This is a Collectors newsletter issued in May 2007. and so dates may have passed. You can be added to our mailing list to receive regular updates, information and special offers on our stock by sending us your email address or by inserting it in the live window on the home page of our website - www.ArtiusGlass.co.uk (See further details below).
From time to time we will be adding items which we hope will be of interest to our collectors on varied aspects of our products and business. We hope you will share any comments and observations you may have - good, bad or indifferent. We thrive on dialogue - controversial or otherwise !
Illustration shows a photograph of Michael Harris taken from Mark Hill's book together with the loose-leaf Price Guide to be found at the back of each book.
As you may know this long awaited book by Mark Hill was published in Sept. last year. So, it is now available to you. If you would like to send us a cheque for £25.00 plus £2.95 for p&p(email Wheeler.Ron@ic24.net for full address) we will send you a copy by return. If you have already purchased a copy at one or other of the recent events (Cambridge Glass Fair or the I. of W. Studio Glass Studio Open Day) then fine, unless you want another copy of course !! Mark has done a most remarkable job in writing and publishing the MOST comprehensive and definitive publication that there could possibly be on Michael and all that he was involved with over the years. Michael has, at last, become readily accepted as the original founder of the commercial success of British Studio Glass in a factory processing environment and this book certainly sets many issues straight by recognising his achievement. Apart from that if you ever need to have a reference guide of products or values it will be an invaluable asset far outweighing its cover price. This apart from the fact that it is also, simply, a fascinating 'read'. It is easily usable as it can be carried in a large pocket or handbag and a great feature is a loose insert with the current values of every item illustrated. This will be regularly updated and can be sent to you when necessary, so the values will never be out of date. Many thanks for your ongoing interest. Perhaps see you at a fair sometime soon where, if you prefer, we could supply you with your copy - post free naturally. Details of our fairs on our Fair Dates page. Send to - Ron & Ann Wheeler (cheque payee) (email for full address) STREET Somerset BA16 0AN
Newsletter # 9 May '07 HELLO FELLOW GLASS ENTHUSIASTS ! So the time has come around again for a more general missive rather than the more specific sales letters However, will try to be brief ( my goodness, how that promise is wearing thin !). Apologies in advance for lying!! Mark Hill's book 'Michael Harris - Mdina Glass & I.of W. Studio Glass'. Still creating such a stir and rightly so. A finer epitaph to a great guy and man of vision in his dedication to the development of British studio glass you could never wish to read. I am sure you are all very aware of it but if not treat yourself to the most definitive ( in fact the only) book on the subject charting a full history of the man and his work from his birth (1933) and early years through to his untimely death in 1994. Comments and testimonials on the book abound and all with a similar theme - 'Best value - worth far more than it's published price'. It has limited distribution and the main sources would be Mark Hill at www.markhillpublishing.com We also are distributors www.artiusglass.co.uk as is Isle of Wight Studio Glass www.isleofwightstudioglass.co.uk with a cover price of £25.00 plus p&p. Put it on your 'must have' list if you are even vaguely interested. With the effect it seems to be having on values of both studios you will not regret it. Enough said !! Info regarding 'happenings' at I.of W. Studio Glass No, nothing 'spooky' (nothing ghostly anyway although the Island does have its fair share of catalogued apparitions apparently). Just a brief summary of plans to hold, what was one of the most successful and enjoyable days for all our avids and ourselves, namely the Collectors Studio Open Day. As many of you will know the last was on October 1st. last year ('06) and the request was for an annual event. (See Picture 1. below) Well the truth is that apart from a feeling of 'how do you follow that? it really is asking more than is physically possible due to the most critical factor and that is Tim Harris', and the whole team's, commitment to running what is probably this country's most successful studio glass business. Tim has been developing, and producing, in ever increasing volume his fabulous cameo and Graal unique items. On most evenings you will find him back in the Studio carving until late in the evening to finish some of his stunning new designs and this after a full day blowing, usually large and impressive special pieces of, hot glass. No surprise there is not an ounce of surplus flesh on the man. (photo to prove it!) but he can still weald a blowing iron like a whirling dervish ! So, the point of all the foregoing is to advise you that after a bit of discussion we all came to the conclusion that every 18 months would be a far more comfortable time lapse to organise it all again. So the ball park planned time is roughly next spring. ( Get your name down NOW ). Again we have planned to limited it to around 50 of you to ensure adequate personal attention which I know everyone appreciated from last time.
