Glass is practically magical in how it is made; it’s very personal and often carefully hand-blown. Now these beautiful pieces are making their way into the mainstream of the sex toy world. So who is Kevin of XHale and how did he get into glass product making? How did Kevin and Adam meet? What were the biggest hurdles getting started as a new glass toy company?

Glass is practically magical in how it is made; it’s very personal and often carefully hand-blown. Now these beautiful pieces are making their way into the mainstream of the sex toy world.  So who is Kevin of XHale and how did he get into glass product making? How did Kevin and Adam meet? What were the biggest hurdles getting started as a new glass toy company?

Interview with Vice President and Art Director of XHale Glass, Kevin Kroldart

October 30, 2009

Let’s learn more about the guy behind the gleaming, eco-friendly and hygienic goodies at XHale. Taking nearly a year and a half to get his foot in the door to the lampworking world, Kevin got his start with a company specializing in glass smokers’ accessories. Six months later, nearly a dozen other similar companies were forced out of business by the government. Long time friend, Adam Burns, came back from a six year hiatus as co- owner of an LA record company, reunited with Kevin, and over two pints of Guinness, a couple of bar napkins and a pen; the idea of XHale Glass was conceived…the rest is history. Has their tremendous amount of growth come from their focus on education and unique manufacturing? With online interaction being the daily norm, and exhibiting at shows only happening a few times a year – how does XHale use online resources to build their brand? Kevin has been heralded as one of the best in the trade; he wants the world to understand how truly natural glass products are made, how they can play well both hot and cold, and to create informed customers in the process. Glass is an extraordinary medium making great strides in the adult industry – what has XHale Glass learned over the last 7 years?

  • Carrie Ann Carrie Ann 1 user seconded this question.

    I am so glad to see you guys here! I have to concur with the "best in the trade" compliment. The pieces I have from Xhale are so perfect they nearly make me weep. Serious beauty and perfection.

    I know that comes from using quality materials and skilled glass artists but just HOW skilled are these guys? And how did they get that way? Is it a practice makes perfect sort of thing?

    Victoria Victoria 1 user seconded this question.

    Are you the most experienced glass-maker (lampworking person?) at XHale? Have you ever apprenticed someone?

    Thank you for your kind words Carrie Ann. You pretty much hit it right on; a lot of practice makes for a great artist. Also the willingness to challenge your self and most of all patience. I can't even believe how many hours, days, weeks, and months of sitting behind my torch before I felt comfortable. We have some guys woking here with over ten years experience. I have over eight years of lampmaking experience, but unlike most glass artist in my field I've spent nearly all of this time working with solid glass and making sex toys.

    Part of my job here is to train other workers in my way of production. I've never trained someone from scratch, but I have taught people that have had little experience in solid glass sculpting. When I got my first shot at lampworking I was apprenticed by a good friend of mine in Arizona (This was all hollow glass working). Going from hollow to solid glass was a challenge because there just wasn't anyone around to show me the ropes. Most was self taught through books, internet, and trial and error.

    Victoria (host): "Thanks for giving us insight to your training and how you came up in the trade. Very impressive to hear about your persistence and how it worked out!"

  • What has been your most successful accident at XHale? Has there ever been a situation where you think you messed up and it really turned around for you?

    This one has to be The HeartBreaker. We were just finishing up getting ready for a trade show and I had a day to kill. I had this idea in my head for a while and figured what the hell. I thought it would be hard to make, time consuming, and not looking so hot. Even after finishing it I had to get everyone opinion on it because I couldn't believe how nice it turned out. This piece and the follow up piece Red Heart turned into our best selling toys.
  • In addition to designing glass products, do you also make art on the side for personal pleasure?

    What is the most difficult thing you've ever created from glass and why?

    For several years now I've been working with warm glass. This is a type of glass that is between hard glass and soft glass, closer to soft. It's great for making plates, bowls, tiles, sinks, and lighting sconces. Which I've made all of when I can find the time. It's a process called fusing and slumping. The plates and bowls are some of the hardest art projects I've worked on based on the time you can put into these. Cutting the sheet glass, assembling, multiple trips to the kiln, and hours and hours of polishing.
  • The only problem I've had with glass toys is that they don't typically vibrate. Is that a design issue (structural stressing, etc.)? Is it unsafe?

    Other glass-producing companies such as Don Wands and Phallix, have also created products using urethane, wood, stainless steel, etc. Do you see branching out into other materials in XHale's future? Or will XHale stay purely glass?

    Vibrating devices can be added safely to glass. As with the Don Wands vibrating glass toys they have placed a padded dampening material between the glass and vibrator so there is no direct contact. Very smart.

    We have always stayed true to glass toys. Being a glass artist, I've never felt the need to mix mediums. It's worked well for us so far, and I'm sure thats what we'll stick with.
  • Alan & Michele Alan & Michele 1 user seconded this question.

    I'm terrified of using glass sex toys and thus have never bought any, but lately my wife has become intrigued by your Fantasy G-spot toy and is hinting at trying one. Can you tell me what sort of testing these toys go through to ensure that they are durable and not prone to breakage during use?

