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Author Topic: Mystery signature  (Read 227 times)

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Offline Wuff

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Mystery signature
« on: November 25, 2021, 01:34:30 PM »
Attached are images of two paperweights with a signature I don't recognise. Due to some resemblance with the Summer Fruits Greenberry design of Isle of Wight it was suggested to me the signature could be "MHs" from Michael Harris, signing some sort of test piece ... a suggestion, but definitely without any proof. Hence my question: has anyone seen this signature before and solve the mystery?
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
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Offline chopin-liszt

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Re: Mystery signature
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2021, 01:56:33 PM »
 :) Michael Harris was an experienced engraver before he took up hot glass. Any marks he made on glass are neat and tidy, he used a diamond point pen. This mark is a bit... dremmelly.
I'll find a pic of some of his engraving/writing and post it.
Cheers, Sue (M)

‘For every problem there is a solution: neat, plausible and wrong’. H.L.Mencken

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Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: Mystery signature
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2021, 03:25:04 PM »
I think it could be Mount St Helens

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Offline Wuff

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Re: Mystery signature
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2021, 03:43:01 PM »
Thank you both, Sue and Christine !

Michael Harris: yes - I had my doubts, which is why I asked here :).

Mount St Helens ... Hmmm ... it's definitely not the MSH signature I'm used to.
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
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Offline flying free

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Re: Mystery signature
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2021, 02:02:46 AM »
I think it's upside down and the signature is a curly H then W  :-X


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Offline Wuff

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Re: Mystery signature
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2021, 07:52:07 AM »
Upside down? ... quite possible, of course ... but what would it stand for then? I attach the rotated version.
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
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Offline flying free

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Re: Mystery signature
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 08:37:11 AM »
are they both signed?
The decor on the first one doesn't look like summer fruits to me.
Are they lightly iridescent glass? 


A photograph in daylight would be better maybe?

Having looked at Christine's suggestion of Mount St Helens, they did seem to sign in a varying way, with that kind of 'not flowing' way (use of dremmel is it?) and the base of their pieces looks similarly finished. 

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Offline Wuff

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Re: Mystery signature
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2021, 07:09:52 PM »
Are they both signed?
The decor on the first one doesn't look like summer fruits to me.
Are they lightly iridescent glass?
A photograph in daylight would be better maybe?
Yes - both are signed, identically, for the second weight the image of the signature is rather small, however - still attached (both orientations).
Yes - not Summer Fruits - the idea was that it could be a test piece for the technique - but I have abandoned this idea in the meantime.
Yes - looks like irridescent surface - but I also have these images only.
I have to add that I don't have the two weights within reach (have been asked to help with an identification) - so can't do daylight images.
I will comment on the MSH suggestion in more detail separately.
Thank you for your considerations - Wolf
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
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Offline flying free

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Re: Mystery signature
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2021, 07:21:20 PM »
Oddly for some reason (and I'm probably wrong!) I can imagine inscribing that sig as an H W would be easier and flow more easily and then doing the star  than it would be doing it the other way up. Do you know what I mean?

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Offline Wuff

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Re: Mystery signature
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2021, 08:10:57 PM »
Having looked at Christine's suggestion of Mount St Helens, they did seem to sign in a varying way, with that kind of 'not flowing' way (use of dremmel is it?) and the base of their pieces looks similarly finished.
I have to admit that I find the attributions somewhat confusing: there was a "Mount St. Helens Volcanic Ash Glassworks" founded in 1980 after the eruption by the glassblower Steven Hank Claycamp: he discovered that the volcanic ash contained 68 percent silica and consequently developed a procedure to include it in glass for his paperweights. He was joined by Lloyd "Brian" Gladson in 1990 - who later (around 2003) took over from the retiring Claycamp. In 2008 Gladson was still active - but in a news article (unfortunately not dated) it is mentioned that the studio had to be closed as the lease was not extended - so certainly today the studio is no longer in operation. I have found just a single signature image online (didn't search all that long) "Mt. St. Helens Glass 1981" - I assume this to belong to a weight made by Claycamp.

Already before 2008, however, other studios have used MSH ash in their weights, e.g. Glass Eye Studio and Roger Vines. Signatures with just "MSH year", "MSH ash year", or "MSH ash Vines year" (example from my weight attached) show up really often. Questions: was any of these weights made at the "original" studio - or all by Roger Vines (studio) or other artists? Did  GES only state that MSH ash was used - or did they actually indicate that fact in the signature?

But back to my original question: none of the signatures I have found in this context shows similarity to the signature to be identified - not even close to it.
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
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