Author Topic: Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?  (Read 3783 times)

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Offline wrightoutlook

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Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?
« on: October 21, 2006, 11:29:05 PM »
Just curious as to if anybody specific made the Caithness paperweight-style thimbles. Would a number of glass artisans worked on them or one specific craftsperson? Also, were they made over an extended or a short period of time?

Thanks.

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Offline Frank

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Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2006, 09:31:02 AM »
Introduced in 1978, I show the 89 ones already. They were very successful I believe.

http://www.scotlandsglass.com/cms/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=143&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=27
Frank A.
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Offline ALLAN

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Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2006, 09:32:30 AM »
The actual glass thimble part were bought blank in a variety of colours and the mini paperweights were made in the Wick factory.The "stones" as we call them were made on a lampwork torch then ground down and glued on to the blanks.The later ranges included some lampwork flowers which were made by myself and Rosette Fleming in Perth and then sent to wick for putting on the blanks.I don't know all of the names of the people that made the "stones" in Wick but the longest serving was Christina Davidson.Originally all the canes for the "stones" were made in Wick but then that process was switched to Perth in the 80's when the various jewellery ranges took off and resulted in a bigger demand for cane,which could only be achieved at the Perth site.


Offline Frank

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Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2006, 09:45:23 AM »
Jewellery was of course an idea of Paul Ysart and you can read more here http://www.ysartglass.com/PaulYsart/PYP5over.htm It was the involvement of Stratton jewellers and non silver that gave it the big boost that Allan mentions.

Allan do you have any pics of these later thimbles.

Also read Colin Terris accounts here
http://glasswatch.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/

Colin shared most of his material with me, only I tend not to show the complete leaflets. You might notice a mix up between what Colin design and what Lucia Polanski designed. The opposing statement both came from Colin so until Lucia can be tracked down the truth cannot be found out. I settled on the first account Colin gave me but he uses his second account on his site  :?  If anyone knows of a Lucia Polanski (Not an uncommon name unfortunately.) that was a jeweller or designer c1970, please ask her to contact me.
Frank A.
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Offline Frank

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Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2006, 10:38:58 AM »
Allan my list of stone makers was

Stones made by:
Paul Ysart 1970-73
Peter Holmes 1973-75
After 1975
Various Caithness workers, including James MacBeath and Syd Thomson.
After 2001 at Perth various staff and John Deacons during 2002.

Latter names from Colin.

I also had
Quote
The cane puller who headed the team at Wick left around the end of 2001 and Caithness decided to move cane pulling for their jewelery from Wick to Perth, in order to rationalise the making of canes for paperweights and for jewelery into one place. This resulted in a shortage of certain skills at Perth, and John Deacons was contracted to make canes for their jewelry from mid 2002 until about Christmas 2002


Was Christina Davidson the one leaving in 2001?
Frank A.
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Offline wrightoutlook

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tip of the hat
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2006, 01:29:42 PM »
Thanks so much. You gentlemen are terrific. I have two thimbles, a red-based with millefiori cluster and a blue-based with a millefiori circle surrounding an cane with an anchor in it.

The photo I put in above is just a generic Caithness thimble image I had in my files. It was easier than snapping new pics. However, I will soon take pictures of the ones I have and post them herein and email them separately to Frank.

Thanks again, guys.


Offline tropdevin

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Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2006, 10:27:32 AM »
Frank says above

 
Quote

Stones made by:
Paul Ysart 1970-73
Peter Holmes 1973-75


To add to the uncertainty in all things paperweight related: my wife and I bought each other silver Caithness rings with millefiori stones on a trip to the Orkneys in August 1971.  When we visited Peter Holmes in July this year and showed him her silver ring he said, without hesitation, "I made that stone."  So that suggest Peter H was making them in 1971.

Regards, Alan.
Alan
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Offline KevinH

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Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2006, 12:11:52 PM »
A lot of the confusion (and mis-information on eBay listings) derives from the fact that after Paul Ysart had left Caithness, there were still many of his paperweight stones available and these were not exhausted until about 1973. This had been mentioned by both Colin Terris and Peter Holmes.

The same point applies to Peter Holmes' stones where supplies would have been available to Caithness for a while after he had also left.

So, putting definite start and end dates to the use of these paperweight stones is unwise - apart from the examples with an accompanying 1970 hallmark, of course.

For later Caithness versions (i.e. stones not made by Paul or Peter) the visual aspects are enough to tell them apart. But Peter's work was very much like Paul's and so it is often difficult to be sure about whose stone was set in a piece made from 1971 to 1973 (and maybe a bit later). Only a comparison against a known example or a personal confirmation from Peter would really prove the case.
KevinH


Offline wrightoutlook

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Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2006, 12:27:32 PM »
The Caithness thimbles I have were in a collection of thimbles of all kinds that my aunt owned. Seven years ago, she became bored with her thimble collection and gave it away bit-by-bit to relatives and friends. An uncle, for example, got the ones that had names of and designs from national U.S. parks on them because he collects national park memorabilia. The collection contained around 250 pieces. I got two, the Caithness glass thimbles, the only two glass ones she had. She noted that they were purchased together, new by her, in the 1980s; she thinks the mid-80s, at a store called Birk's in Toronto.

By the way, at 72, my aunt is still collecting many other things. She has some incredible Rookwood pottery and an original Tiffany (LCT) lamp plus a lot of nifty Pan-American Expos and World's Fairs items. She also has two pieces of classic antique Lalique and some items that contain the name of the Paris arts and decor expo that gave us the name "Art Deco." Her newest passion is collecting tiny hand-made folk art thingies, like little figures or animals or farm buildings. She is truly an incredible lady.


Offline ALLAN

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Who made the Caithness thimbles? When?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2006, 06:47:57 PM »
Christina Davidson was one of the workers who lost their jobs when the administrators closed the Wick factory down the last time we were up for sale and Edinburgh Crystal bought us.She was not a cane maker ;she only made the"stones "from the cane, then fitted them to the various blanks.The guy who left in 2001 I think would be Syd.Frank's info jogged my memory as to the cane making returning to Wick after the initial switch to Perth before coming back to Perth after 2001.
 Sorry Frank but I don't have any pictures of the thimbles etc at all.
The reason for the brief contracting out of canes to "The Scottish Glassmaker" was not for any shortage of skills at Perth;Harry Mckay was still employed at that time but it was decided to see if it was cheaper to get the canes made outwith the factory.This exercise proved to be unfeasible for various reasons and we resumed the making of canes "in-house".

 



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