Scratching Around: The Glories of Engraved
& Etched Glass
Artists and craftsmen have scratched
and scored patterns onto glassware for almost as long
as the material has existed: around 5,000 years. The
practice flowered under the Roman Empire but achieved
a new dawn in Prague from around 1600 when skills that
had been traditionally used to decorate mineral rock
crystal were transferred onto glass.
Engraving became the decorative focus on the finest glass
produced across Europe during the vogue for façon
[Bohemian style] glassware, becoming
almost universally regarded as the epitome of good taste
between c1650-1775, when it was supplanted
by façon d'Angleterre c
ut crystal. Engraving
enjoyed another major vogue during the mid-to-late-19th
century, when it was rivalled by acid-etching, a
fundamentally different but apparently similar technique.
Engraving is currently enjoying a new renaissance, with its
leading British practitioners, Peter Drieser and Katherine
Coleman, the proud recipients of MBEs in recognition of
their artistic skills.
This new talk, specifically composed for NHDFAS,
examines the evolution of engraving and associated
techniques through its various methods and manifestations,
various created with diamond tips, lathes and acids, from
the days of ancient Rome to the present.