Author Topic: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?  (Read 25733 times)

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Offline David E

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2007, 12:54:38 PM »
Howard Stabler (Orlak, but whose designs were then used for Pyrex - Jobling), Margaret Casson (Night Sky), David Hammond (Webb) are others. Marcus has already mentioned others within my particular sphere of interest.
David
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Offline Glen

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2007, 12:55:53 PM »
Bernard - a huge "yes" to all you said above.

You asked about John Jenkins: he was the British impetus (business and design) for the Barolac range of glass, working with Inwald in Czechoslovakia. Although much of it was decorative, it was also functional glassware.
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Offline NazeingResearch

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2007, 01:29:41 PM »
What an insular perspective.

Does glass make people angry, or does it just attract angry people?

If you go to Dartington, you can look at Dartington Glass. If you go to Caithness, you can look at Caithness Glass, and the same rule applies to what few factories are still operating in the country. You can come to Nazeing, and see Glass made from the vast majority of all the factories that produced glass between 1900 and the present day in Britain, as well as glass from Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy to name a few. In addition to that there is a room dedicated to influenced and influencial designers who worked with factories from all over the world. Not only that, but you are being asked, which designers you think should be mentioned and even exhibited in the museum. How often does that happen?

On a different note completely, I vote I be included as well as Adam Dodds and Bernard. I drew a picture of a glass once, and it looked quite good.  :P

fin
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Offline Frank

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2007, 01:47:08 PM »
Bear in mind that Holland has a National Glass Museum and the general advice to those interested in glass is often - do not bother to visit it.

The original request was unclear as to the criteria/intentions of what is being planned as that, obviously, has a bearing on such suggestions.
Frank A.
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Offline Adam

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2007, 03:37:50 PM »
Although I know that he was a very good manager and possibly innovator, is there any evidence that my grandfather ever designed anything?  As many know, I never actually knew him.  He appeared in the 1901 (I think) census as Works Cashier.

Adam D.

Offline Glen

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2007, 03:56:04 PM »
Adam, my reference is Cottle ('Sowerby Gateshead Glass'). Your grandfather, Adam Dodds, is noted as taking over the position of manager at Sowerby's in 1907, as Henry Pitt's replacement. Cottle credits your grandfather with the introduction of the Tynesyde Glassware range in the late 1920s "in a variety of new, moulded and cut shapes". It's possible that Herr Schottner (p 39 Cottle) who was "recruited as a designer" was involved in this too.

Cottle notes that your grandfather was associated with the company over for 50 years. His time as Manager coincides with the introduction of Carnival (Rainbo and Sunglow) at Sowerby's. He is (to my way of thinking) of great significance.
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Offline Adam

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2007, 08:24:56 PM »
Glen - I think my rather short last posting has given the wrong impression.  I of course knew of all the facts which you gave and was certainly not running down my grandfather.  Everyone who knew him thought highly of him (even my mother, who was not known for seeing the best in people!).  He retrieved the company with a long struggle after taking over from the infamous Pitt.  I am certain that the period when he was in charge of Sowerbys and his great friend Tom Davidson was in charge of Davidsons was one of the high points, if not THE high point of Gateshead glassmaking.  Perhaps my definition of the word "designers" is a bit too narrow - I thought that it meant the people, many with a background of art, who sit down and produce designs on paper and then, perhaps, follow them through to production.

My grandfather, following his early career only from the census records, had a business and/or accounting type of background.  He certainly developed into a very able, possibly brilliant manager and undoubtedly deserves full credit for all the innovations which you mention.  He obviously gave every encouragement to whatever designers he either employed or consulted.  I only wish I had known him (but if I had, statistically I would probably not be here now!).  My only query was whether or not he was a hands-on designer as I understand the term.  Maybe he did some of that as well - I honestly don't know, which was why I raised the query.

Adam D.

