Meet the Designers

In this blog I would like to tell you how art and design developed in glassware;  and introduce you to some of the 20th Century designers, both in house and commissioned who made sure that Stuart Crystal Products were both desirable and at the forefront of fashion.

The elements of good design are functional, practical, ergonomic, aesthetically pleasing and affordable, and good designers lead fashion;  making objects that are both desirable and collectable.

In glassware, the product design is constrained by the manufacturing process.

While the materials used in making glass are relatively inexpensive, the labour costs increase with the handling stages, and the time taken to produce each item.

There are two stages to the design and manufacture, the hot shaping of the glass and the application of the cold decoration.

With lead crystal tableware the shapes are hand blown, and additions to the shape such as handles, stems and feet, or applying hot glass trails, all increase the handling costs.

The cold decoration includes, marking the design on the glass, and either cutting, engraving, etching, enamelling, or gilding; the cost increasing with complexity.

For good glassware design to be practical, the designer needs to understand the manufacturing process and to keep in mind simplicity and desirability.

Watch my video to follow the history of making glass and discover how it influenced today’s designs; before meeting some of the Stuart Crystal designers and their innovative products.

Meet the Designers

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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