Author Topic: D T Olivotti, Murano, woven glass, aventurine, paperweights 1878 Paris  (Read 2163 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline KevinH

  • Global Moderator
  • Members
  • *
  • Posts: 4431
    • England
At the time of the 1878 Paris Exposition Universelle, Charles Colné was the assistant secretary the US Commissioners reporting on the exhibition. It seems he was unimpressed with much of what Venice produced in way of millefiori, singling out Salviati and Venezia-Murano in that context. [Info from The Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights by Paul Hollister, Jr. - which references Revi for the role of Colné.]

The negative reference to the millefiori of most of the Venetian / Murano offerings makes it interesting that the Olivotti company, who were listed as including paperweights in their range, won a medal at that event but were not explicity praised by Colné. Presumably the medal was not for any paperweights they may have shown!
KevinH


Offline Ivo

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 7403
  • Gender: Male
    • old website
Seems to me that if they were based in Venice they would not be allowed to make paperweights, only lampwork for paperweights which would then be finished off in Murano.

re weave: the dress which Edward Drummond Libbey exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition incorporated "glass fibers with the diameter and texture of silk"  but it is not certain how many, if it was wearable or what happened if the lady sat down in it...  This maker used similar drawn out glass fibers to make necklaces and table mats - these would be very fragile, like the woven necklaces made out of hair.  Usable glass fiber as we know it was not produced until 1938.  In any case, even slumped can be woven: see here
http://www.clearwaterglass.com/Tutorials/TutorialWovenBowl.html

The difference between spun glass and other lampwork is that it uses solid spaghetti-like clear rods to make things that look like glass noodle.
Other lampwork uses somewhat larger hollow rods for blowing small perfume flasks, or even laboratory glass. Multi coloured rods are used for paperweights and general giftware - and this includes aventurine; rods for delicate lampwork is one of the delivery forms for this hard to produce material which can only be worked at relatively low temperatures. (the other being solid blocks and shards)
Ivo
► BLUE HENRY ◄
 New Book: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Blue Glass Sputum Flask

all texts and pictures (c) Ivo Haanstra.


Offline Lustrousstone

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 10987
  • Gender: Female
    • Warrington, UK
    • My Gallery
That doesn't mean glass fibre wasn't produced in small amounts before 1938. I know you don't have much faith in Wikipedia but here it says, first commercially produced in 1936. The 1938 stuff was the great mats of it. I know that glass threads for making fibreglass fabrics are produced (spun) in the same way as cotton threads, I spent two and half years reading articles about all aspects of the textile industry. The fibres used are probably quite short 2/3/4 cm. Libbey's dress is described as incorporating glass fibres with the diameter and texture of silk fibres. I can't see why quantities of thread enough for weaving small items such as jewellery and table mats couldn't be made on ribbon looms or lace looms or other narrow hand looms if the thread could be produced. Merletto is surely a case in point. How long has that been around for?

All this doesn't mean Olivotti's products were successful - they might have looked fabulous but been unwearable or unusable. 

I've just looked up cotton fibres, they vary in length from 1 to 6 cm (6 cm being the really expensive stuff), so your glass fibres for spinning into thread would be the same sort of length. You need to think textiles not glass.


Offline Frank

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 9381
  • Gender: Male
    • Glass history
    • Gateway
As Chris Stewart discovered, there was a distinct industry emerging  by the 1880's potentially inspired by Olivotti at Paris, but certainly a subject of study in the early 19th century too as noted by Anne in the same thread. Now where to find details of the bronze medal they received?

I guess there is a certain amount of commercial spin to the 1938 date widely quoted corning were always good at PR! No doubt with the appropriate narrowing of their definition that date becomes effective but commercial viability was earlier if all these other companies were making use of the technology - even if its application was severely limited

From the Glass-Study there are several processes mentioned and reference to 'early' drawn methods, modern (preWW2) continuous thread. In Germany 1945; Centrifugal for glass wool, rotating perforated plates (Continuous fibre), Owens-Corning (Continuous fibre & Staple) , Drawing from rods (Continuous fibre). A thickness of 5 to 6 Microns being mentioned. Textile quality was produced by American methods and insulation types by all methods.

So the hunt for Olivotti can continue, with the range of products and the language used in the 1880 report it is probable that it was a firm rather than a single producer. Somewhere out there someone must know about this company and there are probably some attributed items.

