Looking for Glass on ebay? Angela's Designer Searches can help! Click here!

Author Topic: Signed Glass  (Read 10193 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline David Hier

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 129
    • http://www.glassfairs.co.uk
Signed Glass
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2006, 11:36:27 AM »
Quote from: "Frank"
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.


I think this is the exception rather than the rule. I certainly take on board the point you are making and would even go so far as to concede that some artist feel the originality of their work is its own signature.

As a general rule most artists sign their work. Although I know some artists don't sign their work, I haven't met one who doesn't. I suppose it is all down to personal experience.

When it comes to artists like Richard Long or Andy Goldsworthy, the actual artworks may not be signed, but the photographs of the artist’s work (which is usually what sells in galleries) is almost always signed. Unsigned work is usually documented in some way, which is a kind of alternative to a signature. The artist is rarely anonymous.

I can't think of a reason for an artist to produce work that is sent into the world anonymously, without attribution or a signature (with the exception of illegal works, although these are usually given a cryptic signature of sorts)

I don't feel that my comment about the dodgyness of unsigned work was arrogant, its just a fact. With the above exceptions (as well as your own observations), there is no reason for an artist not to sign their work.

To revise my position, I would say that an artwork would only be unsigned if there was a) an artistic, creative, philosophical or leagal reason, or b) something dodgy is going on..............(edited addition)...........or c) the artist didn't think to do it, or simply forgot.
Visit www.glassfairs.co.uk for information on the original National Glass Fair.


Offline Frank

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 9409
  • Gender: Male
    • Glass history
    • Gateway
Signed Glass
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2006, 11:37:44 AM »
Quote from: "Glen"
No, not in this case, Frank. It was the trademark that was sought after!


But that was after the research began. I was meaning more the first piece you chose to collect, I am sure that you did not go to a stall/shop and look at all the labels and marks before you bought your first piece of Carnival.

The first Tabatznik I bought was because of the impact of the piece on me, I discovered who made it after that. The first Hawkins I bought was the same and ditto for every piece of art. I have one ceramic sculpture that I completely forgot the artists name. It is unsigned. When I renewed contact with Adam Aaronson, through this board, I sent him a photo for identification as it had been bought from his gallery in Edinburgh.
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 Glen

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 2889
  • Gender: Female
    • Carnival Glass Research and Writing
Signed Glass
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2006, 12:45:12 PM »
Quote from: "Frank"
I am sure that you did not go to a stall/shop and look at all the labels and marks before you bought your first piece of Carnival.

 :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:
Actually, I am barmy enough to do that. But you are right, of course, I didn't. The first piece of Carnival I purchased was because I saw it at a fair and thought it was the most fantastic piece of glass I had ever seen.

But to go back to the Jain mark, I really don't see it quite as black and white as you do, Frank. The mark (and others eg "Paliwal" in script) has been specifically sought out, regardless of the actual item of glass it's on. Was it the research that caused people to want it? Or the curiosity and strangeness of the mark? In many cases the latter (some collectors don't care two hoots about researchers and what they do - they just want the piece of glass for one reason or another).

I just think there can be instances where the mark/sig is what is sought - and the fact that it's on a piece of glass is almost incidental (but necessary, nonetheless!!)

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
For all info see www.thistlewoods.net
Copyright G&S Thistlewood


Offline David Hier

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 129
    • http://www.glassfairs.co.uk
Re: Signed Glass
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2006, 01:12:02 PM »
Quote from: "Le Casson"
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.


I just wanted to bring things back to the original question that started this thread.

It may well be easy for glass makers within the industry to identify one another’s creations. This was no doubt also the case when much of today's collectable glass was originally produced (be that in the 18th, 19th or 20th Centuries).

That doesn't help today’s collectors or archivists who have to trawl through pattern books and build up years of personal knowledge and experience to identify the work of specific makers (if possible).

For the sake of posterity, contemporary glass makers should fully document their work. Otherwise in 30 or 40 years time there will be a whole new generation of glass enthusiasts who will have difficulty attributing the glass that is made today.

