated from the rest of the home due to noise and sawdust. Consider ventilation as well if you’ll be using adhesives, paints, stains, or other toxic brews.

Ceramics and pottery. Pottery and ceramics can be messy, so choose a roomy area where you can work on your throw and fire up your kiln. Concrete flooring is ideal for a pottery studio.

Sewing. From fabric and thread to tools and accessories, make sure you set up a workstation that has enough storage for all of your sewing stuff. You’ll need a power source for your sewing machine and iron. And, of course, a roomy work table is also a must-have for your sewing studio.

Resin. Using resin to create things like jewelry or art is quickly becoming a popular hobby. Keep in mind that working with resin involves various chemical compounds, so choosing a space with adequate ventilation and away from kids and pets is extremely important.

Glasswork. You’ll need a large space away from your home if you’re planning to blow glass yourself. Glasswork involves a hot furnace, which can be expensive to set up yourself. If you’re just working with pieces of glass to make jewelry, you can choose a craft room or a space in the garage to work.

Supplies for Your New Workshop or Craft station

The tools and supplies you need will depend on what you’re doing. Here are a few important items that you should include when you set up your new workshop station.

Power drill. Every good DIYer needs a quality power drill. Make sure you have plenty of drill bits to go along with it and that your drill has enough voltage to drill into thicker wood or metal. A cordless drill is great for smaller household projects.

Hand and circular saw. A hand saw doesn’t require a power source, while a circular saw will. Both types of saws are extremely useful when you need to cut wood or other materials. Always use these tools with extreme caution, and wear safety glasses whenever you operate them.

Level and tape measure. Hanging items or building something requires it to be plumb and level. Make sure you have a level to ensure accuracy. Use a tape measure so you can determine the length or width of various items before you cut or build.

Hammer, screwdriver, and pliers. These three common tools are essential for any workshop. Choose hammers and pliers in different sizes depending on your needs. You should at least have one Philips head and one flat-head screwdriver, too.

Sewing supplies. Stock your sewing room with the important essentials like a quality sewing machine, plenty of different-colored threads, lots of buttons, needles, and a nice variety of fabrics.

Art. If you enjoy painting, make sure you have plenty of different paints, brushes, and paper or canvas to work on. A nice, sturdy easel is also a great choice if you prefer to stand up while painting, or if you’re working on a larger piece.

How to Keep Your Creative Corner Organized

Here are some tips to help you keep your new creative workspace free of clutter and organized.

  • Mount a pegboard on the wall, or use a magnetic board attached to a piece of wood to hang tools. A nice toolbox with drawers also comes in quite handy.
  • Shelving and drawers are perfect for organizing virtually anything. Clear plastic containers are great for storing small craft items, buttons, and nails or screws. Use wall storage to get more floor space by installing some shelving up toward the ceiling so you have more room to work in.
  • A rolling cart is perfect for small crafting items like glue, brushes, paints, and colored pencils. It’s also a good choice for small sewing accessories or for brads, nails, screws, and small hand tools.
  • Keep a special place for notes if you need to keep track of your projects. A nice whiteboard or blackboard is a good option, or you can use a corkboard and pin notes to it or hang a clipboard to the wall with a small notebook where you can write things down.

First-Time Project Tips and Ideas

Here are a few fun and easy ideas to help you get started if you’re new to doing creative projects.

DIY marble mugs. This is a fun project the whole family will enjoy, and it’s easy to make using just a few simple items. All you need is a few white mugs, some different colors of nail polish, a pan filled with water, and toothpicks. Seal your new mugs with clear ModgePodge when you’re done.

Throw pillows. Sewing custom throw pillows is a great way to learn how to sew or practice using a new sewing machine. You can make pillows from virtually any fabric you have lying around, and they’ll make your bedroom or living room much cozier.

Wood projects. Build a custom wood toy chest for your kids, or try a homemade outdoor bench or flower box if you enjoy gardening. All of these are a good starting point if you’re planning to learn woodworking.

Painting. Get the whole household together, and paint as a family. You can also paint your family portraits or try your hand at painting a landscape in the backyard. Get creative and make your custom abstract art for a fun way to experiment with different brushes and paint colors.

Once you have a custom workshop set up, the variety of projects you can work on is endless. Eventually, you’ll become obsessed with making a variety of DIY projects, from woodworking and jewelry making to painting and sewing. Your new workstation will probably become the entire family’s favorite corner of the house. Remember to try your hand at a few fun DIY projects that the kids and the whole family can enjoy working together for quality bonding time.