    First we start with quality borosilicate glass, mostly Simax boro. All of our toys go through an annealing process. Which is a way of baking the glass in an extremely hot kiln, 1200F dgr. When melting and shaping glass the molecules get all scrambled up. When the glass cools the molecules freeze in their tracks causing stress in the toy. The kiln, basically an oven, brings the glass to a set temerature, hold at set temperature, and cools glass slowly. This allows the molecules in the glass to realign in a strong natural stucturale state.

    After toys are pulled from the kiln they are checked with a polariscope. This is a device that has a set of lenses and a light source. With a polariscope you can physically see if there is any stress left over from manufacturing. It's kind of cool, if there is some stress in the glass it looks like an oil slick in a puddle of water, all rainbows.

    The pounds per square inch needed to break annealed borosilicate glass can't be produced by the human body when used properly.
  • Carrie Ann Carrie Ann 3 users seconded this question.

    Why does the gold fuming in glass look pink?

    Well the amount of gold applied to the glass is so thin, microscopic, light passes through the glass and gold. That's really the true color of it. The thicker the gold the more metallic hughs you can get out of it. If applied to a dark cobalt color glass the light doesn't pass through as easy. Giving the gold a more traditional look, shiny reflective gold. Gold is also added to glass to produce red glass. The higher the consentration of gold the darker the red will be.

  • Saraid Saraid 5 users seconded this question.

    How does a person get into the art of making glass art? I've always wondered if there are training programs or if it's just kind of passed down through the generations.

    First I would pick an area of glass interest (glass bead making, glass jewelry, slump and fuse, stained glass, soft glass blowing, glass casting). Second, look for classes in your neck of the woods. I see them all the time. Try taking a few classes to see if you're still into it. Third, give up a huge chunk of change and time. It isn't cheap.

    There are also colleges that have special glass art programs too.
  • Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon 3 users seconded this question.

    What are the limits of working with glass? Have there been some great ideas that you just had to shelve because "you can't do that with glass"?

    The only limits are the artists kowledge and skill, equipment, and glass compatibility. The more skill and equipment, the more elaborate you can get. But that really means more costly toys that ends up sitting on shelves getting dusty.

    Sure I've shelved a few ideas. I've also pulled them back out as I got better at lampworking. You are always learning and new glass is always being developed that you can add to your arsenal.
  • deceased deceased 1 user seconded this question.

    How has the economy effected Xhale Glass? Has it slowed sales? Limited your line's possible out put and designs, not changed sales or production or the amount of employees or do people purchase more glass because they see it as an investment (it does not wear out).

    I don't think it slowed us down to bad. It did keep us busy developing more cost effective toys for the general consumer. Which helps us out in the long run. At the same time there was a lengthy court case on patent infringement going on in the industry. That didn't help much. We decided to lay low, and cut back on some spending. All is fine now and it's back to business as usual. As for glass being an investment, I'm sure some people do take that into consideration. I know I would.
  • What's the word on that glass egg/ball that may be named Lily? Smile Do you think it's a design you're going to continue with?

    It definitely looks like we're going to proceed with this toy. It should start going into production very soon. Just need final ok on dimensions and a retailer to pick it up. Look for an announcement here on Eden Link in the near future.
  • Richard Wagner, Ph.D Richard Wagner, Ph.D

    hey Kevin, it's dr dick! first, thanks for the swell toys you dropped off on saturday. the Review Crew members are all salivating. it's gonna get messy when i have to choose who will score your goodies.

    now my question: Is it true that all the beautiful glass dildos, like The Heartbreaker, are replicas of your own johnson?

    just kidding!

    my real question is: How can any consumer know if the glass toy or insertable he/she's considering is of the highest quality glass and workmanship? What should we look for in a quality toy? What should we avoid in a less than quality toy?

    Hey Richard, no prob. I hope the lucky reviewers enjoy these toys.

    Well I did get the idea for the Heartbreaker from the heart shaped birth mark on my johnsons shaft. jk

    Personally the first thing I would look at is its construction. Like, does the toy have bumps or wraps, any texture to it. If so I would look at how well they seem to be welded on. If they look as if they could just pop off with a bit of banging around or if they look hastily applied even to rough looking. Texture like this should look seamless, good clean transition from shaft of toy to textured area.

    Something else I would look for would be little bits of insulation that might be floating in the middle of the glass. The insulation will look like small white gravel. Things like that could cause stress internally in glass.

  • Owl Identified Owl Identified 1 user seconded this question.

    Another question (with a sub question).

    How does one make the transition from glass smokers' accessories to sex toys (although again the term toys really doesn't seem appropriate here)? What inspired you?

    My sub-question is this: do you still make glass smokers' accessories? Myself and some friends I know would be very interested in having some pieces made by the creator of such beauties as this baby.

    The making of glass smoking accessories was just a way for me to work with glass. It was an oppertunity I just couldn't pass up. After my stint in that world, Adam and I started Xhale. I really just wanted to get away from that type of business but still work with glass. Xhale Glass has never manufactured smoking accessories or ever will. Sorry.

  • Owl Identified Owl Identified 3 users seconded this question.

    Xhale has easily the most beautiful glass dildos I've ever seen. Quite a number of them have flanged bases that would seem to make them harness compatible, however the medium seems to raise a number of concerns about that. Would Xhale recommend attempting to use their flanged glass dildos --or any others, for that matter-- in a harness, or is that rather too risky?

    Thanks for reading!

    Thank you for your compliments.

