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June 2018
This month's newsletter highlights :  
 Peliminary news re Isle of Wight Studio Glass Collectors
Studio Day         ~       Further information on Artius Glass
exclusive fish vase commissions from Timothy Harris 




I. of W. Studio Glass Collectors Day preliminary news

For those who understood that the next I. of W. Studio Glass Collectors Studio Day was to be 18 months after the last (which was Nov. 17) it has now changed to a preliminary date towards the end of this year. Great news in fact. PLEASE NOTE though that this is not confirmed but will be when finalised by Richard Harris. He will no doubt circulate that info when this is finalised so please do not take it as being in tablets of stone even though at this time it is more likely than not. Full info to follow in due course from Richard so that you can make arrangements accordingly.


And Still Something in the Media spreads its insidious influence on the economy!

Or does it??!

I have for many decades held a theory that many so called 'recessions' are merely self fulfilling prophesies. In other words, something major dominates the media, on the theory that 'bad news sells newspapers'. And the whole world and his uncle are taken up with the events and bury their heads in their hands sobbing uncontrollably that the end is nigh – mainly financially - chanting 'Whoa, Whoa and thrice Whoa' (Anyone remember the Frankie Howard comedy series 'Up Pompeii? It was funny at the time!)

Anyway this timeless feeling seems to have invested its insidious influence on all things retail for some time now and it certainly shows in retail generally from the High Street outwards.

Now in our particular case it seems to be one of those oddities in that footfall at the fairs still seems to be good with lots of curiosity and interest but not commitment in terms of volume sales. The upside is that, as I have theorised for many a year (from the early 80's in fact), when times is tough – trade up! Always seems to work for us as those of you with a good feel for the better things in life seem to be investing in 'special and occasionally' instead of 'small and often'. We love that and are happy to modify our stock accordingly to find you the best and most select of good work.

So what has dominated the media to create this lack of spending confidence. Got to be 'BREXIT'. Ask yourself, ' Am I any worse off this year than I was last?. I bet the answer in the main would be 'No'. So when I have asked 'then why?' The consensus of answers and opinions is 'yes, but you never know'. I guess the same applies for the end of the world. I'll take my chance on that one and spend what I can afford and ENJOY IT!. Do I make my point?? Luckily we still sell some of our best gorgeous pieces to those of you who feel the same way but it is not so good for those businesses and dealers who rely on quantity. So, all the better when we all see the light and wake up to realise that Christmas has never been cancelled yet!

Take a look at our website next week to see some of our mouthwatering pieces in the form of specials from Tim Harris and Jonathan Harris as well as some early retired items from Norman Stuart Clarke – again, our cup runneth over !!!


Timothy Harris

Many of you may not be aware of the very special status that our own Timothy Harris enjoys in the world of this country's outstanding craftspersons. His unique talent was recognised many years ago to the extent that he was sponsored by a Sam Twining of Twining Teas who was the studio landlord at the original location in St. Lawrence I. of W. As such Tim was chosen for an award by Q.E.S.T (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust) the patron of which was the Queen Mother. This trust was set up to recognise and sponsor exceptional craft talent in the U.K. And it still does with Queen Elizabeth II currently the patron. Tim won the prestigious prize and chose to work alongside the originators of the Studio Glass movement in the States. I wrote about this in a newsletter some years ago if you need more details.

Apart from that recognition, it is sufficient to say that as one of the first recipients of this award amongst the many hundreds since that first intake in 1990, the profile of Q.E.S.T. is still held in the highest esteem.

All the foregoing is to advise you that Q.E.S.T. have just commissioned Julian Calder to produce a very informative book featuring 100 of the crème de la crème since 1990 and Tim will be featured.

His professional business of Julian Calder Publications is known for wonderful hard back books and achieves appointments to produce them covering all manner of special and royal occasions and whilst not known as 'the royal photographer' he is clearly in the same genre having produced the wonderful image of her majesty in the highlands with his book on that subject called 'Keepers -The ancient offices of Britain'. It features the Queen extensively at Balmoral and in the highlands. We are not sure when this new publication will be available but will advise when we know. Meanwhile Google his name for some interesting details www.juliancalderpublishing.com

Now for some pretty pictures!




A precursor design which in principle has stood the test of time from the Studio. That of creating a 3 dimensional flower (an Iris) and then adding it to the almost completed blown item, in this case a very heavily made bowl, after coloured trails had been applied and compressing it into the body of the piece. The only exception in this range was the paperweight in which the iris was on the surface in 3 dimensional form.

The original design was by Elizabeth Harris and construction was by the Studio Team including Michael Harris/David Reade/Chris Hotton/Peter Riley. This was probably the first time this process had been employed but has since been increasingly used and perfected in many collections by Tim over the years. This has now become a very scarce and consequently sought after design from early Studio days.

However this process is now represented by truly 3 dimensional forms to great effect, and with note, in the last Studio Day piece made by Tim of the design called Galle Jardin.


Description: 'Iridaceae' bowl vase

Maker : IoW Studio Glass team

Size: 9cm(3.5”)high x 12.5cm(5“) diam.

Date: 1983-'85 only

I.D. Marks: 'None'

Condition : Excellent

Price: £150.00  (less pcg members disc + Free p&p)




Yellow was certainly amongst the scarcest colour in any range ever issued – in fact NOT issued as it does not appear on any of the Studio's archive price lists. The fact is that Flower Garden was made in 3 colours from the first year of issue in 1989 all of which started with the letter 'L' – Lily(white), Lilac (mid pink), Larkspur (light blue) until 1991 when Lavender (lavender!!) was added. However Laburnum (yellow) was initially planned but after quick consultation with us, the agents, it was dropped due to the fact that we that yellow (and green) was considered a kiss of death in the gift trade generally as it was a non selling colour in all manner of designs and products. But fashion is a fickle thing and this is now a very desirable colour and even more so here as, unlike the rest of the range, this was in fact fully cased in clear glass. However due to photographic optical oddities it does not seem so in this image.