This article was originally published at Porch.com

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When Stained Glass Express Opened in 1988, we were literally a Stained Glass Store. We sold stained glass and the supplies that went with the copper foil method. We were a few years into it before we even brought any lead came in. It is quite a different story now. So much to choose from.

STAINED GLASS: We are still dancing with the one that brought us. We continually teach beginner stained glass classes and still provide lots of that product line. Copper foil, stained glass method is cutting the glass, grinding the glass, foiling the glass, soldering the pieces together.

LEADED GLASS: Leaded glass is more popular than ever. Not only do we do a lot of restoration of leaded church windows, we teach classes in lead came to students who have some knowledge of beginner stained glass. With the leaded method you cut the glass, grind the glass, cut lead came and fit it to the glass, grout the glass and clean the pieces.

FUSING: Fusing gives such immediate gratification. It is fast and fun. We use for Fun Nights Out and classes and provide lots of that product to fusers. To fuse on your own, you really need to know how to run a kiln. The process is to cut the glass to the shapes you want, maybe decorate or layer, fuse it and then possibly slump it into a mold. There are so many variations. It can also be very complex and artistic.

MOSAICS: Great for kid classes, great way to use up scraps and can be a very professional medium to create with. The process is to find a substrate. It could be a tile, a board, glass, a piece of furniture, a shoe and most anything. Let your imagination go wild. It does not have to be just glass. Add rocks, broken dishes, or other items. Again, the limit is your imagination. Then you glue. You can grout, or not grout.

HOT GLASS: An extremely exciting medium. It can be done with bench burners or with an oven. We use bench burners. You need something to create the flame, fuel and oxygen. You also need an annealing kiln. The process is to heat the glass in the flame. You can work on a mandrel or not. Shape the glass using gravity and tools and sometimes blowing into a tube of glass.

PAINT: An incredibly old process and a very new process. You see painted glass on church windows that are over 100 yrs old. These are enamel paints that get fused and become part of the glass. Still done today. Often this method is reversed painting and requires several firings in the kiln. Manufacturers are Reusche and others.

Then there are paints that you can put in the oven. They are not totally permanent. They are the type of thing that says hand painted, hand wash, like wine glasses. This would be paint like Vitrea paints.

Probably the most popular are the enamels that you paint head on. (Not Reverse). They are fused and become permanent. Like this plate done by Paula Mccoy, owner of Colors for Earth paints.

There is also paint that is not permanent. You might use it for an eye, or just a dot. It will wash off.

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We have now been doing the Just For Fun Contest for 30 Years! That is staying power!

Here are some entries from years past.

It was all stained glass back when we started out. No fusing, no mosaics, and no hot glass. How things have changed!

When we started it we talked about rules, a lot of issues came up. All original work or are pattens ok? All glass must come from us or whatever is in the piece is fine? If someone sells their work, are they eligible to enter? Right then and there the contest was named. We decided that we did not want to monitor any of those things. We wanted the contest to be JUST FOR FUN for our customers and for us. I am so happy that tis the way it went. We get a wonderful variety, and we can just enjoy them.

We encourage everyone to enter. The professions give wonderful inspiration to those starting out and the beginners are just a breath of fresh air with their creativity and courage.

These are the winners for 2021.

The judging is the most fun. There is no criteria. You vote for what you like. It is not open to the public voting. It is the people who enter the current years or past years and their one guest.

This year our judging event was spread out over two days because of the crowd restrictions from Covid but we are happy to have that. In the recent past it has been everyone who entered coming at the same time, having refreshments, getting to know each other, and shopping our special sale. There is something about putting a bunch of people together who have a common interest that makes for an incredibly fun time.

Thank you to everyone who participates in the wonderful event. You make our store just the best every April.

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Every year I look forward to the announcement of Pantone's color of the year. They have been doing this for over 20 years. The announcement influences fashion, home furnishings, industrial design and a glass sale at Stained Glass Express! To pick the color, the Pantone color experts look at color influences from current/emerging entertainment and film industry, art collections and new artists, fashion, design, travel, sports, lifestyles and socio-economic conditions.

2021 Brings us two colors! Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow.

"The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit" _Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Our picks for our March sale are:

For 96 COE - Oceanside 28072 Pewter and 161 Yellow Transparent

For Art Glass Wissmach's 31 Corella Classic and Kokomo's 789 Grey Opatlume

These are some picturs from the fashion world using the colors.