    I do feel any medium that has no give to them should never be used with a harness. There are to many chances for the receiver to be injured. And if the harness has a metal ring to slip the toy thru it could scratch and damage said toy.
  • Victoria Victoria 6 users seconded this question.

    What was the worst injury you've had from working with glass?

    Working with glass and torches you will eventually end up with some cuts and burns. The worst two were a piece of hot glass landing on my wrist and sticking there for a second. Leaving a silver dollar sized blister. And an inch and a half long gash on one of my knuckles that went to the bone. Nothing some gauze and duct tape can't fix. I also severed a nerve in the tip of one of my fingers and it's completley numb now.

    Victoria (host): "I knew you were hardcore, man. My hubs is a band-aid hater and goes the superglue route."

  • NuMe NuMe 2 users seconded this question.

    What made you decide to start making glass sex toys? What was the inspiration behind it?

    Xhale started making toys because at the time glass was a very new material to be working with. there were only a couple of other American companies doing a good job at promoting their brand names. Both myself and Adam were up for the challenge and felt it a good time to join the game and establish a founding brand our selves.
  • Victoria Victoria 4 users seconded this question.

    What kinds of materials can be mixed into molten glass to add color, texture, make it look metallic etc? I have seen foil in glass as well as what looks like granules, and even shimmery powders - what is that stuff? How does adding in other elements work?

    Uranium Borosilicate- A translusent green-yellow glass that glows green under a U.V. light (black light). Added and melted in like any other glass.

    Glo Glass- A glass that glows in the dark after being charged up under any light. Added and melted in like any other glass.

    Frits and Powders- Crushed up colored glass, can give a confetti (granule) look. A little more care is taken when adding these elements. Needs a cooler flame so as to not ruin glass.

    Gold 22-24 krt and silver 99.99%- Can be fumed (vaporizing metals with torch flame) to coat and color glass. Gold gives a pink to pink orange metallic look on clear glass. Shiny gold color on dark glass. Silver gives a milky white to yellowish color to glass.

    Dichroic Glass- Sheets of clear glass coated with metal oxides giving it a shiny shimmery sparkle look. Invented by NASA. This too needs a cooler flame so metal oxides are not destroyed and burned away.

    Victoria (host): "Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was *very* curious! You freakin rock, Kevin!"

  • Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon 2 users seconded this question.

    What's the creative process like? Can anyone just come in with a piece of paper with a doodle of a glass dildo with a new beak or a new bulge and say "Hey, do you think this looks doable?" When you're coming up with new ideas, is it more common to sketch it out on paper, or to actually come up with a new design during impromptu torch-time?

    For me I would say I come up with most new styles and shapes when I'm behind the torch the majority of the time. Some times it's impromptu, others it's just a basic idea that may be floating around in my head and I get it out by firing up the work shop.

    I've definitely taken ideas from friends and customers asking specifically for certin sizes, shapes, and color combinations. Everyone is diferent when it comes to these kinds of things. One person may love clear, one inch diameter, and no texture toys. Another may want tons of color, lots of texture, and really girthy.

    And I've definitely had a few cocktail napkins with some doodle scribbled on them that have passed my way.
  • NuMe NuMe 2 users seconded this question.

    Have you had any sex toy design ideas that did not work? If so, why didn't it work and could you share one?

    One in particular would be a piece I've gotten a ton of requests for. People have been asking for a toy that looks like a toy that was called the archer. I'm not sure if it's still being made any more by the original company (e-glass I think). It was to hard to get it really consistent looking from one piece to the next.
  • NuMe NuMe 1 user seconded this question.

    What have some of the difficulties been in starting XHale and making it a profitable business? And where does XHale plan to go from here?

    Carrie Ann Carrie Ann 5 users seconded this question.

    How would you compare Xhale now to Xhale seven years ago? What have been the major changes? The things that have stayed the same?

    The major difficulty getting started was the fact that many companies like us popped up around the same time. So more competition and more companies that didn't last very long, taking orders and vanishing. Even coming back under new names over and over. Many retailers were burned in these times and became very untrusting. Over time retailers saw that we (Xhale) were still standing and growing.

    Since the early days, we are now definitely older, wiser, and more skilled. I believe we have a good solid and knowledgeable work force at the core of this company. Xhale has always prided ourselves on our quality and consistency. The only changes I can say over the past seven years is the number of employees and the nicer our product have gotten over the years. Also name recognition, more and more people seem to be asking for the Xhale brand by name.

    As for the future, we just want to continue providing the best toys as possible and keep educating consumers for as long as we can.

    Victoria (host): "Great answer - so down to earth! I have a feeling you guys will be around for a long long time, making many people happy and informed glass toy lovers!"

  • Sir Sir 4 users seconded this question.

    What sorts of designs of your glass work are your personal favorites? What inspires you and makes you come up with such designs?

    Well the Twist with Handle series is a personal favorite of mine http://www.xhaleglass.com/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=22. Unfortunately it's also one of the most time consuming pieces I make. I already had the Twist series in production when this extremely gorgeous young woman requested one of my Twist toys but wanted a handle on it. Most other companies just weld a thick clear rod of glass to the bottom of their toy, ball up the end, and call it a day. Functional but bland. So I guess she inspired me to step it up a notch with a tapered, twisted handle with colors inside giving a braided look to it.
  • Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon 2 users seconded this question.

