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-   -   History of Glass in America? (http://talk.craftweb.com/showthread.php?t=11947)

Max Epstein 04-17-2018 05:58 PM

History of Glass in America?
 
Looking for a "brief" history on the studio glass movement in America... tried searching. I know the info is on the board, but it's scattered all over random threads.

Thanks :D

Max Epstein 04-17-2018 06:22 PM

This is about the only decent article I could find, and just talks about the origins.

https://www.cmog.org/article/america...glass-movement

Pete VanderLaan 04-17-2018 06:37 PM

I currently have Eric sitting in the shop at lunch fixed to The "Glass Gaffers of New Jersey, the single best book on early american glass produced, long out of print by Adelle Pepper. Find it. A jewel.
John Gardner( I really miss John ) also produced, "The glass of Frederick Carder produced back in the 1980's as an homage to the man ( well deserved.) Excellent narrative great photos and drawings of samples.
Another fabulous book : The glass of Desiree Christian,Ghost for Galle: if you can find it.

Seek!

Max Epstein 04-17-2018 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan (Post 139471)
I currently have Eric sitting in the shop at lunch fixed to The "Glass Gaffers of New Jersey, the single best book on early american glass produced, long out of print by Adelle Pepper. Find it. A jewel.
John Gardner( I really miss John ) also produced, "The glass of Frederick Carder produced back in the 1980's as an homage to the man ( well deserved.) Excellent narrative great photos and drawings of samples.
Another fabulous book : The glass of Desiree Christian,Ghost for Galle: if you can find it.

Seek!

Thanks. I'm looking to start my glass library. Also trying to find a copy of Glass Notes that isn't $200 :)

Pete VanderLaan 04-17-2018 06:41 PM

I thought I had a copy of glassnotes 3 that was not inaccessible. Maybe i don't .

200? really ? Mary Beth may try to kill me off just for the money.

Max Epstein 04-17-2018 06:50 PM

3rd Ed: $100
4th Ed: $200

I remember you saying 4th Ed. is the one to get?

Pete VanderLaan 04-18-2018 06:37 AM

The fourth is the most pertinent certainly and it actually has an index which is pretty helpful. It does edit out some past material that Henry could not fit into the book. I suspect that over the years, the price of that book will fall but right now, $200 doesn't surprise me, I've seen a lot worse.
Tracking the studio glass movement from '62 on is really difficult since there were several different versions of what important stuff occurred. There is a seattle version which simply ignores entrepreneurial shops in favor of the University structure entirely. The private shops never had any organized history at all. They came and went very much as Adelle describes in the glass gaffers but it was the 20th century.

Fritz Dreisbach has tried to work out a history of it and studiously adds to that body of knowledge which is lodged in the Rakow. I think contacting them might yield up at least anecdotal uncompiled knowledge. At one point I remember when Fritz said "There was a time where if I didn't know the glassmaker, I knew who taught him. That is no longer true ". I think that was around 1998. From my point of view, these days I know neither and I consider myself to be far more connected than most.

Pete VanderLaan 04-18-2018 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Epstein (Post 139475)
3rd Ed: $100
4th Ed: $200

I remember you saying 4th Ed. is the one to get?

******
Also, since it's out of print, I don't see where copying it is stepping on anyone's toes.

Tom Fuhrman 04-18-2018 08:33 AM

try and assemble a collection of the GAS journals. There is a lot of good info there on what transpired over the last 60 years.
BTW: there are copies of Glass Notes for a lot less than $100. I just sold my copy of the 3rd edition on ebay for $40. The old GAS technical journals used to have some decent things in as well, but recent years has been a bust. I think The Toledo Museum of Art has amassed some good info that they might share on the early years.

Pete VanderLaan 04-18-2018 09:02 AM

The one really good thing Marvin did was editing the journal in the early years. There is some very good stuff in the early ones. When it became People magazine, it lost its entire edge.

Laura Doerger-Roberts 04-18-2018 09:11 AM

Henry will be in our studio this weekend.