Home Decor

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Here is a good thing that happened in 2020! The amazing Glass Challenge. Endings and Beginnings! The Entries really are amazing. We are proud to be the host of this contest and be associated with such talented people. We want to acknowledge and thank the founders of The Amazing Glass challenge, Lucie Boucher and Bernie Huebner of Soneridge Glass. They started The Challenge with Gray Glass Challenge in 2012. Stained Glass Express has kept it going most years since then. We also want to thank our judges for giving us the time and talent. Bruce Grantham, Alice Yates and Kathi Wall. Read Their Bios at these links: https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/store/skin1/images/patterns/About%20Bruce%20Grantham.pdf https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/store/skin1/images/patterns/About%20Alice%20Yates.pdf https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/store/skin1/images/patterns/About%20Kathi%20Wall.pdf And the biggest THANK YOU to all who took on the challenge. The winners are: See all the entries here: https://www.stainedglassexpress.com/store/skin1/images/patterns/All%20Pics.pdf If Covid had not turned our Champagne Reception into a hybrid event with our program being virtual, I would have added this as my contribution and the end of the program: Intro of

The Glass Tears Poem Journal by Randal S. Doaty

A ray of sunlight came through a pane in the glass studio workshop

The scrap glass bucket was nearly full. On top of this heap was a hardened drip of glass that had

carelessly fallen from a glass artist's punti.

Glimmering in the sunlight that morning was the very first Glass Teardrop

It may have remained just scrap until the simple words, glass tears, softly whispered in the imagination of a would-be poet.

What was intended as the end - into the scrap bucket - became the first bit of beauty of the day.

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What it means is coefficient of expansion. It is a measurement of the rate that glass will expand and contract when it is heated and cooled. In the good old days, we just lived and died by put 90 COE together or put 96 COE together. It did seem to work. It has become more complex. It is now a guideline not a "live by, die by rule". First now we hear about a lot more coes.

Window glass (float glass) is somewhere between 84-87.

A bottle could be anywhere between 82-96.

Now we also deal with hot glass. The soft rods, glass and accessory are 104 COE

The next confusion came when Bullseye announced they were Bullseye compatible and stopped saying 90 coe. I felt that Bullseye had to be aiming for something and that was 90; we had some comfort in saying you can put 90 with Bullseye. We all loved System 96. We could put together Uroboros and Spectrum and that all worked fine. Then when those companies closed and Oceanside started manufacturing the Spectrum line, they followed what Bullseye did and said they were Oceanside compatible. So then, still feeling they were headed for some number for compatibility and that number was 96, we were still ok saying “sure put it with Wissmach and Youghiogheny 96”. Youghiogheny even was testing their 96 to Oceanside and Wissmach. Did we see some odd results coming out of the kiln? Yes, we did, now and then. When breakage happens, it is going to be thermal shock, bad annealing, or incompatibility. For this blog we are focusing on incompatibility. Bullseye does a wonderful job of putting out technical data. They are clear about saying that coe is NOT the only measure of compatibility. Viscosity of glass is equally as important. Viscosity is resistance to flow.

This direction from Bullseye tech tips.

“Whereas expansion affects the compatibility

predominantly in the lower temperature range—below the

strain point—the viscosity properties affect compatibility

predominantly in the annealing range, from the annealing

point to the strain point. Differences in viscosity between

two glasses will cause compatibility problems. If one glass

is stiffer than the other, they will strain each other as they

cool through the annealing range.”

How can you know if your breakage occurred when annealing or fusing? If the break is sharp it broke during cooling (annealing). If the break is smooth over it, then it was still fusing after the break. So, what to do? If you are going to mix manufacturers, you need to test. They may be compatible. They may not.
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On May 7, 2020 Youghiogheny and Oceanside announced a partnership where Oceanside will continue with the Spectrum line and accessory glass and Youghiogheny will take on the manufacturing of the Uroboros line. It is exciting to have the Uroboros line again. With Youghiogheny manufacturing the Uroboros line, we not only will get the glass we will see more options in the accessory glass line. I am taking a leap here, but I believe that this collaboration will bring back the "96" term which Oceanside has not been using. Both companies are saying the System 96 brand will be back. That is exciting news. No question that Y-96, Oceanside and Uro fusible will be compatible.

Here is the official announcemnt.