The work of Lipofsky or Herman may be identifiable to those 'in the know', but as time passes and the memory of such artists fades, their work and legacy could potentially go unrecognised or appreciated……which would be a shame.
Visit www.glassfairs.co.uk for information on the original National Glass Fair.


Offline Frank

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 9409
  • Gender: Male
    • Glass history
    • Gateway
Signed Glass
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2006, 01:51:28 PM »
Of course, David, but what would life be like then?

"Who made this piece?"

"Turn it over and read the list of signatures."

"Oh right, never thought of that. Thanks great forum. Whats it worth?"

 :?

But I also suggest we cannot equate the future experience with the experience of the past. The information age has provide us with the means to preserve such knowledge.

My Scottish glass project is interested in the names of everybody involved in Scottish glass and will list them if they are master crafstmen, a finisher or an office clerk. Where possible it will give a brief account of that persons contribution. http://www.ysartglass.com/Indexart05.htm For example Betty Reid who was the person that marked up and applied the labels to Monart. She is also the woman who saved the original pattern books from a skip outside Moncrieff's. A clerk who has allowed the previously unknown contribution of Paul Ysart to the design process - it was always assumed that it had been his father!

If all our members picked a currently operating glassworks in their area, they could list all of the staff and post it for posterity.

What about the situation where a small piece of glass is conceived by a client, final design by a design team followed by a handful of crafstmen to create and produce the run. Where and how would the dozen or more names be applied to the piece without distracting from the design.
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 David Hier

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 129
    • http://www.glassfairs.co.uk
Signed Glass
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2006, 02:44:28 PM »
Quote from: "Frank"
Where and how would the dozen or more names be applied to the piece without distracting from the design.


I would suggest an RF Chip or an IP address as a couple of possible solutions.

You certainly make a good point about the way information is treated differently these days. However if a maker doesn't see fit to sign a piece, how likely are they to keep any record of their accomplishments, let alone share such details with collectors?

Obviously some makers will keep extensive records, which will be of great help in the future. Others won't. I would hazard a guess that in spite of the resources available today, many details will still get lost over time.

Your suggestion about ways for forum members to contribute to the archiving of modern glass is an excellent idea. It would be even better if the makers could co-operate in making the information as accurate as possible.
Visit www.glassfairs.co.uk for information on the original National Glass Fair.


Offline Frank

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 9409
  • Gender: Male
    • Glass history
    • Gateway
Signed Glass
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2006, 03:04:10 PM »
That can happen, Caithness glass are actively supporting the documentation of their work and as their archives are limited this will be mostly driven by collectors input. Caithness providing feedback as well as original material:

http://www.ysartglass.com/Indexart09.htm

There is another aspect which has a direct bearing on this side issue to the signatures topic (But relevant):

Companies protecting their IP from casual use. (It might irritate collectors but it is their right to withhold data for any reason that they chose)

Maintaining an archive is very costly and there are, in Europe at least, laws that prevent release of personal data. My Scottish database is based on publicly available data, collectors data and direct input from the individual concerned.

Fires and other accidents that damage the archive.

Providing access to an archive requires supervision or the accessors will steal things.


One example is a very large corporation that has a huge archive going back to the 19th century. This company feels that its archive contains sensitive information that could have an impact on their business if released. Their archive covers not only the papers, almost complete, but also examples of almost every thing they developed wether it was put on to the market or not. Some of this is perceived as still having potential value over one hundred years later.
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


Sklounion

  • Guest
Signed Glass
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2006, 10:03:17 PM »
Hi,
Please, for new members, I would like to make it clear, that this topic, was posted, with a view to encouraging some robust discussion regarding the issue of signatures. This sometimes involves some articulate and equally contentious responses, but, by no means should it be seen as anything else other than a discussion.

To Bernard, I will say this. I wish that you had not felt it necessary to ameliorate your comments. Within the context of this topic, they were fair.
I'm sure that no offence was meant, and none taken.

With that said, back to topic.

Clearly there are conflicting needs.

Once someone has peeled off a label, is it possible to identify a piece of glass?

