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Decorative Treatments of Whitefriars Glass 2
Straw Opal
Straw Opal
Opalescence, Although a particular type of glass, the effect is also created by selectively applying heat to the finished shape, and therefore warrants inclusion in this list. Colours were milky white, straw and blue opal, although others may have been experimented with. Also used by other companies.
roman cut
Roman Cut 1
Cutting, For most companies, cutting could fill a book of its own. 19th Century English manufacturers though had become too enthusiastic in the technique, with the inevitable backlash. One commentator described these “prickly monstrosities”, and Ruskin pronounced that ‘all cut glass is barbarous’. Harry Powell though recognised that it had a rightful place in decorative techniques, and produced a whole range of shallow Roman cut tableware.
Intaglio Cut
Intaglio Cut
The cutting was achieved with an iron or stone wheel, then polished. The technique continued with designs by Gordon Russell and Edmund Hogan and became prominent in the 30s with a range of superb Art Deco cut vases and bowls by Barnaby Powell, Albert Tubby, William Wilson and others.
Diamond Point
Diamond Point Engraving
Engraving, Another book could be written here. Engraving can be copper-wheel (at Whitefriars till 1923) or diamond point (from 1930s), and the technique was used on commoratives and other shapes. These ranged from fern leaves, to stylised Art Nouveau flowers. Geometric shapes and animals were also used in Harry’s ‘Glasses with Histories’ series.
Threading
Threading
Threading,. These differ from trailing because the applied glass is always of a contrast colour, and is worked in to the body, rather than being left proud. Started by Harry Powell, and most famously used in the Minerbi service (Venetian glass makers were aghast that an Italian Count ordered a service from an English manufacturer rather than themselves !!). The technique was continued in the 20s and 30s with threaded vases, bowls and lambases. Baxter also revived the technique in the late 60s with broad splashes of bold colours. Also used by other companies.
Streaky
Streaky
Streaky, This technique dates from the 1870s, and uses a contrast colour worked in to the body of the piece, but producing swirling currents of colour rather than the definite lines of threading. Sometimes two or three colours were mixed in the tumbler vases of the 20s and 30s, utilizing the bright colours developed from stained glass windows. The technique was used again in the 60s for the ‘knobbly’ range. Unique to Whitefriars.
Mottled
Mottled
Mottled, Rarely used, this technique uses mixtures of colours in a similar fashion to streaky, but this time in a mottled effect. Unique to Whitefriars.
Cloudy
Cloudy
Cloudy, Here the gather of glass is rolled on a marver covered with enamels, then reheated to produce a cloudy, opaque body colour. Sometimes two cloudy colours were used, e.g. blue and green were used for bowls and vases. The technique was also used by Monart, Nazeing and Gray-Stan, sometimes with shapes and colours identical to Whitefriars, so care must be taken in identifying.
Cased
Cased
Cased, Normally a dark colour was cased in flint, then blown to the required shape, although experiments were tried with reverse casing. Derived from Scandinavian glass after the 2nd World War, and continued for many years. Also used by other companies.
Millefiori
Millefiori
Millefiori, Coloured canes of glass, normally used in paperweights, but also rarely used in the body of a vase. There are a number of claims of early Whitefriars paperweights, but the Museum of London states that there is no evidence that they were made prior to the 1930s. Also used by other companies.

Special thanks to Steve Leslie for writing this article ©2005



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