    Beautiful toys like yours exude personality. Do you think of your glass pieces as male or female? Do you give them names like "Josefina" or "Sunrise Cactus" before they have official product names?

    I would say most of our products are catered twords the female consumer. We also probably have the biggest selection of anal toys, especially butt plugs, on the market. Which would cater to all genders. As far as naming our toys that pleasure is all Adams.
  • In your opinion, what is the best way to clean glass toys safely and efficiently? When I took Microbiology, we cleaned glass slides in the lab by dipping them in ethanol and then holding it over a Bunsen burner until all the alcohol burned off, sterilizing the glass in the process. If I were to repeat this process on, say, one of XHale's lovely glass toys, would this be a safe, effective method of cleaning the toy? Or should I stick to dishwasher/bleach/boiling? Setting glass on fire just seems so much more....exciting.

    The ethanol does sound fun. Although you might burn a finger or something, I don't think it would harm the glass. I'm sure the ethanol burns off quick and at a pretty low temperature. But just to be safe always use a soft anti bacterial soap after every use. And it would be a good thing to use a bleach or alcohal solution every once and a while. I don't care for the boiling thing, there's always that chance of thermal shock (a rapid change in temperature causing breakage).
  • Lara Lara 1 user seconded this question.

    Does making sex toys for a living help with hitting on/picking up women?

    Yes and no. Some women take to it like bees to honey. Some are instantly repulsed. If someone is that turned off by the fact that I make sex toys for a living, thats not the type of person I want to get to know anyway. Thats quite the plus. At the same time the women that are fine with it at first almost all ways end up hating it. I work wierd hours, I work too much, I go to porn trade shows. I just want to work with glass. This job keeps me happy, busy, and it's challenging. I get to work with a great friend and great people in this industry.
  • Adam Burns Adam Burns 1 user seconded this question.

    Does it help with picking up on men, too?

    ALWAYS!
  • Daddy'sPuppy Daddy'sPuppy 8 users seconded this question.

    Other materials (Jelly, rubberlike,"real feel" even hard plastics)seem to wear out over time and use. Even those who claim to last a lifetime with proper care and handling. Their still usable but sometimes change color or chips of the material tare off with use or scatches get in them. I've never purchased glass due to the price for the really nice ones but would it be worth it? Would glass toys truly "last a lifetime" or are there possibilites they also change over time.

    Glass toys will last for ever if taken care of. They will not fade or discolor over time and use. Being nonporous, they will always be able to be sterilized. So if said toy is never damaged by being droped, scratched, or chiped; it could be passed on generation to generation as a family heirloom if you wanted.
  • Red Red 5 users seconded this question.

    Why do I never see glass dildos with balls?

    I have seen this at one time. I couldn't tell you who made it, it was a while ago. You probably don't see them because of the extra time that would be needed to add them. Time is money. Personally I wouldn't do it because it would seem tacky. Thats just me though.
  • Sammi Sammi 2 users seconded this question.

    How long would you say it takes to make one piece? About how many pieces do you make in a year?

    This can very greatly from piece to piece. These are just pieces I make. Simpler toys can take 20 minutes, more complicated toys take around 80 minutes. Plus you have some prep time every day. (cutting glass, cleaning glass, pulling stringers, getting gold and silver ready....) In a year I can make a little over 2000 toys.
  • Sammi Sammi 5 users seconded this question.

    Do you currently have, or have you ever considered, taking on an apprentice glass-blower? If you have, what was it like to train someone in the art of blowing glass?

    Part of my job is training , but I have never trained some one from scratch. It just takes to much time. I have let people that were interested in lampworking sit in and watch me work. After seeing me almost sweat to death and hearing about the amount of time and money needed to get to the point I need them at, they vanish. Even training people with experience can be very difficult. Student and teacher need a ton of patience. The only way to learn is to practice, months behind a torch.
  • Kayla Kayla 4 users seconded this question.

    Why did you choose to work with glass instead of some of the other sex toy materials available? Also, what are the advantages of using glass to make toys instead of other materials? Disadvantages? What are the easiest positions to shape glass into?

    Working with glass came first for me. Making sex toys was a way to keep working with glass. Glass was what I knew and loved. And I had a foot in the door to the adult industry (more like a toe).

    There are no advantages of using glass as a material for "manufacturing" sex toys. Every thing is against you. Every toy is hand made, so no molds. You need skilled labor; wich is hard to find, to get a safe and quality product. The time put into each piece from making to annealing is ridiculous. But this is what makes glass sex toys uniqe.

    As far as easiest shape I'm sure. But the hardest would be anything straight. If toy is too hot it starts to bend and get out of shape.
  • Red Red 3 users seconded this question.

    I saw the question where you said that Xhale will never make smoking accessories, but I want to ask anyways: have you ever considered making a hybrid dildo-bong...or dildo-pipe? Because that would be HYSTERICAL.

    You don't have to answer that, I'm just busy cracking myself up with the mental images...

    Well again no, it's just not what I'm into making or this company. But Phallix does make a dildo/pipe, no joke.http://www.phallixglass.com/products/description.php?id=ht21gp It's their way of cross promoting their two companies.
  • Kinky Skier Kinky Skier 1 user seconded this question.

