Friday, January 30, 2015

Old New England Glassware in the Home - Part Eight - "Don't Give Up Ever"

Old New England Glassware in the Home

Part Eight

"Don't Give Up Ever"

            The historic position (trail?) of glassware in the New England home... and in the ‘old’ New England home... is a peculiar one-one (win-win) ratio between primitive man and sophisticated women.  The brilliance of this ratio is that it continues and is active to this day.  It is a brutal ratio too.  But it is brilliant, as physical object, in the New England home.  And the old New England home.
            The determination (both by mental direction and by physical blunt force) by men in New England to ‘make’ glassware was, one to one, held as equal determination for women who... ‘want that (glassware) for my home’.  Fellow travelers on the glassware trail of old New England they were.
            “Are” today... is crass, tacky, junky, cheap... at best tasteless but more common as ‘bad taste’.  For both man and woman.  The lumbering domesticated man’s grip on his glassware... is a horror show.  It is actually a... horror SIDE show.  Most ‘man’ and ‘glassware’ fail to be a ‘front and center’...ever.  Dirty glasses left around is... about it.  Opening a covered glass dish discerned in the refrigerator to contain ‘leftovers’ with the stubby, fat, dirty... fingers... touching this... glassware.  And goes from there; ‘empties’ are ‘returned’.  (Glass) bottle openers are found by rummaging through a drawer.  And... then there is ‘pulling the cork’ and... pouring... what... into what.
            Ms. Domestic New England Glassware participates in this; glassware in the New England home, by... having... either ‘it’ or... ‘some’.  One querying from a design perspective about these objects (glassware) will... receive a ...very... limited design critique.  Usually this is verbally graced as PART of the SINGLE sentence and blanketed by the summarial expression of no taste; “I like it”.  “Verbally graced as part of” includes ‘my’, ‘those’, ‘have’, ‘are’ with specific design designations of ‘wedding’, ‘gift’, ‘bought’, carrying to ‘sale’ (church, yard, charity), ‘mother’, ‘broken’, ‘nice’ and.... “those are”.
            “Those are what?”
            They don’t know.
            How about “Those are junk”
            Glassware in the New England home.

            Back when all of this started... ‘things were different’.  Man and women... presumed good taste (the man) for those who ...had good taste (the women)... in glassware... in the New England home.  It was ‘gather round boys’ literally, ‘We’re making GLASSWARE for the GIRLS.  And the world of that; glassware and girls is STILL HERE TODAY, in the dining room cupboards of... the old New England home.  “Grandmother”... ‘knew the difference.
            “Who dropped the ball?”
            And who cares?

            Men in the back room of New England glassware making ‘gathered’.  A ‘gather’ of glass metal is the goo-gob of molten glass metal “gathered” on the end of glassblower’s blow pipe to make... free blown and blown molded glassware, et al.  So ‘gather round boys’ has a double meaning in the back room of glassmaking... men.  In this back room... and taking the goo-gob of molten metal the... these men... of the one-one ratio noted earlier... ‘dumped’ the... on blow pipe gathered... gob into a flat, open top, carved wood, soaked in water... ‘mold’ and, after putting a ‘top’ on the mold, stomped on it
With the result, including steam, of creating a ‘glassware’ that was ‘pressed’.  They did that; created a ‘piece’ of ‘pressed glass’.  “Huh”.
You say.
Well that IS what that piece of pressed glassware looked like; a ‘pretty damn crude’
Pressed glass

            They went from there.  In the back room.  “Mold Making” became a ‘job’ of a “mold maker”.  It ‘replaced’ (displaced) “glassblower”... and his surround of little boy assistants.  “I don’t know about this” summarized the perceived commercial possibilities of the ‘pressed glass’ ‘dish?’.  But men, being men, pushed forward by stomping on more gathered goo-gobs of molten metal in... more molds and, they liked doing that; stomping on molten glass.  In molds.  “Innovative improvements in mold making and pressed glass manufacture” took place ... leaving the primitive design form “DISH” behind and introducing a historic New England glass design form called “LACY” ‘pressed glass’.

