Glass Newsletter October 2008 from Angela

Hi,
The Glass Newsletter is starting up again. We have had all kinds of technical problems over the last two years, but now that we have our own dedicated server it should all work fine. It may be so long since you joined the Glass Newsletter list that you have forgotten all about it! I do hope not. If you have lost interest (and who could blame you for that after all this time!) and if you would like to leave the list, there is a link at the bottom of this Newsletter.

Did you know that Andrew Byers, one of the leading contemporary paperweight artists, is a "Kiwi" (New Zealander)? He lives and works in the South Island, but NZ collectors can only buy his work from the USA! I visited him in January so I can tell you more. I also visited Caithness Glass this year at their new showroom in Crieff, and apart from those two visits I'd like to share some interesting information about glass fishing floats and about Belgian glass factories. There's information about books on glass published in 2008, and about forthcoming glass conventions, and shows. And after a two year gap, I've put some glass for sale on eBay to celebrate the re-launch of this Newsletter. I do hope you find something here to enjoy.

Caithness Glass
I was in Scotland in June and visited Caithness Glass at their new location in Crieff. I thought I would share with you my impressions from the visit. As you probably know, Caithness now belong to Dartington Crystal and the Caithness Visitor Centre in Perth was closed earlier this year. Caithness Glass moved to Crieff and we went on a Sunday morning to visit them. I usually manage to visit Caithness Glass at least once a year, so I was expecting something on the scale of the Perth Visitor Centre, maybe somewhat scaled down. We did find a Crystal Glass Visitor Centre with flags, car park, a restaurant and quite a large showroom and workshop. But it turned out to be the wrong place - Stuart and Waterford Crystal, not Caithness; and it wasn't open because we were too early. Across the road was the Crieff Visitor Centre, which was open. So we went there to ask about Caithness Glass. And that's where I found them. Caithness Glass have rented just a part of one of the buildings at the Visitor Centre, and because it was Sunday, there was no-one from Caithness Glass there. But the lady I talked to at the Visitor Centre was very helpful and told me about the operation.

Caithness had just five members of staff, Sarah Peterson the designer, and four paperweight makers, one of whom was the facetter; they were Martin Murray, Calum McDougal (brother of Peter McDougal), Scott Sinclair, and Martin Campbell. They brought none of the sales nor management staff from Perth; sales were handled by the Visitor Centre staff and management was from "down south" at Dartington Crystal. The showroom featured a range of glass, not just Caithness, and the Caithness display was only a tiny fraction of the space at Perth. They still do factory visits during the week, and there was a very interesting provision for decorating your own glass.

On the Caithness paperweight front, they were still making designs by Helen MacDonald and Colin Terris. Alistair MacIntosh had set up his own glass workshop in Perth but I was told it had already closed. There was a cabinet of "New for 2008" designs, and the bottom shelf displayed about a dozen abstract designs. The rest of the cabinet featured Sarah Peterson's work, which is art glass rather than traditional paperweights. All-in-all I must admit it was a disappointing visit; there was not a lot of the old Caithness Glass spirit to be seen. No doubt, however, the beautiful paperweights they produced in the past will endure to remind us of their achievements. And lets hope they build up the strength to rise above their problems now.

Glass Fishing Floats
Tom Rizzo is one of those people who goes beachcombing for glass (or he did until he moved away from the US west coast). He has built up a wonderful collection of glass fishing floats and has been writing an article about them for the Glass Museum website. Glass fishing floats are hollow glass shapes that fishermen attached to their lines or their nets to keep them near the surface. Collectors can pay huge sums for them - a Northwestern Glass Company float, made in the USA after 1945, sold for more than four thousand dollars! They can be shaped like rolling pins, like eggs, like donuts, as well as the traditional sphere encased in a net. If you find yourself near the North West coast of the USA or Canada, or the East Coast of Japan, it could be worth your while to try a bit of beachcombing for glass floats. Apparently they are washed up on the shore whenever there is a really wild storm.

Contemporary Paperweights: Andrew Byers
In January this year I made a visit to see the paperweight artists who live in the South Island of New Zealand, collecting information for a forthcoming article in the PCA Bulletin. One of the people I interviewed was Andrew Byers, whose paperweights are the finest made in New Zealand and on a par with any made in the world. Virtually all his work is sold overseas by Larry Selman, mostly to the USA. In fact, New Zealand collectors who want to buy Andrew Byers paperweights have to buy them from Selman in America!

Andrew left school wanting to be a glass blower, and went to work for the only glass business operating in Christchurch, NZ, at the time. They made decorative ornaments out of borosilicate glass aimed at the tourist and gift market. When that company closed down Andrew opened his own studio at the age of 19 and carried on making souvenir items, building the company up until he had a retail shop as well as a studio, and employed a team of staff. But this was exhausting and not very satisfying work, and Andrew wanted to do something that would give him more artistic satisfaction as well as more time with his family. In 2001 he went to the States and met Paul Stankard, attended a glass workshop, and came home inspired to make paperweights using the techniques and knowledge that Paul Stankard taught to him. Larry Selman became his agent, and the rest is history. If you visit Selman's website at http://www.selman.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/004090.2.4686473036311785792 you will find Andrew's latest paperweights, and the price is US$1800 - a very long way from glass kiwis for tourists!

