My talks usually take about an hour plus time for questions or chat; or, can be tailored to suit your timetable. All are accompanied by Power Point slides and can be delivered personally at your meeting, or now via a Zoom Webinar. As a speaker for your meetings I have my own pc and projector; all I require is a screen or white wall and an audience.
For full details Go to my Contact Page and email me with your proposed date and time.
then all you need to do is choose your talk…..
This talk is a good introduction to the subject of Stourbridge Glass, and traces the roots of Stourbridge glass-makers back to the 8thC BC, from The Alabastron of Sargon II to their arrival in Stourbridge and shaped its history, its wealth and the health and working lives of its people.
This talk describes how art and design developed in glassware. 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.
Starting 2500 years BC with the glass beads found in Egypt and Assyria, we progress through Roman times, Medieval glass, the glass-makers of Murano and the influence of ‘facon-de-Venise’. In England, George Ravenscroft revolutionized glassware with the development of lead crystal. We follow the development of fashion in glassware into the modern era 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.
Within the hot working factory conditions, it was said that the only limitation to the glass-blower’s art is ‘the strength in his arm’ and the hot shops were considered at be an all-male environment, women were not allowed. Archive sources and ladies who worked in the glass industry have helped me uncover a fascinating account of this ‘glass ceiling’. From the 1860’s to the present day.
Through the lives of our local glass-makers and their superb artistic talents, for which Stourbridge glass is world renowned, we will follow the story of Stourbridge Cameo from the 1876 reproduction of the Portland Vase, to the present-day studio artists continuing development of the craft.
This tells the story of ordinary local brothers under the guidance of John Northwood and his burgeoning expertise in reproducing the cameo carving of The Portland Vase in 1876; they became Masters of their craft producing the finest cameo of all time. From early training at Stourbridge School of Art to the establishment of the Gem Cameo Team at Thos. Webb and Sons, we follow their professional and personal lives from the development of their techniques to the legacy of their pieces that now command five figure sums at International auctions
Glass-makers 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 glass-makers’ to industrial glass cones producing quantities of fine ‘Crystallo’ to rival any produced by the Venetians.
‘The Art Feat and Mystery of Glass’. Sand subjected to high temperatures became jewel-like material that could be moulded into vessels, magic indeed! It has clever physical properties, it can easily be recycled and it does not deteriorate with age or use. The chemical properties of glass make it versatile and at the ‘cutting-edge’ of technology.
This talk looks at the colourful world of glass, how is made and how we can change it physically and chemically to suit its use. From bottles to bridges, optical glass to architecture; oven-ware to radiation shields, and from bending light to bendable glass.
I tell of the growth of our glass industry from Medieval Forest Glass and the integration of expert Hugenot glassmakers, from the development of discrete industries making utility bottles, glasses, windows to the fine crystal tableware for which Stourbridge is renowned. Why did the industry diversify? How did the revolution of regulation, laws, taxes, materials, fashions and demand, change the industry? The ingenious artisans of Stourbridge faced those changes; mastered, honed and augmented their skills and their expertise and artistry has left a legacy that is celebrated worldwide.