Author Topic: Unknown paperweight  (Read 1695 times)

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Offline Frank

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Re: Unknown paperweight
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 07:10:36 PM »
Not an argument just the results of researching earlier uses of gold foil etc. It is possible that MH was not aware of the earlier uses and just rediscovered the technique. Very little actually gets invented these days. Virtually all the techniques used in decorating today were the subject of 19th century patent applications!
Frank A.
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Offline scimiman

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Re: Unknown paperweight
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2008, 07:54:48 PM »
Cant actually see where your link goes other than back to the home messahe board with dozens of different subjects.
Mike www.abfabglass.co.uk


Offline Frank

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Re: Unknown paperweight
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2008, 09:03:08 AM »
Frank A.
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Offline scimiman

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Re: Unknown paperweight
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 11:18:01 AM »
Hi Frank
You are right to a point, what Ron failed to point out was that the process you are talking about goes back centuries but it was always encased and this had not been a problem What Michael Harris cracked was the ability to do this purely as a surface decoration without any encasing.
Hope this clarifies the point.
Mike www.abfabglass.co.uk


Offline Frank

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Re: Unknown paperweight
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2008, 12:41:22 PM »
Not so d'Humy's patent was surface decoration as were some of the other earlier uses. No earlier example, than d'Humy, has yet been confirmed.
Frank A.
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Offline scimiman

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Re: Unknown paperweight
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2008, 06:16:30 PM »
I think then that where this crossover occurs is that Michael Harris registered the process of gold foil as a surface decoration with the design council and this was granted and is still held in his name to this day although sadly MH is no longer with us.

I can only assume that MH found away of doing the process so that much larger quantities could be made to enable easier production.

Mike

Offline aa

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Re: Unknown paperweight
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2008, 10:20:05 PM »
I would recommend anyone who is interested in this technique to have a look at Marina Barovier's Carlo Scarpa, Glass of an Architect, published 1999 ISBN 88-8118-328-X.
In particular attention should be paid to the description of the 1928 Parisian Salon on p34: "an original use of opaque glass, which Scarpa employed, together with the application of gold leaf, to meet the new taste." There are further references to the " 'Phoenician' decoration, a technique which made these objects unique pieces, their quality being exalted by the strong colouring of the glass fabrics and by the application of gold leaf to the whole surface." These pieces which were produced by MVM Cappellin & C. are illustrated on pp58, 63/4 and the Phoenicians on pps66-71. In addition due regard should be paid to the images on pp72-81 and 87.

Alternatively, similar images of this work by Carlo Scarpa can be found in "Venetian Glass" - 20th Century Italian Glass - The Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu Collection,  published in 2000 by The American Craft Museum, New York, ISBN 1-890385-05-0. It is interesting to make a comparison between the Scarpa pieces shown 1929 -1936  and the piece produced by Archimede Seguso some twenty years later and entitled "Polveri"

The work to which I refer is very rare to find and I think it would be fair to assume that Mike Harris would most likely have been unaware of its existence when, together with William Walker, he began to develop Azurene, which was a hugely successful range*. In any event there is no doubt that the use of gold and silver leaf in Azurene bears his Mike's own unique "handwriting" and any suggestion that it was not original would be incorrect. However, it is not historically correct to assign to Mike the somewhat dubious accolade of being the first person to use gold and silver leaf as external decoration.


*During the mid eighties I played a small part in its success as I was running my family's gallery Coleridge, which was a major retailer for Isle of White glass from 1982 to 1986 and we bought and sold considerable volumes. Indeed, I might even have sold the piece that started this thread!


Hello & Welcome to the Board! Sometimes my replies are short & succinct, other times lengthy. Apologies in advance if they are not to your satisfaction; my main concern is to be accurate for posterity & to share my limited knowledge
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Offline Frank

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Re: Unknown paperweight
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2008, 12:49:57 PM »
That is a useful addition to the knowledge base on this technique Adam and of course IOWs approach was unique to them - probably doing more to popularise the decoration than any earlier users.

It is interesting that Scarpa used the name Phoenician as my slow hunt for earliest use had identified Phoenicians as a likely candidate, along with Rhenish glassmakers. But I need to get some archeological tomes to get further with that.

There are also more descriptions of related techniques in Duthie, 1908. But that is concerned with flat glass decoration. It mentions that mirrors made by applying metal leaf to the rear of glass or crystal were known to Aristotle.

My other hunt is for marvering of enamels for decoration, another technique that seems to have a lot of inventors  ::)
Frank A.
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