Our industry is long overdue for an announcement of excitement and positivity, so we are pleased to be the bearer of good news. Youghiogheny Glass, together with Oceanside Glasstile, is announcing the acquisition and launch of Uro by Yough, a resurrection of the Uroboros line of both traditional art glass and 96 compatible fusible glass. The machines and all of the equipment have arrived at our Connellsville factory, and we are just about ready to start production. We would like to thank Oceanside Glasstile for approaching us with this opportunity. Their transparency and cooperation throughout the entire process has resulted in a second thrilling announcement; a collaborative resurrection of the System 96 brand of fusible glass and products including Oceanside Compatible, Uro by Yough, and Y96!! So what this means is that Youghiogheny Glass will produce URO by Yough and will collaborate with OGT to resurrect the System 96 brand. The new agreement will allow for the most comprehensive product selection of hand rolled art glass And a complete line of System 96 compatible fusing glasses and accessories. The last 5 years have been tumultuous. Our passion for glass and the industry drove us to fill product voids created from the upheaval and expand Youghiogheny's palette. We viewed this time as an opportunity for growth and expansion into the 96 fusible market with our Y96 product line, even though the future seemed uncertain. In less than a year from the release of Y96, we unveiled the True Dichro line of Art Glass. This had been a 10 year experiment and an outstanding breakthrough in art glass manufacturing science. This was quickly followed by a line of Textured Streaky Art Glass and then Art Glass Irids. Finally, we expanded color options in Y96, more than doubling the original offerings. At the end of 2019, we thought we had done it all. However, opportunity arose once again when we were approached by Oceanside GlassTile regarding Uroboros production and System 96. Youghiogheny has a long history of producing high quality, handmade sheet glass and is the ideal landing spot for the products previously produced by Uroboros. Our niche and strengths are the perfect complement to OGT’s continuous ribbon and accessory products in order to expand the System 96 palette. The name Uroboros Glass carries a heavy weight with us. The brand and legacy created by Eric Lovell is of the highest quality and held in the highest regard. We consider it an honor and great challenge to properly reintroduce Uro, by Yough. An undertaking of this magnitude for our company will be a challenge, one of excitement and optimism. This is an area where we ask for your help. Any insight that you can provide us with from your previous years of experience with the Uro line of glasses will be helpful. The expansive line of art glass, with the many combinations of colors and textures, has many products that are very similar or identical to items currently produced within our existing product lines. Uro by Yough is striving to recreate the most sought after products previously manufactured without creating duplicates of what is currently available. With your valuable input we will be able to determine a production starting point more quickly. We thank you for your continued support and loyalty and look forward to providing you with even more excellent products. Stay Well, Tristan and Leanne Triggs
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Fallbrook Art Center's Galaxy of Glass

Fallbrook Art Center's Galaxy of Glass

click on the title to see the entire blog. A few years ago, I was in California for a wedding. After the wedding, we spent a couple of days wandering around and ended up in Fallbrook. Luck was with me. The Fallbrook Art Center was open and hosting its annual Galaxy of Glass. Its 2019 show just ended. Here are a few of the highlights:

"What Side Effects"

Stephanie Close of La Mesa, California

“Dopamine Action” by Buzz Blodgett of Encinitas, California.

'Golden Chaos'

Stephanie Close of La Mesa, California

Hot sculpted glass, glass grinding belts, black & 24-karat gold paint. Mounted on wood.
“Golden Chaos” by Stephanie Close of La Mesa, California.

'Seven’s Home'

Tom Marosz of Spring Valley, California

Optic crystal, cut, ground, polished and chattered with dichroic.
“Seven’s Home” by Tom Marosz of Spring Valley, California.
To see more of the Fallbrook Art Center and get on its mailing list, go to www.fallbrookartcenter.org.
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A rewrite of the 2017 blog “AM I GOOD ENOUGH” Right after the holiday season we start encouraging all of you to get your entry ready for the Just For Fun Contest. We often hear, “I am just not good enough.” I just want to say, “YES, YOU ARE!” The variety of work and the different skill levels are what make the contest wonderful. Each piece draws out comments of appreciation for something. It might be choice of color, or choice or glass. Some little quirky things someone might have done. Some little creative touch. It might be that someone just likes it. NEVER, NEVER, have we heard— “that doesn’t belong—it is not good enough.” The name “Just for Fun” may sound trite but we put a lot of thought into it. We did not want the contest to have rules that we have to monitor, and we do not want to limit it in any way. (we do limit size because we don’t want the ceiling to fall). We just want it to be Fun. You can enter to win or you can enter just for fun. This contest is in celebration of National Stained-Glass Month. In addition to seeing just an awesome collection of entries, you will get to come to Invite Night celebration. You get to vote. You get to enjoy refreshments. You get a swag bag. You get to shop the very best sale we have all year on different items that you see in the store all the time. Thinks we found on sale, things we find on close outs, things suppliers offer us at special pricing. We usually throw in some introductory products are introductory prices. All in all it is just a great time. Get your contest piece ready and help us celebrate National Stained Glass Month!
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