Fairs and Exhibitions since last news letter During late summer last year one of the finest events for glass lovers was held, as it has been previously, The International Festival of Glass Biennale at Stourbridge right in the heart of the most amazing and historic glass making area in the country. I am ashamed to say that we have never been before and it is truly on an International scale in terms of breadth and range of studio glass making, albeit it seemed from predominantly British glassmakers. However this is far from a disappointment as there was too much to take in from traditional to modern covered by centres such as Broadfield House Glass Museum, The Red House Cone glass making centre and last but not least The Ruskin Glass Making Centre. This is where our old friend and colleague Richard Golding had his Okra Glass studio for a while, along side that other innovative glass maker who is making waves Iestyn Davies, and we were going to meet Richard there as he was lecturing on his design of his own making for the most energy efficient glass kiln yet devised. (See Picture 2. below) This is an important aspect for new, and existing, glass studio's as many a budding talent has met their commercial demise through the sheer cost of fuel to make glass. More of that some other time. The scope of this event is mind blowing. It lasts all week and covers all aspect of glass making with demonstrations non stop including one - making glass eyes ! (Anyone for Bedouin soup, sheep's eyes and all !) The main hall has the most fabulous unique and innovative items and ranges from current glass makers that I have ever seen and all for sale (Oh Lord, make me wealthy before the next event !!) If you only go to one event in the next 10 years make it this one - trust me ! Go to www.ifg.org.uk to look up the programme of events which were held last year as it is only held every two years ( hence Biennale). Don't miss it !
Gaydon Glass Fair Talking Richard Golding and Okra Glass you may like to look on our website to see two very early examples which have come into our possession. This is also backed up by one of the more bizarre and strange designs from the studio but not of Richards designs by Sarah Cowan, who was employed during Richards brief and not so happy time of ownership by the mighty Moorcroft ('97 - 2000) known as 'Conch' of which we have acquired a small very rare collection. This will be shown this weekend - Sun.13th (n.b. date now passed. See date for autumn fair on 'Fair Dates' page soon or on link below.) at the wonderful National Glass Collectors Fair (a.k.a. Gaydon Glass Fair - Jn. 12 M40) at the Heritage Motor Museum, Works. www.glassfairs.co.uk One of only four specialist glass fair dates in the calendar year (two here and two at The Cambridge Glass Fair) and a ' not to be missed' event. Hope to see you there. By the way you may also like to look up the site www.glassfairs.co.uk and go to the 'glass archive' tab and then to 'Michael Harris and the story of Mdina' where you will find a piece which I wrote covering a brief history of events when Mike set up Mdina. But my brief by David Hier who runs the website for his mother, the indubitable Pat, who runs the fair, was to give my view of the collectability and comparisons if any between Mdina glass and Geoffrey Baxter's designs for Whitefriars. Read and enjoy. Could be considered debatable by some and even downright inflammatory by others but I am entitled to my point of view. Another heated debate anyone !! (0)1384 399444. Fax. +44 (0)1384 399469 Festival of Glass, Ruskin Glass Centre,
' Now & Then'. Exhibition of Sam Herman's work
(See image below.) Details: The International Festival of Glass, Ruskin Glass Centre, Road,, Stourbridge, West nds gdom. Go tom +44 (0)1384 399444. Fax. +44 (0)1384 399469 Details: The International Festival of Glass, Ruskin Glass Centre, Road,, Stourbridge, West Midlands United Kingdom.
