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Author Topic: Signed Glass  (Read 10104 times)

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Offline Frank

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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2006, 10:48:37 AM »
Quote from: "David Hier"
All 'art glass' (or glass art?) should be signed and if it’s not, then something dodgy must be going on. I understand the point about buyers wanting to buy large numbers of unsigned pieces by an artist (possibly for unscrupulous reasons.........i.e. passing them off as being antique). I would however argue that such glass is usually unoriginal, commercial and not really worthy of being collectable.

I know I am repeating myself, but as a general rule.......I would expect most factory/commercial glass to be unsigned (except by the manufacturer). Art glass or work by small-run glass artists should always be signed. If its not, then something dodgy is going on.


I must take you to task on this as a collector of contemporary art and with many artists as friends. Not signing their work is often a part of their artistic expression. Take Richard Long and in his own words from his web site:
Quote from: "Richard Long 2000"
Over the years these sculptures have explored some of the variables of transience, permanence, visibility or recognition. A sculpture may be moved, dispersed, carried.  Stones can be used as markers of time or distance, or exist as parts of a huge, yet anonymous, sculpture.  On a mountain walk a sculpture could be made above the clouds, perhaps in a remote region, bringing an imaginative freedom about how, or where, art can be made in the world.


The addition of a signature will alter the perception of the work, were you to come across a Richard Long scuplture while hill-walking, would you recognise the effort of the artist or look for some geological explanation?

Another friend makes her work in such a way that over time it crumbles and ultimately is a pile of dust. She tipped buckets of her work into the Thames to regain studio space - but her chosen method of disposal was itself an expression of the art that she chose to relocate.

The suggest of dodginess comes across to me as an offensive and arrogant remark David, please revisit that those thoughts.
Frank A.
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Offline David Hier

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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2006, 10:50:47 AM »
Quote from: "Glen"
What about signatures by decorators and mould makers or designers? I believe they add much to the piece - it's not egotism, it's added information...........


In a perfect world that is exactly what would happen.

I think there are examples where decorators, blowers and designers have signed pieces, but these are extremely rare. I think Okra might be a good example, with some pieces being signed by Richard Golding (hot glass work) and Terri Colledge (enamelling). I think you can find similar signings with modern paperweights, where the weight is made by one person and the lamp-work produced by someone else.

It would be a lot easier to identify glass if everything was signed and attributed. Unfortunately that isn't the case, but if I ran a glassworks I would make sure everyone was acknowledged for their work. I find it odd that others wouldn't share this sentiment.

The more I think about it, the more it irks me that modern makers might not sign their work. We live in the information age where I would actually expect more than just a signature on an artwork or piece of glass. We should really expect some kind of digital record that could be scanned. You could then be directed to online information that would acknowledge all makers and identify relevant pattern/model numbers and names.
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Offline Frank

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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2006, 10:51:48 AM »
Quote from: "Glen"
I think they can be much more than that,


I hear what you say Glen, but surely the interest in the glass is whatever made you pick it up in the first place? In this context any interest in a label/trademark etc is secondary and a part of the subsequent investigation of the piece.

Wow this is a fast thread, I have not read all the responses since I started my long post.
Frank A.
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Offline Leni

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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2006, 10:57:04 AM »
Quote from: "David Hier"
I have been to Peter's workshop for a couple of his Christmas sell-off sales (seconds etc). Peter will usually sign pieces when asked; although he usually has trouble knowing whether or not a piece is his own.

Yes, I too have a few 'seconds' from Peter's sales.  None are signed, although I do know who was responsible for actually making them.

However, you will notice I said in my post that I "bought a Peter Layton designed 'Landscape' paperweight" and "a large 'Spirale' vase of Peter's design".  I am of course aware that Peter doesn't make many of his designs once he has done the initial design and overseen the artists who produce his designs.  

Quote
This is pure speculation, but perhaps Peter doesn't sign his paperweights because he doesn't actually make them. A guilty conscience? I don't know.


Personally, I find the suggestion that he might have "a guilty conscience"  not only speculative, but deeply offensive!  

I think we're in danger of having 'the censors' delete this thread, which would be a great shame!  Shall we be a bit more careful what we say in future?  We have already 'lost' one useful and perceptive contributor, and others may well be deterred from making thoughtful and insightful comments because of the way this thread is going.
Leni


Offline Frank

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« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2006, 10:58:16 AM »
Quote from: "Leni"
Isn't it interesting, though, that porcelain has traditionally been marked with not only the factory mark, but often the maker and the decorator's marks!  Why not glass, I wonder?


The means to sign glass were very limited but ancient painted (enamelled) glass was often signed by the decorator.

Using a diamond was about the only option to sign glass other than painting prior to 1800, whereas paint or ink was always available to mark ceramics.

Acid etching only possible since 1800 although moulding is earlier it was not common to use a mark as part of a mould. Many more recent moulds, say 19th century on could have a mark added and this slowly became popular.

Glass is transparent and a mark could be considered unsightly, on ceramics it is out of sight while the item is in use.
Frank A.
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Offline David Hier

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« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2006, 11:01:27 AM »
Quote from: "Max"
I wouldn't presume to know the personal or economic reasons why a glass artist would or wouldn't sign their own glass.  I'm not an expert on every glass designer and art glass studio, past and present, worldwide.  That's my point.  Unless you have those facts at your fingertips, then I can't see how anyone can say anything definite and incontravertable.


