Featured Artist Archive > July, 2012
click picture to enlarge
click picture to enlarge
a long tradition of paperweight making, greatly influenced by the
Ysart family. Salvador, the father and three of his sons founded
Ysart Glass, later to become Vasart Glass and then Strathearn Glass.
The most famous paperweight maker of the Ysart family, Paul, went
his own way making paperweights at Moncrieff, Caithness Glass, and
his own company at Harland in a career that spanned more nearly
started glassmaking in 1967 when he was apprenticed to Strathearn
Glass. He recalls that it was a good place to work, with new facilities
and a large company employer. However, less than a year later, Stuart
Drysdale, the general manager of Strathearn, offered John the chance
to join him, Jack Allan, Peter McDougall, and others from Strathearn
in a new venture, Perthshire Paperweights, which would specialise
in high-quality paperweights. John leapt at the chance and described
his time at Perthshire Paperweights as "the best apprenticeship
you can imagine". He was involved in every stage of setting up the
factory and later became their master glassmaker.
for ten years but, always keen to explore his own ideas and designs,
he left in 1978 to form his own paperweight company, J Glass. This
was a much smaller operation than Perthshire Paperweights but the
quality of J Glass paperweights was outstanding and these paperweights
are highly sought after by collectors today. However, the company
was hit by a recession in 1983 and was forced to close.
With time to
think, John concluded that a J Glass type operation was no longer
viable but a low cost one would be. In 1984, he set up a much smaller
and low overhead studio attached to his house where he continues
to this day assisted by his son Craig, still working to his original
Apart from his
traditional millefiori designs, his work is produced in small numbers
usually to specific customer requirements. John is greatly influenced
by the classical French paperweights and his designs often have
a common theme such as portholes and double torsades. But these
themes are constantly evolving so that each new weight includes
new features and techniques. Another theme has been silhouette canes.
These are often combined with an "Upset muslin" or "Lace" ground
using jumbled latticino cane to form the background. The paperweight
shown here combines millefiori surrounding a central flower with
a porthole above.
The strong tradition
of superb millefiori and lampwork paperweight making in Scotland
which began with the Ysarts, is continuing through John and Craig
today. Their motto is "The best is yet to come". They
can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.