As this is a section on fairs and exhibitions I would be very remiss if I also didn't mention something that is happening RIGHT NOW and until an extended 19th. June I have just heard. (Exhibition now finished-sorry if you missed it. Ed.)That is an exhibition called Then and Now!. So what ?? I'll tell you 'So What' - it is an exhibition of work by one of the Godfathers of world studio glass - no less than Sam Herman. Sam who ? Well, SHAME on YOU, SHAME on YOU ! It was Sam who was the instigator of the advent of studio glass making in Gt.Britain and the mentor of Michael Harris. Sam, along with Dale Chihully and others who were students of Harvey Littleton of the States, who was teaching free flowing ideas and techniques in studio glass making. Sam came to the R.C.A where Mike was a tutor in industrial glass making. Picking up on Sams knowledge was how Michael became the first British radical freeformed studio glassmaker. Anyone for a heated debate ??
So an exhibition on Sam's work is being held at the gallery and studio of Adam Aaronson, another of our British studio glassmaking stalwarts. It is at ZeST Gallery, Roxby Place London SW6 Tel. 0207 6101900 www.ZeZTgallery.com To see Sam's work is to witness living modern history in the making - well, to studio glass lovers anyway. Don't miss it. I am going soon and hope to have a drink with the Maestro, he promised me one !
Mystery without murder
Now for you glass sleuths a gem of a mystery. We have, for a long time, being trying to establish not only the whereabouts of the original Mdina partner of Michael Harris - Eric Dobson- but also to have verified what we have always understood was his signature. We have to date drawn blanks and cannot get any information from the possible best source, next to Eric himself, which is Joseph Said who now runs the studio and was there virtually from the beginning. So always accepting that as we had images and examples of two similar but different signatures, one of which we are sure is Josephs, we had no reason to doubt strongly that the other must be Eric (and certainly as it wasn't Mikes). So where is the mystery?? Well I have now come across, having been sent by one of our avids, not one but TWO signatures on pieces of Mdina which are right by period BUT which show the distinct name of 'Eric Dobson'. So, images are shown below, (See Picture 3. below) for those who are intrigued, and I know one or two who will be, with the overriding thought that ' the more answers - the more questions' ! For some while now we have been running our Collectors Mailing Group, details of which are on the 'Home Page'. This has been a free newsletter and this still remains.However we have been becoming increasingly aware that something a little more special is called for! So, we are pleased to announce that we can offer an option of -
Our Privileged Collectors Group by subscription only.
We would like to offer an open invitation to anyone who would like to receive the benefits listed below of subscribing £13.50 per single (£20.00 per joint) membership. This will entitle you to be registered as a member of our Privileged Collectors Group where all the following added benefits and products will be available:
1. 12.5% off all purchases irrespective of the source.
2. FREE P&P on all purchases from us.
3. Eligibility for an invitation to the next Isle of Wight Studio Glass Collectors Day.
4. The first opportunity to purchase 'one off' (unique) items.
5. Access to special commission pieces
6. Advance notice of special items in our mail out - 'Item of Interest of the Week' before it is added to our website or made generally available.
7. Our regular Artius Glass Quarterly newsletter.
8. Our usual FREE advice, identification and valuation service.
We will, naturally, give you a registration number and group card to support your membership. There will be other add-on benefits which we are planning for the future. We hope you will join. It will be an exciting option. You are welcome to subscribe whichever way suits you but we favour payment by cheque, then any credit card via PayPal. We hope you will think it worthwhile. We will certainly do our best to make it so. Now, we understand that many will not want or need this more intimate association as your interests are general rather than specific.This will not alienate you as we are still very happy to have you in our Collectors Mailing Group and will be happy to offer you our personal help and identification service should you wish to join - by adding your email address to the live tab on our 'Home Page'.
Very best regards,
Ron & Ann
An example of Sam's work but not the best so please don't judge!
Picture 1. Liz Harris & Tim at the I.of Wight Studio Glass Open Day 1st.Oct. ' 06.
Picture 2. Richard Golding deep in conversation with another studio glass enthusiast at the 2007 Festival of Glass (talking the vagaries of the world coffee bean trade no doubt ! Yeah !!) at the International Festival of Glass
Picture 3. Early Mdina paperweight inscribed 'Eric Dobson Mdina'
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Ron & Ann Wheeler