    As a product designer, I am always considering material selection, and how those materials effect the overall user experience. And we almost never see a toy made of glass and wood, or glass and silicone. Have you ever experimented with combining other materials with the glass you normally use to create a one of a kind toy?

    Personally I think adding other materials to a glass toys takes away from the over all look and apierence of the toy. Glass is what I know, so thats what we stick to. Plus the more added materials going on to it, the more chances of something breaking or going wrong. There was a company, now long gone, their whole thing was mixed materials on glass toys (stones and metals). I don't think they lasted a year. They looked like they knew what they were doing and alot of it looked very nice. If it didn't work for them, I don't see us trying it.
  • Red Red 1 user seconded this question.

    How long have you been growing your dreads - because they look HUGE. Do glass workers need to worry about catching their hair on fire?

    13 and a half years.

    Just the hair on their knuckles or arms.
  • Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon 1 user seconded this question.

    Are there any cool new glass-working techniques that you are learning/teaching yourself at the moment? Any new tricks that we can look forward to seeing in upcoming XHale products?

    Well I'm always learning, and as far as anything in the near future, look for our new toys with flower marbles on one end. I'm pretty excited to see these out.
  • YukiNoMiko YukiNoMiko

    What sort of thinking process goes into designing a toy? Have you had to learn a lot about the female anatomy in order to design effective toys for the female market?

    Actrually a lot of it is feed back from women who test out our designs. New designs can go thru many changes before hitting the market. We are currently working with Eden Fantasy reviewer Luscious Lily in the development of a new toy as I write.
  • Red Red 1 user seconded this question.

    This might reveal to many trade secrets, no worries either way, but would you consider making an educational video of how a glass dildo is made? I once saw a "How its made' on glass lemon reamers, and it blew my freaking mind...and I suppose dildos are a bit different than the standard images of hand blown vases coming out of hot stoves (do you call them stoves or kilns?).

    I have this vision in my head of a red hot glass wiener being lovingly twirled at the end of a rod by a guy with deadlocks wearing a black apron and a big face shield...

    It looks like I might have a video shoot all set up for this weekend. So keep an eye open for an announcement here on Eden Link for the video release.

    And we call them kilns.

    Victoria (host): "XHale having videos up would be awesome! Yes, please!"

  • Red Red 2 users seconded this question.

    On a forum post, Adam mentioned that you guys have made (do make?) enema equipment. Are there images of that stuff available anywhere online, and how could I get my hands on some?

    On that same note, are there any other sexy times related products you've tried to branch out into? I understand that the bread and butter of your business is buttplugs and dildos...but how about things like cups (for fire cupping/suction pumping/etc)...or maybe attachments for violet wands....or glass weights for nipple clamps...or kegelcisor type barbells...or...(I'm out of ideas, and looking back, those are all pretty specialized...but hey...)

    http://www.edenfantasys.com/Images/Repository/4/5/1090.jpg

    Here is a photo of an enema wand we made. All enema wands were made for a single retail customer. I'm not sure if they still have any in stock. It's been a while.

    I have done some work with violet wands a long time ago. Alot of these products are very nichey. The very small orders just didn't justify keeping them around. If a retailer was really interested in something like these products, I would look into it.
  • Ciao. Ciao. 4 users seconded this question.

    A lot of what draws me to glass toys is the sculptural and artistic appeal of the toy, and it seems like that would also be a big joy in making them as well. Are there any particular artists glass or otherwise who have inspired you to create (both your toys and your personal artwork)?

    Related question: the April Flores interview also got me thinking: any chance we'll see an "Art of the Glass Toys" kind of gallery event? I personally think it would make for a very cool instillation for the right museum.

    By far it would have to be the Italian glass blower Lino Tagliapietra. His line work (design) is so perfect and clean looking. At the same time some of his vases can be very abstract and flowing (Dinosaur series). He was kind of the first Italian master glass blower to come to the U.S. and teach. That was very unheard of before he came here (late 60s early 70s?).

    We set up an installation in a gallery for the First Friday Art Walk in down town Phoenix twice. One of those times was a big whole weekend event for the Arizona art sceen. It was a great time and I would love to do something like it again.
  • Tuesday Tuesday 2 users seconded this question.

    How does your mother describe what you do for a living when people ask her?

    My mother was the one that really supported me in being artistic when I was young. Lots of trips to arts and craft stores in those days. Unfortunately she never had the chance to see what I've become. As for the rest of my family, they all get a kick out of it and are supportive. Even my grandmother thinks it's kind of funny; her dildo making business owner grandchild. Sure at first some of the family didn't know what to think. Now coming up on seven years every one is pretty proud of me.
  • Red Red 4 users seconded this question.

    Is there any way to put color changing properties into a glass toy, somehow? Like, when its heated or cooled a little bit. Kind of a like a mood ring, but not...

    I've never seen anything like that, but I have been hoping one of these glass companies would figure out some formula that would allow this reaction. It would be like that old clothing company, Hyper Color.?

    Victoria (host): "Hyper Color - that brings back memories.... I'd love to see some funky color changing toys."

  • Red Red 3 users seconded this question.

    OK, so with respect to an insertable glass toy, how thin is too thin? There's probably more to it than thinness...but how do you decide what's an acceptable diameter for a buttplug stem (for example)?