            May we spend a few minutes with this ‘dish?’?  Thank you.
            I knew about the (sweetmeat) dish... for a long time.  I never found one.  I saw them.  In museums.  The museums said they ‘like it’.  I, inspecting it in the locked display cases, did too... like it.  With the dish... they ‘made’ too... ‘salts’.  These were small rectangular open top generally box shaped vessels intended to serve salt ‘at table’.  A little salt and a little spoon were put in the... (‘blown’) pressed glassware... ‘salt’ and put on the table to offer dining ‘salt’.  The outside of the glassware salt... was mold press decorated by wooden mold carved decoration of designs, to no surprise, directly endeavoring to imitate... Anglo-Irish cut glass imports (Part Four and after).
            These salts... being small and therefore easier to make AND having (here she comes) someone who WANTS THEM... as... glassware in the New England home... ‘did good’; actually sold well to the intended market who did want them, ‘liked them’ and used them and:  Yes... a commercial success from being... the only (clear) pressed glassware game in town”.
            “THAT IS SO COOL” I have been told... when ‘showing’ ‘an early’ New England ‘pressed glass’ salt... ‘to someone’.  In (antiquarian) general, they ‘are around’; one can find one and they do not, even in the hands of collectors, ‘cost much’.  They are usually ‘beat up’ with ‘chips’, etc., due to having been actually used for a long time... in the New England home... AND...  from’ crude production methods’ (men stomping in the back room).  I have bought and sold a lot of these salts and do so still.  I like them.  But:  “No biggy”.

            And the ‘finding’ the (sweetmeat) dish... ‘escaped me’.  Until one day a couple of years ago.
            “I WAS LIKE” coming ‘back down’ from ‘up country (Maine) with the wife after a forlorn something antiques related ‘up there’ and, approaching Lewiston in happenstance, pulled off at a dirt crummy flea market-something-sort of-market to “LIKE” “SEE”.  The wife was “(this place is so bad and hopeless) I will WAIT HERE” (in the truck).  I’m used to that.  But I always... ‘look’.  ALWAYS.  So... pop in-pop out in process I bounce in and around and down the isles at record breaking speeds of ‘antiques hunter for a half century’ and
            “DAMN” and stickered “$2.00” be one of these ‘earliest’ New England pressed glass sweetmeat dishes “LIKE RIGHT THERE” and I
            Grabbed it
            Paid for it
            And was gone.
            The wife, who is used to this sort of ‘early American design’ ‘hit’ by I over and over for the ever we’ve been together... was ‘who cares’ merged with “That’s very nice Dear”.
            I sold it to a collector for eighty-five.  Dollars.  They are rare.  He was delighted.  He kept it.  He still has it.  It is not for sale.  His wife says ‘That’s very nice, Dear”.  Too.
            The ‘that dish’ is ‘about as good as I can expect... but in fairness to my professional aspirations... I still have not found... and do very much want to find... the very rare... sugar bowl... made of this earliest New England pressed glassware the home.  AH... it is of two pieces; it has a lid.  It is ‘bigger’ and ‘hollow’ so was harder to make.  It was...  and is...
‘Not many around probably’.  It IS pictured on the cover of Ken Wilson’s NEW ENGLAND GLASS AND GLASS MAKING.  I’ve, like... I bought the book when it came out (was published) (1972) and have... stared at that sugar bowl pictured on the cover dust jacket... ever since.  That’s as close to one as I’ve ‘get yet’.  But... people like me and their interest in ‘glassware in the New England home’...
            Don’t give up


  1. Please don't give up the search, and don't give up the blog, stay with it all, "a farting horse will never tire".

  2. The glassblowers and mold-makers seem to fit the description of artists and craftsmen. ( Sorry I suppose craftspersons has replaced craftsmen in today's PC SPEAK.) But nothing too original? Only "to imitate... Anglo-Irish cut glass imports"? Then again it's pressed glass and not cut glass, and therefore original. Yes, hang on, the sugar bowl is just around the corner, SOMEWHERE.