Stourbridge Glassmakers – On the Move

Crystal Palace Exhibition 1850 : The Great Exhibition of the works of all Nations. The Crystal Fountain : Follet Ostler, Birmingham

The White House Cone glass museum represents over 400 years of the history, artistry and heritage of the Stourbridge Glassmaking Industry; the collections and archives are now on the move to this new vanguard museum built on the site of the Stuart Crystal Whitehouse Glass Cone. Likewise, the glassmakers throughout the centuries have moved on, but where to? And what have they accomplished?

The Stourbridge glassblowers took the expertise of the integrated Huguenot crown-glass makers and they enhanced the material with the innovation of lead crystal. The industry became licenced and regulated and so moved from family ‘forest glassmakers’ to industrial glass cones producing quantities of fine ‘Crystallo’ to rival any produced by the Venetians.

Discover the influences of Sugar, Salt and window taxes and wars; follow the changing techniques and product invention from window glass and utility glassware; to fine tableware and to scientific and industrial glassware; and learn how the skills derived from Stourbridge Glassmakers revolutionised domestic cookware.

The industry was driven by demand and fashion, and constrained by materials, politics and taxes, but the ingenious glassmakers of Stourbridge circumvented obstacles and moved to practice their skills making beautiful bespoke objets-d’art thus seeking their fortunes in some surprising ways and places.

Published by Kate Round

My name is Dr Kate Round; I am an outreach presenter and tour guide for Dudley Museum Service In my previous life, I was a research chemist so understand the chemistry of glass having worked on the synthesis of ‘zeolites’ (silica based materials) with my work published in International Journals. I have always lived in the Black Country and have a strong industrial family heritage.

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