    The sphincter muscle really isn't strong enough to do any damage to borosilicate. Of course the more length there is to the stem, the thicker it would need to be. With more length you get more flex and leverage. I've actually tried to snap butt plug stems with my two hands when I first started making them. I never broke one that way. If something is about to give and break from exertion, I bet it's not your glass.
  • Shanna Germain Shanna Germain 3 users seconded this question.

    I really love glass toys, but the only ones I've ever used are solid glass, which makes me feel same when I'm using them, but which also makes them really heavy. So I'm going to show my ignorance here and ask: Are all glass toys solid? If they're not, what should one look for in a hollow glass toy to make sure they're safe? Is there a certain way to make hollow glass toys that is safer than others? Also, if toys are made from solid glass, are there ways to make them less heavy? Or is that just part of the package when it comes to glass toys?

    No, not all glass toys are solid.

    Honestly the human body (anus, vagina) can't produce the pounds per square inch (force) to break properly annealed borosilicate glass. As with all glass toys you should look for toys with out scatches, chips, and cracks. Buy from reputable companies. And the thicker the walls of the toy, the more durable it will be. Thicker walls doesn't mean it will chip or scratch any less than a solid toy. All glass toys should be handled and stored safely.

    If it has one open end (test tube shaped), it should have a large flang at base. Or at leaset an opening at both ends to help reduce suction. Otherwise all procedures apply the same as solid toys.

    The only way to make it less heavy is to make it shorter or make it thiner. You can have it hollow and the exact same outer dimensions and it will be lighter. A hollow toy with very thick walls and a diameter thickness of one quarter inch larger could end up about the same weight, give or take very little. And look almost the same size visually. Borosilicate is a very dense and heavy glass.

    Victoria (host): "You mean I can't use the amazing power of my vagina to break a glass dildo?....kegels be damned! Glad to know that actually - loads of people believe that it's possible."

  • Rayne Millaray Rayne Millaray 1 user seconded this question.

    I just found the UV G Force Seven and was wondering what you put in the glass to make it glow like that?

    It is a borosilicate glass with trace amounts of uranium fused in. Just like vaseline glass. Except vaseline glass is a "soft glass". The uranium reacts to the ultraviolet light and glows.
  • Red Red 3 users seconded this question.

    What does a day in the life of a glass dildo maker look like?

    Average work day looks like this.

    Wake up late. Walk down to locale coffee shop for coffee and paper. Back home to pack orders and ship. Take care of e-mails, phone calls, order supplies. Cut and clean glass. Load kiln and fire it up. Lunch, ESPN, nap. Prep-work. Work. Coffee break. Work some more. Finish between 11pm and 1am. Dinner, beers, and T.V. Shower. Bed.

    Nothing to exciting.
  • Do you ever get artist's block, or just a day when nothing seems to come out right at the kiln?

    On rough days, what do you do for stress relief? Do you have other hobbies that you turn to? Or is the process of working with glass stress-relieving in itself?

    I have my fair share of bad days. Run out of oxygen or propane in the middle of work. Back goes out. Kiln breaks down. A piece I've made hundreds of times just doesn't want to cooperate with me.

    Back in Arizona I would go sky diving. If the day wasn't going my way I'd leave work early and jump out of a plane.

    After a long bad day some nice scotch and a good cigar can always help too.
  • Rayne Millaray Rayne Millaray 1 user seconded this question.

    You may have answered this already, but what drew you to glass in general? What is it about glass that made you just have to work with it?

    The challenge of it intrigued me the most I think. I was alway pretty artistic; I was into drawing and sketching. I had some friends that got into glass and I needed to try it too. It's a very extreme environment to be working in also. It's not like painting or drawing when you can just put down your brush or pensil when ever you feel like it. Once you start you're kind of committed to it.
  • Ciao. Ciao. 5 users seconded this question.

    Xhale toys definitely boast a variety of textures, interesting patterns, and even the really intriguing UV glowing line...but have you ever considered making/marketing any really unconventionally shaped toys? Any bizarre ideas that haven't made it off the drawing boards yet? It's always really cool to see an innovation or alteration from the standard shapes of most dildos out there.

    We really try to get as many sizes and shapes out into production. Everyones tastes are different. I've had women look at a 1.75 inch diameter toys and ask for larger. And women ask for smaller toys that were at 1 inch in diameter. Same goes for textures; more, less. If you've seen every toy we've made, we have covered quite the spectrum. I'm sure there might be a few I'm not remembering. Too many toys too many years.
  • Oggins Oggins 3 users seconded this question.

    First I have to say how much I love my Xhale toys! They are just so beautiful and flawless! I dropped my Heartbreaker once and nearly cried but it didn't even scratch. Thank you!

    My question is, I've heard that there are chemicals added to glass in order to achieve the colored glass toys like green, brown and black. Is there any truth that these chemicals can enter into your body through use and that the colored toys are not as strong overall as the clear ones?

    How about the fluid filled glass? Do you have any plans on making those? What kind of fluid is in them? Will this make them potentially more prone to breakage?

    Last question: There are so many glass toy manufacturers coming out of the woodwork, how can you tell if they really are the real deal and not just creating substandard products just to make a quick buck? Any suggestions? Thanks so much for your time! Smile

    I'm glad you enjoy our toys, and hope you thoroughly checked your toy for damage. Which it sounds like you did.