Pete VanderLaan 04-18-2018 09:50 AM

Get him to show you the wrist action on properly throwing a pair of dull diamond shears.

Dave Bross 04-18-2018 10:32 AM

a few more ideas...

The book - Glassblowing by Frank Kulasiewicz has a lot that's historical that I haven't seen elsewhere from the early days. Collaborations with young Germans from the euro glass factory families and the like. Even has a piece by Pete! You could learn how to flock glass too....scary! From the era of bars with shag carpeting on the walls.

Dudley Gibberson - I think his website still has some of his old hand drawn and written newsletters from back in the day. His book has some historical stuff as ancedotes to certain other bits of info in there.

Laura Doerger-Roberts 04-18-2018 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan (Post 139487)
Get him to show you the wrist action on properly throwing a pair of dull diamond shears.

Ooooh. I love party tricks.

Eben Horton 04-18-2018 12:48 PM

Watch dick marquis’s chicken video for a nice piece of glass history

Tom Fuhrman 04-18-2018 12:50 PM

Harvey Littleton's book, Nick Labino's book. There are a few articles around that I've seen that document the early years of Harvey's workshops and classes in Madison, WI.

Pete VanderLaan 04-18-2018 02:26 PM

I'm not aware of a Labino Book Tom. I've never heard it mentioned before now. Tell me more.

When I think of the history, I think it as a modern phenomenon break into three groups
1) W.Va southern Ohio since the 1930's
2) The toledo workshops in '62 and the first three classes from Madison to teach the teachers
3) The private studios
4) the inexplicable infatuation with filigrana ( which I can't explain at all) I would say it's a safe place to rest, but not to live in. Why can't these people contribute more than a dead Italian six hundred years back?

Number one (1) strikes me as an outgrowth of the New Jersey folks who burned their way across PA. They are marvelously documented in "The Glass Gaffers of New Jersey by Adele Pepper. Long out of print but can be found. My able assistant reads it at dinner every day. The W.Va bunch was largely ignored by the universities although Harvey Leafgreen saved Toledo all by himself. So the dog and pony show moved on to Madison in search of form with the essential notion that one person could make something without a team. WITHOUT A TEAM mind you. Harvey Littleton ran that bunch and they spread out to Berkeley CA, Univ of Ohio, RISD, Alfred, RIT, U of Virginia, UCLA, Illinois St, Illinois Southern, Iowa, Michigan, Minn, lots of them. I am sure I'll leave notables out. They in turn created more teachers and by the third wave of them, The schools were chock full of people hanging on to their positions and their slide shows. So, something new occurred. The notion came up that the best next thing would be to place these grads in factories as designers since design was the point.

This was a singularly bad idea. The designers kept making things the workers couldn't or wouldn't make and clients at Stucky's wouldn't buy.

The movement was experiencing semi students coming to the summer schools solely to make product, something that somehow seemed dirty but they paid cash and were tolerated for a long time. There were people who had learned in the schools who had strong marketing senses and they started little factories. Orient and Flume born out of David Hopper marketed the snot out of Art nouveau fumed ware. Jim Lundberg was doing similar things and they were all nursed and coddled by these things called Renaissance fairs in California. I started in one of those ventures. The schools continued to look on this as some grim prostitution but the schools kept on taking the money and people set up more and more studios. At one time, I was the only glassworks in The Rockies from Mexico to Canada. When I left, Santa Fe had seventeen hot shops alone . Amazing.
To get it in perspective, Harvey used to love handouts with the prospectus of his first show and it had prices. I think the most expensive one was $60 bucks. The guys I worked with charged two dollars a gather for quite some time. But things changed. When Dale was just starting the blanket cylinder series, either Kate Elliot or Flora Mace did the torch work on the things. The most expensive one was about $600 dollars. Dale was making less than 17K per year at RISD . Things were hard. No one wanted to open the door for glass as fine art. The money pond for art was small and guarded. Craft, Yes, art, no. At that time Mark Peiser was working down at Penland under a very loose arrangement with Bill Brown. Mark fixed up the joint and helped make the school a better place. He was working with Jaffa Sikorsky as a bit runner and was doing a series with a bazillion pontilistic dots on them and there was one Mark did not wish to sell in a show at Heller in New York. Doug at Heller was adamant, no NFS in the show so Mark, who still wanted to show it priced it at $3,500 bucks and it was the first piece that sold. As Fritz said "Money changed everything" That was 1977 I think. I won't go into the gory details but the game was on. Within a few years, prices were unbelievably high and selling well. The tide had raised all boats. In 1981, The ACE would begin to allow artists from outside the east into both Rhinebeck and Baltimore making it possible for a flood of talent to come to the eastern Markets. The early years of Baltimore were heady with buyers throwing cards at you and shouting "October". It was stunning.

