Got to put one or two of you out of your misery. It was NEVER titled an 'Axe' so this is a wrong and inaccurate name. This was a name voiced by a well known personality in a very popular series of books at a time when others simply did not know what it was correctly called. It was simply a description of the way it looked. At the Studio they have always been either 'Fish' vases if they were cased in clear glass(as is this one) or 'Lollipops' if they were not cased (this is not , strickly speaking, Sommerso production either. Check in the definition section of any of the very informative glass books on the market for that method of glass making). The reason for the 'fish' description was that if you turn the original, more rounded shape on it's side it resembles the look of many types of tropical fish. It also resmbles a 'ray' species, albeit standing on it's head ! This particular variation of shape also was not produced by, or during, the time that Mike was at Mdina but more likely after, when Joseph Said ( Mikes first trainee) and the italian Boffo's (father and son from Whitefriars) were having more influence and were changing some of Mike's basic designs. However this general design was certainly the most iconic and recognisable designs to be attributed to Mike and still continues to this day from Tim Harris at I.of W. Studio Glass.
Have a look at our website www.artiusglass.co.uk
or wait until the wonderful definative book written by Mark Hill comes out (24th. Sept. at Cambridge Glass Fair) It will save a lot of this conjecture. I think I will have to write a piece which I can just copy and paste ! It will save an awful lot of burning midnight oils writing everthing each time this thread arises!! No we love it actually and we are glad you love this piece. We have had this love affair since I started with Mike and the studio (I.of W.) 25 years ago and still get excited seeing nice examples.
Trust that helps.
Ron & Ann Wheeler
Officially Appointed Secondary Market Specialists to I. of W. Studio Glass !!