Glass Message Board

Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => British & Irish Glass => Topic started by: Leni on February 20, 2008, 10:00:22 AM

Title: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: Leni on February 20, 2008, 10:00:22 AM
This was sold to me as a Caithness paperweight, but it isn't really.  It's a wonderful piece of engraved glass, by Helen MacDonald!  :D   

I know Helen originally went to work at Caithness as a glass engraver, but I admit I've never seen any of her work other than paperweights before.  This is marked on the base 'Caithness Scotland' and on the front 'Helen MacDonald 87'.  It's 4 inches high and tapers from 1 and 1/2 inches at the base to 3/4 inch at the top.  The image is engraved into the back of the glass, and the bride's bouquet is made of millefiori canes, pressed into the glass!  I love the way the brown textured surface makes it look like an old sepia photograph!  Brilliant! :clap:

Does anyone know anything about this piece?  (Or anything else like it?)  Would it have been a one-off, or a limited edition?  There is no number anywhere on it, but I can't imagine it being an 'unlimited'!  :o  It's just stunning!

Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: Helen MacDonald on February 20, 2008, 12:54:22 PM
Hi Leni

I'm glad that you liked it  :). This was not a one off piece but we did not make very many as they were quite time consuming to engrave.
There were a few designs in this style made at that time, they were called 'Krystals' three of them were engraved with cats, called Playful, Boutiful and I think... Hopeful? There were also some slightly smaller pieces engraved with birds & animals. I liked these as they showed  the engraving very well but they were not as popular as traditional pwt shapes. I remember engraving one of these wedding Krystals with a kilted groom.

All the best
Helen
Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: Leni on February 20, 2008, 03:29:22 PM
Hello, Helen! :D How lovely of you to post and tell us all about this!  Thank you  :clap: 

I'd love to see the other 'Krystals' if you have any pictures of them - I'd specially love to see that kilted groom, as two of my sons got married wearing kilts  ;) :D


Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: Helen MacDonald on February 21, 2008, 10:29:15 AM
Hi Leni

Sorry but since my redundency from Caithness I don't have access to the archives anymore. Iwill look to see if I have any photos at home, but I'm not hopeful. I know that i don't have any photos of the kilted piece as I engraved them for friends weddings.
If I do find any photos I will download them for you.

All the best.

Helen
Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: Sue C on February 21, 2008, 03:54:22 PM
Hi Helen, and welcome.

I was so sorry to hear about the closure and redundencies at Caithness, i do hope we see your talent employed elsewhere soon.
Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: karelm on February 25, 2008, 08:32:58 PM
Hi Helen and all,
If you dont mind me asking in such a public forum, what are your current plans, as many members would like access to your work in the future!
Kind regards,
KarelM
Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: mjr on March 27, 2008, 08:44:53 AM
Leni

There is an old topic at t'other place
here (http://www.glass-forums.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=638&highlight=krystal)
This includes a brochure page, and a photograph of my "Edinburgh" example, and some comments from Alan Scott.
The wedding scene is interesting in that like mine, it also uses canes within the design, which from the brochure examples, seems to be rare
Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: Leni on March 27, 2008, 08:58:05 AM
Thanks, for the link Martin, but for personal reasons I don't go 'there' any more.  I would really love to see your 'Edinburgh' example though, if you would be so kind as to post the picture here!  :D
Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: mjr on March 27, 2008, 12:34:45 PM
No problem

Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: Leni on March 27, 2008, 02:16:24 PM
Thank you  :)  Very pretty!  :clap: 
Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: mjr on March 27, 2008, 03:11:39 PM
I refer to this as an Edinburgh because it has a E cane (the one above the birds head).

However this was not an "Edinburgh" weight as previously explained by Allan Scott 
For completeness I quote Allan's comments (I am sure he won't mind!!)

Quote

Really sorry that I haven't been paying attention to this topic.I can add a little info on Martins weight.The weight was made at Caithness as a trail piece,common practice is to use what we in the Lampwork room call the "scrap jar" of canes to do a first sample.This is just what the name suggests;a jar made up of all the remnants of canes that we use for different designs.Normally these are used for abstract weights that require scattered millefioriof mixed colours.The pink bundled cane in the weight is one that was used in the american express special commission "Mini Butterfly" in the 80s.The "E" cane must of found its way into the jar and was used without being noticed as the Edinburgh canes were only for the Edinburgh range of Millefiori and Lampwork designs.
I spoke to Helen MacDonald and she has told me that there were follow up designs to the Krystals which included 3 cat ones,Playful,Bountiful and another that she can't remember the name of.There was also a wedding design,she says sorry that she can't remember the details any better

I would guess that this may have been one of the "bird" examples that Helen recalls above

I also attach the brochure extract that was in the other thread. Again I hope nobody minds but there are people who do not visit both places.

Title: Re: Not really a Caithness paperweight ...
Post by: Leni on March 27, 2008, 04:47:17 PM
Martin, thank you very much for that!  :hug: