Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Textured Tangerine TV Vase

Daytime TV, Retro Glass & Bamboo...

During a recent enforced spell of daytime idleness, I happened to watch a cookery television program I had not come across before.

It wasn't very exciting, but what I did notice was that the décor on the studio set included two pieces of Whitefriars Glass. These colourful examples were from the Geoffrey Baxter designed rough-textured range, first launched in 1967.

Made in moulds, with surface textures created from a wide range of unconventional objects - such as bamboo, nuts and bolts and wire - these chunky Whitefriars pieces have become extremely popular with glass collectors and retro enthusiasts over the last few years.

Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Textured Willow Green Cucumber Vase Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Textured Indigo Hobnail Vase Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Textured Cinnamon Mobile Phone Vase
Whitefriars Willow Green Cucumber Vase, Indigo Hobnail Vase and Cinnamon Mobile Phone Vase

The textured range was produced from 1967 - 1980, although the shapes and colours in production varied considerably during this time. Although the earliest examples were in relatively restrained colours - Willow (Green), Indigo and Cinnamon - the later, bolder colours have found equal if not greater favour with today's collectors.

Colours such as Kingfisher Blue and Meadow Green are highly desirable, while Tangerine is a popular and more readily-available choice. Shapes such as the Drunken Bricklayer, Sunburst and Banjo vases have names as picturesque as their shapes and enthusiasts will find that there are enough combinations of colours and shapes to generate extremely sizeable collections!

Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Textured Kingfisher Blue Bark Vase Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Textured Meadow Green Sunburst Vase Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Textured Tangerine Drunken Bricklayer Vase Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Textured Kingfisher Blue Sunburst Vase
Whitefriars Kingfisher Blue Bark vase, Meadow Green Sunburst vase, Tangerine Bricklayer vase and a Kingfisher Blue Sunburst vase.

Geoffrey Baxter's textured pieces were made as 'cased glass'. This means that the glass actually has two layers - one coloured and one clear, in this case. Whitefriars' textured pieces were made with a coloured inner layer, encased in a clear outer layer.

The techniques used to create cased wares vary, but in Whitefriars' case I believe that the inner (coloured) glass was encased in a second layer of clear glass while still semi-liquid, before being blown into the iron moulds used to create the pieces.

Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Textured Kingfisher Blue Hoop Vase Whitefriars Glass Geoffrey Baxter Vase Base
Whitefriars Kingfisher Blue Hoop vase and an example of a base.

This technique also explains why the solid bases of many Whitefriars textured pieces are clear when viewed from the side - the coloured glass only covered the inside of the shape.

If you are interested in Whitefriars Glass, we would recommend a visit to www.whitefriars.com and www.whitefriarsorg.org - both enthusiast sites with vast collections of photos and glass information that can be freely browsed.

We hope you've enjoyed this diversion from the world of ceramics - normal service will be resumed in the next newsletter with a look at something clay related...

Best wishes for 2008,

Perfect Pieces

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