    Yes, there are chemicals and natuaral elements added to glass to achieve the colors you are seeing. Think of it as the same elements that are added to fire works on the forth of July. When added to black powder (gun powder) and fire, they produce colors.

    If you take care of your clear glass properly, your color glass will be fine. Color glass is a bit more touchy and should be checked to make sure it is compatible with clear. All glass toys should be handled correctly when being produced.

    If you go back to Adam's (xhale) News and Announcements; Shopping By Brand? 4 Simple Tips To Follow When Making A Glass Toy Purchase. These are exellent tips to follow.
  • Rayne Millaray Rayne Millaray 3 users seconded this question.

    I recently purchased a piece of nubby glass from another company. The nubs are all different colors but the orange ones all have bubbles in them. I thought that was kind of interesting and it brought up some questions.

    What causes bubbles in the glass? Do the bubbles affect the integrity of the toy? And why on Earth are the bubbles only in the orange nubs? Could it have something to do with what they used to color the glass?

    You are absolutely correct that it is something that is used to color the glass. I'm not sure what elements are being used to make orange. But some colors produce more bubbles than others. I think I touched on this a bit a few weeks ago. This is called boiling. It is when the chemicals in colored glass try to excape when introduced to intense heat. Like a pot of hot water boiling. When the glass cools it traps the bubbles in the glass. If the bubbles are really close to the surface they are more ealily broken. Which can make for an earitating suface.

    I always clear coat colored glass that boils ealily or discolores in the flame. Putting clear glass over the color glass dampens the direct heat and keeps any bubbles away from the surface.

    Not seeing the toy, I can't say what exactly is going on or how safe or unsafe it might be. The bubbles could be at a safe distance from the surface.
  • Zelicious1 Zelicious1 2 users seconded this question.

    What type of glass dildo would you absolutely refuse to make?

    "Juicers" and double penetration dildos.

    "Juicers" are trade marked and patented. And double penetration dildos don't always work. Everyone is different and one size will not fit all.

    Victoria (host): "Double penetration dildos in any material are kinda a crapshoot because of anatomical differences person to person. Great answer!"

  • macho99 macho99 2 users seconded this question.

    What factors limit the size of the toys you make (cost, weight, if there's a market for it, mass production-ability)?

    What's the largest or most bizarre you've made AND sold?

    Have you personally tried one of your toys? LOL (i couldn't resist asking a naughty question.)

    As far as size the toy could be, it would be the torch size and if the kiln could hold it. The larger the diameter of glass, the larger the torch. The longer the toy, the larger the kiln.

    It gets to the point where a toy gets so big and demand get too small it's not really worth making.

    I made these toys that looked like small soft ball bats. 1.75 inches in diameter, 1.5 feet long. That would be the most bizarre that I can remember.

    Personally, no. With girlfriends, yes. Sorry I didn't have a naughty answer for you.

  • sarah061008 sarah061008 2 users seconded this question.

    I have 2 questions...first, is there a difference in your glass dildos compared to other companies? And second, has there ever been a time since you started this business that you thought about stopping?

    Other than where they are made, I can't say. We don't use lathes. We use Simax borosilicate for our clear glass. We use North Star, Colorsilicate, and Glass Alchemy for our color glass. You can't say what other companies are using. But if a company says they only use Pyrex and you see colors in their toys, it's not just Pyrex. Peyrex doesn't make colored glass. I don't even care for Pyrex. Too many bubbles and flat spots on their glass.

    In the beginning (first two years) it was really tough. A lot of companies coming out of the glass smoking accessories industry. So many companies coming and going. It was a pain.
  • Zelicious1 Zelicious1 1 user seconded this question.

    What is the weirdest glass you have ever formed?

    Again the 1.75 inch diameter glass softball bat sex toy.
  • Zelicious1 Zelicious1 1 user seconded this question.

    Have you ever made personalized glass with initials is that possible?

    Yes it is possible to do. I've done it a few times before in the past. Not a big fan of it personally. It always seems to come out all arts and crafts looking.
  • Red Red 1 user seconded this question.

    Hey, so is there any truth to the idea that "stacks of bubbles" are prone to breakage between balls? There are many other examples out there from most of the glass toy makers, except you guys (although I could be wrong). I don't wish to make this question about a specific example, but to help you understand what I mean, I am thinking, for example, the Don Wands Pink Bubble Graduate (http://www.donwands.com/9910Detail.html)

    With a piece like that the weakest part of the toy will be between the "bubbles". If a certain toy is having problems with breakage, it would be from someone miss handling the toy or the toy is not annealed properly.
  • Delete My Account Delete My Account 1 user seconded this question.

    What do you see as the future of glass making and techniques. Are there new technologies influencing this time tested tradition of handmade glass? Where do you see XHale in the next 5 years?

    Just in the short time I've been a lampworker there have been so many advancements in the quality and quantity of borosillicate glass. Bigger color selections and better compatibility. Dichroic glass. New techniques that glass workers seem to invent every year. There always seems to be something new popping up in this industry.

    In the next five years? Still behind the torch, keeping up with new technologies, pushing myself to learn and grow as a glass artist.
  • A glass dildo as a flogger handle. Thoughts? Possible? Too likely to stress fracture?

