Ian Dury of Stourbridge Glass Engravers is sponsoring an exciting project at Ruskin
Glass Centre, Stourbridge as part of the run up to the 400th celebrations of glassmaking
in Stourbridge in 2012. The Portland Vase will be recreated in Stourbridge.
Richard has been asked to recreate the Portland Vase blank.This will be done by Richard
and a team of glassmakers at the Ruskin Glass Centre, Stourbridge on Saturday 24th
September. The blank will then be handed to Terri Colledge, one of the best cameo
engravers working today, to carve the vase. This will take many, many hours and Terri
aims to complete it during the Glass Bienalle in August 2012.
Richard and Merlyn Farwell of PyElectronics have been experimenting with glass recipes
in Merlyn's workshop using a tiny version
of the COMBO furnace developed by Merlyn for Station Glass. Richard is renowned for
his glass recipes and this project has seen him poring over his old "recipe books"
to fine tune a batch mix that will get as close as possible to the original. Plowden
and Thompson and Gerald Mann of Industrial Mineral Services are helping by sponsoring
the batch materials and mixing.
Richard, Terri and Ian met Dr . Paul Roberts, a curator from the British Museum,
early on the 24th August to discuss the project and examine the Portland Vase in
detail. None of them can get over the honour of being able to hold such an iconic
piece of glass history.
Several things surprised Richard, causing him to rethink how he will make the blanks.
The rim is folded and the detail of carving around the handles means that they can
be made differently. The actual colour is interesting - a very dark cobalt blue which
looks totally different with a light behind it. Paul is the co-author of a fascinating
book " Cameo Roman Glass in the British Museum" which gives a technical insight into
how the Portland Vase and it`s lesser known "sister" piece, the Auldjo Jug was made.
Details of Paul`s book are available from -
True to form, once Richard and Terri saw the Auldjo jug (pictured on the right) they
fell in love and decided that they had to recreate that too. All being well, a blank
will be made after the Portland blanks are blown on the 24th September.