I agree with you on this, I was merely talking about what should happen with current makers and artists.
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Offline Glen

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« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2006, 11:09:46 AM »
Quote from: "Frank"
but surely the interest in the glass is whatever made you pick it up in the first place?

No, not in this case, Frank. It was the trademark that was sought after! The "Jain" mark had long been a puzzle, and collectors sought out examples with the trademark itself.

I have bought examples of glass where the item itself was of absolutely no interest at all (boring and plain, in fact). But I wanted the trademark signature, as it was rare, interesting and fascinating. A good example would be a marigold plain panelled vase that has a moulded Riihimaki "signature" of the lynx. Wonderful, fabulous trademark!

Glen
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Offline David Hier

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« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2006, 11:16:49 AM »
Quote from: "Leni"
Quote from: "David Hier"
This is pure speculation, but perhaps Peter doesn't sign his paperweights because he doesn't actually make them. A guilty conscience? I don't know.


Personally, I find the suggestion that he might have "a guilty conscience"  not only speculative, but deeply offensive!


As I said in my post, the question of a guilty conscience was pure speculation.

I did not mean to cause any offence and in spite of how my post may have been received, I have a great deal of respect for Peter Layton as a designer.

I simply feel that glass makers deserve to receive credit for their work and signatures can help to achieve this. A 'designed by' and 'blown by' or 'decorated by' mark would be a good solution.
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Offline Glen

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« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2006, 11:20:08 AM »
With reference to decorators' signatures and various others (post actual glass production), I thought it might be of interest to note that Fenton Art Glass decorators add their signatures to their art work - and these are avidly sought after (both the actual sigs and the lovely painted designs). One of the most sought after (imho) is Louise Piper - and in more recent years, Martha Reynolds and Kim Plauche.

I have also painted designs on Carnival Glass, and I always sign them. The circumstances warrant (demand) it - but I can understand that there are many other circumstances where a signature may not be wanted, needed or warranted.

Note too, that members of the Fenton family add their actual signatures to some of their "Family Signature" items.
http://www.fentonartglass.com/newsletter/events/signature4-06.html

Glen
Just released—Carnival from Finland & Norway e-book!
Also, Riihimäki e-book and Carnival from Sweden e-book.
Sowerby e-books—three volumes available
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Copyright G&S Thistlewood


Offline Frank

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« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2006, 11:30:42 AM »
Quote from: "Leni"
I think we're in danger of having 'the censors' delete this thread, which would be a great shame!  Shall we be a bit more careful what we say in future?  We have already 'lost' one useful and perceptive contributor, and others may well be deterred from making thoughtful and insightful comments because of the way this thread is going.


We do not censor but we do have rules of behaviour in order to maintain civilised dialogue. There have been some exaggerated claims of censorship recently but in fact it was a case of some highly offensive personal attacks on other board members that initiated the actions that were taken. No-one has been banned as a result and anyone is able to post if they choose too. In the entire history of this board we have had only two temporary bans imposed on members who would not keep to our guidelines. One of these is now one of our most frequent and valued contributors. The moderators are the public face of a committee composed of a previously unrelated group of members. The moderators make some decisions on their own but major decisions are carried out by a democratic process. On occasion a thread is moved to the committee forun for further discussion and might be edited before returning it to the foru,m or it may be returned intact.

This thread is raising strong feelings but that does not mean we have to resort to attacking a viewpoint we may disagree with. Nor does it mean we have to swallow it. It is possible for any itelligent person to discuss different points of view and express their own feelings with out resorting to playground tactics, shouting and name-calling.

Fundamental conflict theory has a good maxim that makes civilised dialogue possible between the most opposite points of view: Always make a criticism with a recommendation. In this way no-one is left dangling, they are given the information that you do not like what they say but it also gives them the means to reconsider their viewpoint. This can lead to change but importantly it allows a conversation to be continued. Once name calling started it becomes difficult to manage and firm action will generally follow. Many forums may have less controls but i  personally give up on them them when you get swearing matches in every other thread.

We have tried to maintain a free and open community by designing our guidelines and keeping a check when things get close to the edge or go over the top. Serious attacks on any member by another will lead to almost immediate reaction. All society's have laws to maintain civilised behaviour and police to act when excesses are carried out outside those laws. In our micro-community the same theory is applied, many people can be easily intimidated and many glass researchers are quiet people with a serious reason for sharing their knowledge here. We have lost many of our contributors, mostly temporary, following personal attacks. Do we really want a forum where only the street-wise take part. I think not Leni and I am sure that if you review your concerns about censorship you might appreciate our efforts.

This thread has not produced any such extremes, yet it is certainly raising very strong passions. Passion is a part of collecting and inevitably a part of any serious subject here.

David has made some contentious remarks and I have asked him to review those. Perhaps David, you could use the word I instead of we for some of your generalisations as the views you express are clearly not taken on board by everyone and I have given examples of why even artists can choose not to sign.
Frank A.
Please help preserve glass web-sites for posterity by donating to The Glass Study Association a non-profit organisation.
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