    Possible? Ya, would take some time to perfect a way to attach flogger to handle. Would need a large glass loop at end of handle. Can't have any metals in contact of glass.
  • Looking over your site, I don't see any of the "juicer" style toys. Is there a reason for this? Less of a market or just a style you guys don't prefer?

    First of all the "juicer" is trade marked as a name and patented as a design by Knowmind Enterprises. So we can't make them and never will make them. Personally I think they don't work well and look barbaric. And always seemed gimmicky to me.
  • Red Red 5 users seconded this question.

    "...over two pints of Guinness, a couple of bar napkins and a pen; the idea of XHale Glass was conceived…"

    So, um, what was on those bar napkins exactly?

    Name ideas, logos, slogan ideas, toy designs. Pretty simple stuff, we were drinking after all.
  • The Bloggess The Bloggess 2 users seconded this question.

    You know when you really want pizza but it's too hot but you can't stop yourself from eating it even though it's like magma and then it burns the roof of your moth so bad that you can taste anything for days? Does that ever happen with your glass dildos or do you just learn self control so you don't accidentally burn your vagina off?

    Victoria (host): "Yes, Kevin, please tell us about using hot glass and burning your vagina off.... ;)"

    I don't have a vagina. So I wouldn't have that problem.
  • Lara Lara 9 users seconded this question.

    How would you describe your attitude towards sex and how do you see that translated into the toys you design?

    I ask because I think glass is a uniquely artistic medium in the sex toy world. Anything battery powered and mass produced necessarily has a certain sterile, mechanical aspect to it. All Hitachi Magic Wands and all Njoy plugs are going to be the same. Tens of thousands (I'm guessing here) of sex toys are produced in factories each year. That's not a bad thing, but I do think it says quite a bit about sex in the modern world.

    In contrast, the kind of glass toys you make are crafted rather than produced. Because these toys are as much art as they are products, there seems to be a lot more room for you to inject 'you' into your work. Do you see that happening? How do your designs artistically express who you are as a sexual being?

    I do love sex, also as an artist I love working with glass. I'm sure my passion for both have translated into some really nice designs for us. I'm always thinking what I find appealing and what others might be looking for in a sex toy. When working on a new design you all ways try to have fun with it. The same with sex, if your not having fun whats the point.
  • Adam Burns Adam Burns 15 users seconded this question.

    Have you ever wanted to choke out that other guy from XHale????

    Victoria (host): "He might have to take a number, Adam ;) hahaha"

    Every day and only in a fit of passion.
  • NuMe NuMe 7 users seconded this question.

    Where to from here? Where do you see XHale in 5 years, 10 years from now? What are you goals? Hopes and dreams for your company? And what is your company motto?

    We are already further than we thought we would ever be .in just seven years. I think we have already met our goals as a company. And our trademark is "XHale-- Sexy Toys For Sexy People.
  • Tuesday Tuesday 6 users seconded this question.

    What trivia can you tell us about glass that none of us here are likely to know (except for that other guy that you may or may not want to choke out)?

    Wow between me and Adam I think we have touched on just about everything I can think of. If there is anything you want to know, just ask us one of us and we will have an answer for you, promise.

Forum

Recent discussions Posts Last post Category
Help with information on glass toys? 1 06/11/2012 Xhale Glass
Particular things to consider with glass toys? 1 08/20/2012 Dildos

About Vice President and Art Director of XHale Glass, Kevin Kroldart

Company: XHale Glass
Occupation: Kevin Kroldart V.P./ Art Director (design, training, labor) of XHALE GLASS
Achievements: Bringing U.S. made glass toys to the market with quality and consistency for nearly seven years.
Current Project: XHale is always innovating designs for its high end and mid-range priced toys. Possible new packaging late next year.
Statement: XHALE® SEXY TOYS FOR SEXY PEOPLE® Established 2003
Publications: AVN Novelty feature cover story-”Naughty By Nature”, AVN Novelty Profile: Sculpting With Fire, Michael Grecco’s coffee table book Naked Ambition, The Green Project: Glass Evolution by Sarah Sloane
Education: Over eight years experience behind the torch. 7 ½ years making glass toys exclusively.
Age: 33
Editor’s note: Kevin and XHale are a dream company - these guys are passionate, communicative and totally transparent. Welcome Kevin and XHale!

Host

Victoria

Victoria knows sex toys & adult products, their ardent lovers & makers. She's Eden's Marketing Director, helps wrangle the Review Program, outreach, the company Twitter and is your faithful Editrix. She also raises kids, reads a lot, loves music and kitties, writes a bit and snuggles with the Yeti.

Recent interviews

  • July 11, 2012 Fred Petrenko: "EdenFantasys Celebrates 10 Years of Sexy Innovation! " Read full interview
  • January 24, 2012 Sex Educator and Author, Ducky Doolittle: "Ducky Doolittle, an Author, Speaker, Educator, and Activist, has spent the last 23 years being on the forefront of sexual education. Why did she decide to become a sex educator? How did she come up with the title and content for her book? What does she plan on doing next?" Read full interview
  • November 15, 2011 Editor and Author, Delilah Devlin: "Delilah Devlin, an editor and author, has tried multiples careers in her life before finding her calling in writing erotica. What brought her into writing and editing erotica? Where does she get her inspiration for her writing? What's the hardest part about being a full-time writer? " Read full interview
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