In the light of several recent topics and personal e-mails.....
Who needs a signature?
As some are aware, I have the greatest respect and affinity for Czechoslovakian glass, its designers, and the glass-masters who, for probably the most difficult forty-two years in living memory, had to operate in the most trying of conditions.
Recent postings to the board, have, IMHO, been submitted, with a collectors view.
I, personally, have felt very uncomfortable with some of those posts.
Suggestions that current Czech glass-masters should sign their work, even must sign their items....
So I pose some questions.....
A glass-master is, by the very term, some-one whose skills are un-doubted.
Is it necessary to sign, and if so, who for?
Arguably not for the glass-making community, by definition, quite small, so, a glass-master, needs only to be recognised by his peers and equals.
Lipofsky would recognise work by Herman etc....
like-wise with the very best of Czech/Slovak makers and engravers.
So the pleas for signatures are driven by whom? Can I be really contentious, and suggest, the collectors????
A signature does something , allowing (sometimes) a positive id, and thus bolstering a collectors' view of the value.
But, that rather supposes that the designer/maker, signs themself.
Now, being the anarchist that I am, I will re-call a joke, from Stoke-on-Trent, where once I worked in the potteries.
"How do you tell some-one who works in the potteries? They are the one's with food on their shirts."
Looking at, or for, labels does not make you an expert. A signature is arguably a lazy person's option, and pleas for signatures, says more about the collector, than the artist, designer, glass-master.
Is signed glass the lazy collectors option? IMHO, yes.
When some-one accuses some-one of being elitist, because they do not need to see a Biemann signature, on a glass to know it is Biemann, that may be a reflection of some-one's hard-won knowledge, and familiarity with Biemann's work. We cannot raise him from the dead to service collectors insecurity.
Nor can we demand that a current glass-master, or master glass-engraver, sign their work. That is to deny them their democratic right to choose, whether they sign, or not. In a Czech/Slovak context, having been denied their human rights for such a long time, it seems ironic that now certain people think that their new, hard-won freedoms should be subjugated to the whims of collectors.
Only familiarity with current work, by the likes of Igor Muller, will help. No collector has the right, to expect another human being should abdicate their democratic freedoms.