Belgian Glass Factories
Inspired by a mystery bowl marked "Made in Belgium" I've been doing some research on Belgian glassworks recently. Apart from the famous Val St Lambert glassworks near Liege there is not a lot known about Belgian glass factories. There have been many small glassworks which owed their success and sometimes their very survival to orders from Val St Lambert. With work passing from one glassworks to another, molds and designs being shared, and very little in the way of documents from many of the smaller glassworks, it is hard to identify which items were made at which glassworks. The exceptions were Val St Lambert who produced catalogues of their glass which are still readily available (for a price - try eBay) and who often marked their glass with either Val St Lambert or VSL; Scailmont in the town of Manage, who always marked their glass; and Boom Glass who produced catalogues and often marked their glass with labels.

At the moment Cathy Bannister and I are no nearer solving the mystery of our bowl. Cathy found it in Australia and you can see some pictures here - http://www.glass.co.nz/elfgreensmall.jpg and http://www.glass.co.nz/madeinbelgiummarksmall.jpg. It is a Bagley Glass design (from Yorkshire, UK) called "elf"; but we do not know whether Bagley commissioned this to be made in Belgium, or whether it is a copy, or even whether Bagley copied the design from a Belgian glassworks. If anybody can tell us any more about it, we'd be really grateful. You can write to me by replying to this email. Jay McLellan-Verhoeven, who runs a really informative website about Belgian glass, is also mystified. His website is well worth a visit - at http://www.hogelandshoeve.nl/index45.html and he continues with his research into which factories made which glass items.

Designer Searches

Our Designer Searches have been updated recently with many more kinds of glass added. Take a look at http://www.glass-seek.com. I use them myself, and find them really helpful when I don't have much time and I want to check through the various types of glass that interest me.

Our GLASS on eBay

If you want to see a quick overview, you'll find our auctions at http://www.myglassauction.com

I haven't been selling glass on eBay for some time now. The main reason was the New Zealand dollar, which has been so high that exporting just wasn't profitable. However, I will go into my studio and find some nice items to put up for sale and I hope you like them

I am still working on my CD about Scottish Glass, and you will receive a copy of this CD with any of the Scottish items we are selling on eBay, as a gift from me.

Caithness Glass - Colin Terris - SPINDRIFT paperweight designed by Colin Terris and released in 1978, is number 2134 of a limited edition of 3000. This is a very early Caithness weight - a similar design called Spindrift '99 was released 21 years later in a limited edition of 1000. This one is a beautiful shade of blue, is in perfect condition and comes with a Caithness Glass velvet bag and box. It measures 3.2" across and 2.8" high. On the base is written in script 2134/3000 and underneath that etched Caithness SPINDRIFT Scotland. It was valued by Colin Terris in 2004 at US$135 (in his book Caithness Paperweights, page 21) but I believe their value may have increased quite a bit since then. It is now on eBay at #Z170270302936

John Deacons - a delightful millefiori cartwheel design paperweight, with signature cane in centre and label on the base which reads "Hand made in Scotland by John Deacons". It is in perfect condition and measures 2" across and 2" high, has a cobalt blue base cushion with five alternating circles of wedgwood blue and pink millefiori canes surrounding the central signature cane. Each circle has a different design of cane from the others, and they are interspersed with nine red, white and blue twists of glass to form a cartwheel effect. Currently on eBay with no reserve at #Z170270698601

Wedgwood Glass - delightful purple "Cromer" candlestick in one of the most unusual shapes designed by Ronald Stennett-Willson and produced in the 1980s. The bowl measures 3.4" across and was designed to hold a round candle; the piece stands 5.8" tall. It has a label which reads "Wedgwood England" and is on eBay at #Z170270314943

Keith Mahy - a truly beautiful perfume bottle with a cobalt blue centre decorated with irridized canes of glass in various shades of blue which have been wound around the body of the bottle while it was red hot and molten. These stripes have been combed or "pulled" to create the feather-like appearance known as "pulled stripes", and then another layer of clear crystal glass has been added before the bottle was shaped and allowed to cool. Measuring 1.85" across the widest part (the base) and 5" tall without the stopper (which adds another inch) it is signed on the base "Mahy 04" and comes with a CD about Contemporary New Zealand Glass Artists. It is on eBay at #170270730779

Royal Doulton glass - a neat little paperweight shaped like a golf ball. It measures just over 2" across and 2" high, is in perfect condition with an original label which reads "Royal Doulton Finest Crystal, Hand cut in England". It is on eBay with no reserve at #Z170270725952

These auction items have been selected from my collection to celebrate the re-launch of the Glass Newsletter, so most of them do not have bids yet. If you support them, you will be supporting the Glass Newsletter, and thank you.