Offline sph@ngw

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2007, 08:40:26 AM »
Thank you for these replies. helpful, unhelpful and critical! May i just explain the reason for this little museum   :mus:.
I have been connected with glass for over 50 years (I started aged seven in the packing dept on Saturday mornings at 2/6d (about15p) for a morning's work; dodging the factory inspector's visit (luckily seldom on a Saturday!) but holidays as well.. (shades of Kingsley's Water Babies!), when I was sent to play!" in the sand pit!
I celebrate this year, 40 years, working in glass, including working in France for St Louis, Baccarat, and the French Glass Federation. I have visited over 48 glass factories - I will not bore you with the list -in the UK and Europe, most of which have now closed. (Sorry this may sound like bragging but it is the truth!)! I also knew, as colleagues and friends, Geoffrey Baxter (I went over to Whitefriars in Harrow about twelve times between 1970 and 1980 when they closed and bought about 8 paperweights directly from Geoff,), Frank Thrower of Dartington (one of the most charming talented and self effacing people I have ever met), Michael Harris, highly talented soft spoken charmer, Ronnie Stennett-Willson, (back in the 1970's), and most of bosses of the British Domestic glass companies between 1970 and today. I wish to pay tribute to them in the Museum.
 I also chaired the Hand Made Glass Section  at the Glass Manufacturer's Federation from 1982 to 1986, and was a member of The Council until it moved to Sheffield, when I stepped down, due to distance. I also chaired the Science Museum Glass Gallery from 1979 to 1989, and am still chair of the British Glass Education Trust since 1979! So glass is important to me, it keeps me and my family clothed, housed and fed, this is not a hobby!

It was NOT my original idea to set up a Museum. Andy McC in writing his Miller's Guide of 20th Century Glass, and meeting me for the first time asked, 
"Stephen, why do you not collect glass?"
"Are you mad, I am surrounded by it all day long, give me a break!"
"But you have known all these guys, you are the last link left!"
That last remark never occurred to me so starting with 30 inherited pieces, I started collecting what I liked and regard as typical of everyday use... not the stuffy Museum pieces at auction, glass of the people, used  and loved by us our parents and grandparents.   
So blame Andy he has broad shoulders!
My aim is not just to display British glass from the 20th century. We have researched in detail over 80 British companies, written, briefly their histories, displayed them on a map of the UK, and recorded the reasons for the decline of the British Industry.
(For instance on Tuesday the grand daughters of two glass makers from the Albert Glass Works in Vauxhall in the 1870's are coming to show me pieces of glass made there and inherited by them, plus records that may fill in another small pieces of the missing jig-saw of the past!)
Sadly I believe it will never recover, BUT on the brighter side there are some great glass artists and studios and I venture to say the British, ( I shall not name names...!) are among the best in the world, (We do show examples from about 10!).
Andy and I believe we have a unique resource, the ability to both visit a glass museum and see glass still being made near London (yes, both Caithness and Dartington do this!). But they do not illustrate, inform and perhaps educate people into the beauty, talent and range of British Domestic Glass. Come and see it - special offer up to Christmas of £2.50 a head (free if if you spend £25 in the factory shop!) - and then please pick it to pieces! We learn from constructive criticism, we learn little from praise or flattery! As French writer Georges Duhamel said, "Conserver c'est encore creer" ("To conserve is still a creative act".)

For instance, we have just learned that Len Kempton, who left our company in the late 1930's and died in 1993 (I think!) was a pioneer in the New Zealand Glass industry and made glass well into his Eighties! We have the NZ press cuttings and photos to prove it! 
Angela, any interest?

Offline Frank

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2007, 10:52:20 AM »
Thanks for that Stephen, I do hope that you give yourself a credit in your displays too. Hopefully in the next couple of years I will get to the UK and come visit.

I think what you are doing is grand!
Frank A.
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Offline Heidimin

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Re: Who are the important British Domestic Glass designers of the 20th century?
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2007, 10:54:05 AM »
I have no problems with the concept of a museum of British domestic glass production - in fact, I think it's a great idea. Every museum has to have its own focus and I'm sure influences from other countries will be apparent in their impact on British designers.

On designers, I would definitely include AHW - I may be partisan, but he contributed some of Bagley's most distinctive designs, was a leading figure in the move away from "pseudo-cut glass" in the late 30s and post-war period, took mass-produced decorated tumblers to a new level, and was for 30 years chief designer for one of the largest British domestic glass producers of the second half of the C20th (Sherdley/ Ravenhead).

I'm not so sure about Annette Meech - I admire the small number of designs she did for Ravenhead, but she was/is primarily an art glass designer. John Clappison designed a large number of ranges for Ravenhead in the mid-70s, but this was a relatively short interlude in a career primarily focussed on ceramics.

Harold Stabler not Howard btw.
Heidi

 

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