Exactly one week after the initial launch at the Cambridge Glass Fair, Mark Hill Publishing was honoured to be able to take part in a second book launch and special collectors’ event on October 1st, 2006. The apt location this time was the home of much of the glass itself, Isle of Wight Studio Glass near Ventnor.
For the first time in its 33 year history as the oldest, longest running British glass studio, the studio was closed to the public and turned over to a group of collectors and glass enthusiasts. Members of the Harris family and staff (old and current) were on hand to help and advise, as was I and secondary market specialists, Ron & Ann Wheeler of Artius Glass.
The day opened with a welcome from Elizabeth and Timothy Harris and an introduction by Ron Wheeler. I then began the morning with an illustrated talk on the history of the Isle of Wight studio and Michael Harris’ deep influence on British studio glass.
The undoubted highlight of the day was being able to watch Timothy Harris making glass ‘up close and personal’. Pieces made included Tim’s own highly complex Graal, of which two pieces were made. As expected, Tim drew a large, fascinated audience.
One of the key themes of the day was to visually explain how the glass is made. As numbers were limited to around 80, everyone was assured a great position and helpful, friendly attention, with all questions being answered.
After a delicious lunch and animated conversation, renowned glass expert and BBC Antiques Roadshow specialist Andy McConnell gave a talk on the history of global studio glass. Tim also delighted the audience by making one of the most famous and complex designs for which the studio is known – Undercliff. Guests were also allowed to try their hand at blowing glass themselves.
The afternoon also bought one of the most anticipated events of the day – the unveiling of the Collectors’ Day piece – Fleur. Only available to those who attended the event, it was available in gold and pink colourways and in paperweights, perfume bottles and vases. For more information, please see the Isle of of Wight Studio Glass website.
All in all, the day was an enormous success and another, similar event is planned for the future. To register your interest to attend one of these events, please visit www.isleofwightstudioglass.co.uk
Mark Hill Publishing would like to thank The Cambridge Glass Fair, Isle of Wight Studio Glass and David Heathcock for their kind permission to use these images.