We are happy to announce that our furnaces are now on and we are making glass again. The studio is now open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm but closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays, except by appointment.
I always say to my students “If you want to be a glassmaker learn how to pack first” because packing safely is really the key to success.
My Packing History
I have been packing safely on and off for more than 40 years and shipping glass to more than 20 countries. I’ve never counted how many pieces of glass I have packed up. But I just worked out that the total must be more than 100,000! So far, I haven’t had a piece break in transit. That’s because I choose good packing materials and pack carefully. So are you wondering whether it would be safe for me to send your purchase to you? If so, the answer is that with a 100% track record of no breakages I’m not looking to cut any corners! Bubble wrap? No way, that’s entry level! I moved up to Jiffy Foam in 1978 and haven’t looked back. There’s a reason it costs more!
When you pack, the key thing is to remember that the parcel is going to be handed by lots of people. There may be ten or twelve people on the way to its destination. I’d like to think that most of them would like it to arrive safely. But it’s probably fair to say that on occasions, they aren’t all as careful as you would like them to be. So the answer is to pack to a standard that takes this into consideration.
How I learnt to pack
I learnt to pack when I was at the University of Keele in the seventies, studying International Relations. Packing wasn’t a subject on the degree course. But I met a wonderful old lady who had worked in the Potteries all her life. She lived in a 17th Century cottage in Betley, Staffordshire. She used to tell me some fascinating anecdotes about the famous pottery designers, whom she’d known and the factories where she’d worked. I think she must have been born around 1900.
After a long career as a decorator in the potteries, she retired, to her cottage in Betley. When I knew her she must have been almost 80. She used travel by bus into Stoke to buy glazed whiteware from different potteries and carry it back to paint in her cottage. Then she would get on the bus and carry it to a pottery to be fired. So she really knew how to pack and she taught me the basics. I was lucky enough to make friends with her and used to buy her work to sell in my mother’s shop in Highgate. Packing safely was very important to her, and I was lucky to learn how to pack from her.
I do hope that if you had any worries about the safe passage of your purchase, that I have put your mind to rest. Happy browsing!
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A member of Surrey Hills Enterprises – A mark of local provenance, quality and sustainability
A Fellow of The Society of Designer Craftsmen
A member of The Surrey Sculpture Society