Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Ring Mottles and Oceana

This is another unique art glass style of glass slowly dying off in popularity… so sad.
Yes folks, today’s craftsperson has little exposure to the exciting and wide ranging glasses still being produced but not having any market share due to either lack of interest or lack of ambition on the part of suppliers. We no longer see many different glass styles as mouth blown antiques or Lustres, or even coloured gluchips. Nevetheless, Mikey keeps plugging away and tries to bring in as wide  variety of glass as possible.
But we digress- let's get back to the purpose of this blog entry today- the Ring Mottle. A proud, eclectic and often misunderstood artglass.
Originally discovered/invented by Tiffany Studios in the early 20th century, Ring Mottles are a special effect of localized, heat-treated opacification and crystal-growth dynamics. Think amoebas, or something nasty on a microscope slide. Or perhaps under Aunty Emma’s tea cozy. Louis Comfort Tiffany was searching for glass containing realistic natural effects to express his representational imagery with minimal use of painting. He couldn't have been happier than when he saw the first accidentally formed Ring Mottles! And all done without the aid of pharmaceuticals.
After the closure of the Tiffany Furnaces in Corona, New York in 1931, Ring Mottles were thought to be lost to the stained glass industry. In the mid '70s, Uroboros' founder Eric Lovell successfully reproduced them and brought them back into the stained glass marketplace. Since then, like in Tiffany's day, Ring Mottles have been used for realistic-looking shadows, sunspots on leaves or ground, or to create small background repeats of larger foreground pieces. Cut lines that follow individual rings can produce the best shadowed effect.  An example is the use of green mottled areas in the background areas behind individually cut green leaves. Look at any Tiffany lamp or window and you will see the extensive use of mottles throughout.
Bullseye stopped producing mottles several years ago, pretty well leaving Uroboros to carry the torch alone aside from some ‘High Strikes’ from Youghiogheny and the hard-to-get Oceana Art Glass (once an independent, now under the ownership and production control of Youghiogheny).
And carry it they seem to do with great effect. We carry as many of their mottles as possible, as well as the rest of their line, and are glad to show it off when you come in. We also have several reference books such as Alastair Duncan's Lamps of Tiffany that can show you to great effect why you might want to consider ring mottles in a project.

And effective today we have added the new stunning line of Oceana Ring Mottles as well...

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