Author Topic: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?  (Read 933 times)

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Offline wolkenreb

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Hi.  I know absolutely nothing about paperweights, except that they're usually round.  Having read quite a few posts regarding PWs I am quite intrigued.  I have never been attracted to them, but I now see what a vast range there is.

If it's not too big a question, how would I begin by identifying a nice, quality paperweight from a run-of-the mill one?

Thanks
Nancy
Nancy


Offline scimiman

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Re: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2011, 02:18:18 PM »
Your asking how long is a piece of string.
Your best bet is to trawl through google and inwardly digest.
Mike www.abfabglass.co.uk


Offline wolkenreb

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Re: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2011, 02:30:56 PM »
I kind of thought it was a big ask!  (Although a piece of string is normally about 3.5" long BTW.) Ha!  Will follow the link and have a good look.

Thanks Mike.
Nancy


Offline Frank

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Re: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 02:50:13 PM »
As with all things, workmanship, quality of detail, complexity and at times simplicity, good design, artistic flair, originality.

Value gives a good indication of: Classics age and condition, 20th Century Factory mostly design/skill, Art - a recognised and collected artist.

Personal interest - where you simply collect from the heart and the piece works for you.

Paperweights remain a rich area of discovery as while collectors are amongst the most animated and active of all glass collectors with many very active societies, lots of well researched books, outside of the world of weight collectors the gems are simply unrecognised as being more than a bauble.

Obviously weights (mostly) rely on the clarity of the glass - as a result this is one area that you will find more restored pieces than in any other glass area. Restorations being a complete polish, addition of facets to eliminate chips, partial polishing. How these affect value differs greatly according to rarity and quality of the restoration.

Paperweights are often a team effort and attribution is usually going to the designer of company weights, the canes may have been made by one or more of the workers, lampwork by another, the weight itself by another and any cutting by yet another. Someone else doing any final finishing. Studio makers might buy in canes or make everything themselves.

Techniques, there are dozens of techniques that are employed in paperweights which also makes them an interesting field of study.
Frank A.
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Offline wolkenreb

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Re: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 04:18:02 PM »
Many thanks for your comprehensive reply Frank.  After I read it I decided to look for relevant videos on you-tube and have been watching for the past hour or so, completely mesmerised and blown away.  I saw one where the maker delicately constructed little glass flowers and then built up the paperweight around them.  One video leads to another and I watched quite a few from Corning Glass Museum - wonderfully enlightening and enchanting.  I feel exhilarated and somehow really happy that there are still true artisans out there, creating decorative AND necessary objects for our everyday use. Not a machine in sight.  I can't help but wonder how such a labour intensive process can actually be economically viable, never mind the cost of keeping the furnaces going.  A whole new world has opened to me and, first chance I get, I want to see the process live.

Happy sigh!
Nancy


Offline Derek

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Re: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2011, 05:22:17 PM »
Hi Nancy

So you want to see weights being made live - well the town to head to is Crieff. Here within a 1 mile radius you will find Peter McDougall, John Deacons and Caithness Glasss. At Ciathness you can have a go at making one yourself and discover just how difficult it is !

Best regards

Derek


Offline pooleandpaperweights

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Re: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2011, 05:30:06 PM »
Peter Holmes is in Hawick as well, he will go out of his way to show you whats going on and how it's done.

Ian


Offline wolkenreb

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Re: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2011, 06:06:51 PM »
Hi Derek. Yes, I looked at their website today to see if they do live demos which of course they do.  Crieff is actually about an hour away by car, but have no car at the moment. I'll have to persuade a friend/family to take me - although I wouldn't think it would take too much persuasion.

Ian, Hawick is probably about the same distance, maybe a bit more, so the same as the above applies.  However, I'd love to pay him a visit some time.  Does one need to make an appointment?

Thank you both!  If I do manage to visit one or either  I will post a report here!
Nancy


Offline wolkenreb

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Re: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2011, 06:18:23 PM »
I meant one or both of course.

I've just been looking at Borders Art Glass (Peter Holmes) and they are actually on the A7 just north of Hawick and I'm on the A7 just south of Edinburgh.  40 miles between us.  I could probably get a bus!  Hurrah!
Nancy


Offline pooleandpaperweights

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Re: What are the main differences between a good quality and a poor quality PW?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2011, 06:25:39 PM »
I've done the drive from Edinburgh (other half's Aunts for the night!) down the A7 to Hawick.  Beautiful drive, almost as good as going to Peter's!

Ian

 

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