(US fiber fiberglass)
Frank A.
Please help preserve glass web-sites for posterity by donating to The Glass Study Association a non-profit organisation.
Scotland's Glass - Ysart Glass
Glass Zoo - Glass Study.COM
Commercial Czech


Offline Frank

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 9381
  • Gender: Male
    • Glass history
    • Gateway
The negative reference to the millefiori of most of the Venetian / Murano offerings makes it interesting that the Olivotti company, who were listed as including paperweights in their range, won a medal at that event but were not explicity praised by Colné. Presumably the medal was not for any paperweights they may have shown!
I think that report of the report is add odds with the actual report, while there was some general criticism, this was particularly taste based and partly on skill levels and technology. Olivotti were explicitly praised as were other Italians. It is for this type of disambiguation that the Glass-Study came into existence as much of the original material is rare even with big pockets.

Quotes from the report:
Firstly written by William Blake:
Quote
The manifold forms in which glass is wrought in Venice were fully represented by Salviati, Olivotti, and the Venice and Murano Company.
Italy won:
Quote
Grand prize: Verreries et mosaïques de la province de Venise     Italy.
Gold Medal: Compagnie Générale des Verreries de Venise-Murano     Italy.
Silver Medal: Salviati et Cie     Italy.
and Radi (L.)     Italy.
Bronze medals
Bussolin (D.)     Italy.
Candiani (M.)    Italy.
Olivotti (T.)     Italy.
Honorable mentions
Olivieri (L.)     Italy
Tommasi et Gelsomini.     Italy.
Weberbeck (F. et C.)     Italy.

And by Colné:
Quote
D. T. Olivotti, Murano, Venice. A fine display of glass, jewelry, and articles for wear, such as bracelets, ear-rings, table mats, necklaces, etc. These articles are not spun, but consist of threads woven at right angles with different colored glasses. A variety of different colored beads of all shapes and styles, apparently made by twisting glass threads spirally and partially heating them to cement them together. A variety of fancy small toilet bottles made in all styles of colored, marbled, and mottled glasses. Paper weights and fancy goods made in the inimitable aventurine or gold-stone imitation.
and
Quote
Space will not allow me to describe the pretty fancy goods exhibited by other houses and the numberless and beautiful mosaics to be seen all over the Italian section. In these two particular branches we cannot praise Italian art too much. It will be many years before any other nation will be able to compete with that country in this style of goods. Living is cheap in Italy, and I have been told that an artisan working on mosaics and producing the beautiful designs we saw only gets 50 cents a day, and yet he must be a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts before he can even earn this pittance. It is really astonishing to see the small and intricate designs of mosaics. This work requires not only a great skill but also a great correctness in the designs. I must also acknowledge that in colored glass several of their colors are very good, but many others are poor, indefinite, lacking in brilliancy, and appear to have been dulled by impure materials or imperfect melting. Neither am I an enthusiast over the reproductions of ancient glass; the generality of them are lacking in taste and regularity of forms.
and
Quote
Macedonian Candiani, of Venice, exhibited very pretty glass ware made in imitation of ... This exhibit was very creditable, and comprised a variety of beautifully mixed colored pastes or glasses.
and
Quote
The Venice and Murano Company had the largest variety on exhibition, and represented probably the best productions of the country. It was established in 1866 by English gentlemen, who, as lovers of ancient art, wish to revive and restore it to its primitive greatness.

It would be impossible to describe the objects exhibited without drawings, and a mere description does not convey to the mind any idea of the goods. I will simply describe the styles, without pretending to give the names of the objects they are intended to represent:
a long list of descriptions follows, but the report must have limited itself to the opening paragraph of Colné's part:
Quote
Italy, which of late has been trying to revive the art of making ancient glass, made quite a display at the Exposition. Although I admired several of the productions shown in such profusion, I must say that the impression left upon the mind is one of disappointment.
Frank A.
Please help preserve glass web-sites for posterity by donating to The Glass Study Association a non-profit organisation.
Scotland's Glass - Ysart Glass
Glass Zoo - Glass Study.COM
Commercial Czech


 

Search
eBay.com
eBay.co.uk

Enter key words
Link to Glass Encyclopedia
Link to Glass Museum
Enter
key words
to search
Amazon.com