Description: Flower Garden 'Laburnum' paperweight cased

Maker : Tim Harris. I oW Studio Glass

Size: 7cm(2.75”)high & diam.

Date: Range introduced in 1985 but never issued in this colourway (see above description)

I.D. Marks: Square 'Isle of Wight Glass – The original' sticker.

Condition : Excellent

Price: £85.00  (less pcg members disc + Free p&p)




A very short lived range known as 'Sweet Pea, Sugar & Spice Collection' this is the Sugar & Spice colourway (yes, probably obvious I know!)

A design incorporating coloured chips influenced by the the trendy fashion of the period for brown, gold and yellow chunky grains of sugar adopted by cafes and restaurants. Seldom, if ever, seen nowadays but most of us will remember them well when sugar was not considered the poison of the devil!. The range comprised a very appealing number of shapes but not a vast seller in this colour even though its sister range of Sweet Pea sold well. Hence the scarcity now of this colour from the range. Nice collectors gem in our opinion.

Description: Sugar & Spice' squat perfume bottle

Maker : IoW Studio Glass/Tim Harris

Size: 10cm(4”)high x 8.5cm(3.25“) diam.

Date: 1991~'93

I.D. Marks: Early Gold Square Sticker (no 'the original' wording)

Condition : Excellent





Part of a short lived range from the 90's amongst a small number of experimental shapes and items which also included a salt and pepper cruet set as an addition. All made following the principle of 'And now for something completely different'!

In all cases, due to additional silvered parts, it was considered horrendously expensive by retailers compared to other limited appeal novelty items.

All of this curtailed the sales volume thereby making it non viable as a commercial item. Ink Wells were originally made in 3 shapes across 6 colour finishes. Salt & Pepper sets came in 3 shapes across 4 different colours. If you find one you have found a real gem in IoWSG.

Some shapes from these two ranges never seem to surface and we have only ever come across the odd one over the years. So a charming and important addition to the 'avid' IoWSG collectors range.

Description: 'Summer Fruits - Mulberry' ink well

Maker : IoW Studio Glass

Size: 5.5cm(2.25”)high x 8cm(3“) diam.

Date: 1996-'97 only

I.D. Marks: Early Gold Square Sticker (no 'the original' wording)

Condition : Excellent

Price: £150.00  (less pcg members disc + Free p&p)




A now seriously scarce collectors gem, a Michael Harris-made Onion vase. Although signed by his financial partner Eric Dobson who stayed on to run Mdina after Michael was forced to leave by the Dom Mintoff Nationalist government the form, finish and shape shouts 'Michael Harris' in all respects. No other glass maker at the time would have had the skills to produce it. My 40 years specialist knowledge and experience guarantees it. ( in writing if the buyer wishes). Clearly made before he left in the summer of '72. It was not sold until after that date and so was signed by Eric, presumably at the customer's request . Similarly, Michael would not normally sign his pieces unless requested, when he would feel morally obliged to do so. A very special and superb reminder of his skills as a studio glass maker. With Michael's signature you would now be talking almost double this price - if you could find one (OK, now someone tell me they have two!!).



Description: Large Michael Harris Onion Vase

Maker : Michael Harris at Mdina Glass, Malta

Size: 5.5cm(2.25”)high x 8cm(3“) diam.

Date: 1968-'72 only ( however probably 1972)

I.D. Marks: Marked to base 'Mdina Glass, Malta. (Signed) Eric Dobson'

Condition : Excellent

Price: SOLD


Exclusive Commissions in Fish Vases for Artius Glass from Timothy Harris @ I.o. W. Studio Glass

Some of our longer standing members may recall that on a few occasions we have commissioned an exclusive design from Tim to give you something really special.

Two from the past were 'Charleston' and 'Jasmine' then laterally 'Sunset Isle'. All were made in such limited editions as to not even scratch the surface considering distribution on a world wide stage.

We were adamant that no more than around 10 of each shape, and in some 10 in total, should be made and that was adhered to. So again these would be really rare and valuable gems now.

We were excited to have come up with a special commission which went into production with Tim about 2 years ago now (June 2016 in fact).

The principle we adopted this time (our collectors club numbers have swelled somewhat since those last commissions !) was to chose some attractive and favoured St. Lawrence Studio designs from the last 30 plus years and then asked Tim to incorporate these designs into large 'Fish Vases' where this iconic shape was never made in those designs.

The commission originally comprised around 16 different designs from the past St. Lawrence production only but soon expanded to 20. It was intended that there would be a maximum of 3 pieces in any one of those designs but as is the nature of things there were and no doubt still will be, 'trials' made until Tim was happy with the finished item. In most cases so far he has got it right after the first, or at most second attempt.. The first three would be signed and numbered as 1, 2 and 3 of 3 and inscribed as exclusively for Artius Glass.

Well, it was with some surprise, and satisfaction that No's 1 and 2 across the whole commission were ordered, and reserved on those as yet not made, within the first 48 hours of the notice going out to all paid up members (you know who you are!)

At the moment we only have one of these 'trials' from the Gemstone range in Emerald and Flower Garden in Laburnum shown below but this one is marked as No.3.

All other designs left to be made will still be available as No. 3's plus probably the odd trial or two. As you know that is an unknown factor.


                That's All Folks!!

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