Even if the label has gone, does a signature guarantee anything?
On a brocante here in France today, was an Iittala Festivo candle-stick,
with 80% of the original transfer label missing, but a well-known and documented design. One problem with it was that it was signed with a poor dremel-inflicted TS signature to the base.

Timo Sarpaneva designed it, but a signature on a piece of pressed glass?

I bought there an unsigned piece of glass. No makers mark, few of Inwalds factories products carried a mark, and where they do, that is usually an indicator of a particular factory.

In this instance, it was a 1940 design, by Rudolf Schrotter, produced at Rudolfova Hut', during the Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland. It bears no signature but is identifiable, none the less.

In some respects, there is little difference between art glass and industrially-produced glass. If it arrives without labelling/acid-etched mark, a signature, then for the uninitiated, it can be a daunting task to find the designer, or maker of company which produced the item.

Even the presence of a label can be unhelpful. Last year I bought four pieces of Helpringham Glass. Other than the label, there are no signatures, and because this small art glass workshop disappeared after a short period of time, the information regarding the studio is sparse, its glass-master, known to be Japanese, but beyond that nothing.... In this situation, having a signature would still be irrelevant, there is nothing to relate it to. Yet, If I see work by the same hand, I will know where it came from, if not, the as-yet un-identified maker.

This is a challenging topic, with people bringing very different perspectives to this debate.

For that, I thank you all for your contributions.

Regards,

Marcus


Offline Bernard C

  • Committee
  • Members
  • *
  • Posts: 3213
  • Milton Keynes based British glass dealer
Signed Glass
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2006, 12:30:12 AM »
Quote from: "Le Casson"
... To Bernard, I will say this. I wish that you had not felt it necessary to ameliorate your comments. Within the context of this topic, they were fair. I'm sure that no offence was meant, and none taken. ...

Marcus — You will be delighted to know that my modifications were not intended for your benefit.   However, my original text could have been seen as a poor example to the handful of members whose use of language is perhaps less considered or controlled.    That was why, after a brief off-air discussion with the man with the zapper, I made the changes.

Quote from: "Frank"
... I am also aware that stores like John Lewis insist on glass being unmarked or even labelled. ...

Frank — I believe you may be inadvertantly misquoting me from way back, on the old board.   Some years ago, after hearing it from two unconnected glassmakers, I reported that the old John Lewis glass buyer was one of the worst of the bullies — "you sign it, we won't buy it".   Nothing could be more different today.   That buyer has long gone.   Today's John Lewis glass buyer is innovative, and, for a department store, quite daring at times.   Almost all their glass is marked in some way.   Today John Lewis is one of the safest places for the general public to buy new glass, and I think they deserve our praise for their complete change of approach, with an unusually strong emphasis on British studio glass.   Take a look for yourself, next time you are in the vicinity of one of their stores.   I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright © 2004–14 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Frank

  • Author
  • Members
  • ***
  • Posts: 9409
  • Gender: Male
    • Glass history
    • Gateway
Signed Glass
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2006, 07:59:27 AM »
That is good to know, nice that some things change for the better in this hurly burly world!

Certain types of industrial glass also present a signature problem that can be due to trade agreements. Paricularly where two glassmakers in two countries have conflicting patents. For Moncrieff and Corning resolved by each using the others mark for sales in the market that they would otherwise be prevented from selling in. At other times the solution was a joint company, particularly where the patents overlap and both can benefit by using a mixed product Edison/Swan. Corning also utilised many glassworks to absorb capacity peaks and again the actual maker is concealed.

I have built a small collection of gauge glass from across the 20th century, mostly Moncrieff but due to lotting other makers too, I have some that is identical but probably different makers, Moncrieff marked everything sold in their name. I also have some Corning marked that I suspect are Moncrieff but no way to tell. I satisfy myself that the collection covers the maker in which I have a primary interest but also possibly pieces by them that are not verifiable.

Other examples of ambiguous manufacture are readily found in the product packaging field but here the collectors follow the brand names rather than the maker of the glass.
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

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