A shift began after that exposure. The schools still hated the private shops but innovation was the headwind and it wasn't coming from schools anymore. Those private shops made excellent work for the most part. There were true production shops indeed but the transition was on. Seattle was becoming a fertile home for hot shops by 1990 compared to the paucity there in 1980.

A newer phenomenon is the weekend shop and it's been building for twenty years or so. People with day jobs who had an electric kiln and a pot in it. Build a terrible fiber gloryhole. Load the pot thursday night, get out of work friday afternoon and drink a lot of beer until sunday late. Wash rinse repeat. At High Temp our second most popular pot is tailored to that group. At this point Electric is as popular as gas equipment.
Electric brought boutique cullet for those kilns. The Portland bunch drew in the fusers at two distinct levels of art/craft with all the snot to go along with that. Gaffer as a color company was able to break into the rarefied world of melting nice goop.

God, there's so much more. Filling in the names would be exhausting. At one time, I knew of about 325 glass workers in the country. Last time I looked at client lists from a couple of sources, it was at 9,000 but economically unsupportable. That number by the way is why you have so many tools to choose fro.

Max Epstein 04-18-2018 05:02 PM

Thanks, everyone.

You should *really* write that book, Pete....

Pete VanderLaan 04-18-2018 05:11 PM

this is worth considering. I have a filter on Craftweb which lets me see every single person. member or not as to what they are doing in terms of files being looked at. ON AVERAGE, it's about 275 people wandering in the files.

This file, on the history of glass had exactly two people looking at it this afternoon when I Checked and I Was one of them. What does that tell you?

Max Epstein 04-18-2018 05:17 PM

Uhhhh.... no one gives a shit about history?

I do.... it helps my pumpkins and pipes get better ;) just kidding there....

Tom Fuhrman 04-18-2018 05:23 PM

Pete, Dominic Labino, Visual Art in Glass, 1967. I sold my autographed copy a few years ago. He used to drive me nuts when I wo0uld stop and visit him. He was always working on some bizarre projects and dealing with things that were way out of my league. I still remember the "cupola" furnace he was working on that had burner ports on all 6 sides but only one burner. he claimed it would give a better distribution of heat than just a single burner or 2.

Pete VanderLaan 04-18-2018 05:38 PM

Well, I put that one out on search and got nothing. I'm simply unaware that Nick did that. He was a worse curmudgeon than I am. I miss him dearly. Just stupid on my part.

Pete VanderLaan 04-18-2018 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Epstein (Post 139500)
Uhhhh.... no one gives a shit about history?

I do.... it helps my pumpkins and pipes get better ;) just kidding there....

*****
Well, apparently. I'm not surprised in this era of Trump. Survival is preferential.Stupidity is a necessary attribute.

Rich Samuel 04-18-2018 07:03 PM

Pete, did you remember to carry the "k"? ;)

https://www.amazon.com/Visual-art-gl.../dp/B0006BUG6Q

https://books.google.com/books/about...d=PGxQAAAAMAAJ

Abe Books has a few copies, and even some patent applications. Cool. https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Sea...&tn=&kn=&isbn=

Franklin Sankar 04-18-2018 07:20 PM

So no one asked which means I alone don’t understand...

Originally Posted by Pete VanderLaan
Get him to show you the wrist action on properly throwing a pair of dull diamond shears.

What you talking about?
Franklin


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