EXHIBITIONS, CONFERENCES AND GLASS SHOWS:

The International Antique Dealers Show takes place on October 17-23, 2008 at the The Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York City, USA. Website: http://www.haughton.com/

The Glass City Gathering in Toledo Ohio takes place on November 6 - 8th 2008. Website: http://www.oaea.org/convention.html.

The National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK currently has an exhibition based on the Blaschka glass models of marine life, which runs until November 30th 2008. Called "Jerome Harrington: Inspirational Blaschka: Making Fact, Making Fiction" it is based on the commission won by Jerome Harrington from the National Glass Centre. For more information telephone 0191 515 5555. Website: http://www.nationalglasscentre.com

British National Glass Collectors Fair will be held on November 9th 2008 at The Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire, UK, just off junction 12 on the M40. Website: http://www.glassfairs.co.uk/.

Upcoming Events in Carnival Glass can be found on Dave Doty's website at: http://www.ddoty.com/events.html, and many thanks to Dave.

The Broadfield House Glass Museum (near Birmingham, UK) is currently showing a solo exhibition "Michael Harris: Studio Pioneer" which runs until the 25th January 2009. For more information telephone 01384 812 749 or email: kari.moodie@dudley.gov.uk. They also have an exhibition called The Danger of the Image which continues until the end of March next year and features Glass Dresses by Diana Dias-Leao. The 24hourmuseum website has more details including how to find Broadfield House and when they are open - http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/museum/WM000044.html

Quenington Sculpture Trust has an "IN" and "OUT" exhibition of contemporary glass which runs from 27 September - 1 November 2008 at two distinct locations. The "IN" exhibition is at the New Brewery Arts Centre in Cirencester, UK and the "OUT" exhibition (of outdoor glass sculptures) is in the gardens of Quenington Old Rectory, a short drive away. Includes work by a large number of distinguished glass artists, including our own Adam Aaronson. Website: http://www.newbreweryarts.org.uk

Depression Glass Shows in the USA click here- http://www.glassshow.com/Shows/ashows.html - a listing with dozens of depression glass shows across the USA - really useful.


NEW BOOKS ABOUT GLASS in 2008

- in case you missed them. Click on any of these titles to read more about the book.


Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Italian Glass by Susanne K. Frantz 183 pages Publisher: University of Washington Press (March 2008).

Contemporary Stained Glass Artists by Kate Baden Fuller. 224 pages Publisher: A&C Black (August 1, 2008).

Techniques of Glass Engraving by Peter Dreiser. 176 pages Publisher: A&C Black; 2 edition (May 1, 2008).

Small Glass Furnace Modeling and Control: For Accurate Prediction of Glass Temperature by Heath Morris. 118 pages Publisher: VDM Verlag (August 25, 2008).

Masters: Glass Beads: Major Works by Leading Artists 336 pages Publisher: Lark Books (May 6, 2008).

Glass Beads: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Learning the Craft by Louise Mehaffey. 132 pages Publisher: Stackpole Books (August 30, 2008).

Mosaic Today: Create Contemporary Projects Using New and Recycled Material by Elaine M. Goodwin. 144 pages Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books (September 1, 2008).

Rare Imperial Glass Patterns by Myrna Garrison. 175 pages Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd (August 28, 2008).

McKee Kitchen Glass of the Depression Years by Barbara E. Mauzy. 160 pages Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd (August 28, 2008).

Fostoria Stemware: The Crystal for America 2nd edition by Milbra Long & Emily Seate. 268 pages Publisher: Collector Books (May 13, 2008).

Standard Encyclopedia of Carnival Glass Price Guide, 16th edition by Mike Carwile. 96 pages Publisher: Collector Books; (April 8, 2008).

Elegant Glassware of the Depression Era, 13th edition by Gene Florence. 272 pages Publisher: Collector Books; (July 15, 2008).

Art Nouveau by Gabriele Fahr-Becker. 428 pages Publisher: h. f. ullmann (February 2008).

Viva Vetro! Glass Alive!: Venice and America by Susanne K. Frantz & Matthew Kangas. 201 pages Publisher: Carnegie Museum of Art (July 2008).


I do hope there was something interesting for you this week.
Very best wishes
Angela

Useful links:

The Glass Museum at http://www.theglassmuseum.com

The Glass Encyclopedia is at http://www.glassencyclopedia.com

The Glass Links Page is at http://www.theglassmuseum.com/links.htm

The Glass Message Board is at http://www.glassmessages.com

Glass Seek - Designer Glass Searches are at http://www.glass-seek.com

My glass at auction http://www.myglassauction.com

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From: Angela Bowey

http://www.glassnewsletter.com - archive of my Glass Newsletters