The Glass

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Most of the glass I use comes from the last remaining manufacturer of mouth-blown sheet glass in the United Kingdom, English Antique Glass. In the examples photographed here a sheet of green and amber streaky is being made.

At first the molten glass is gathered on the end of the blowpipe and is coloured by rolling in intensely coloured globs of glass known as frit. When the glass is the right size and shape Walter gradually blows and shapes it, continuously re-heating it, into a long wide bulb. Once the right shape is achieved the hot glass is cut open at both ends so that it becomes an open cylinder or tube which then has to cool and anneal. This is a highly skilled job and Walter is probably the only master of this craft in the country at the moment. Later the cylinder has a slit cut out along its length and is then reheated, during which process it is carefully flattened out to become a sheet of beautifully coloured glass. I do also use some mouth-blown glass produced in Germany, France and Poland, and occasionally I use glass which is machine-rolled if it fills a requirement not available from the mouth-blown glasses. However, it is the glass made by English Antique Glass that I love the best.