I often get asked if our twisted stemmed drinking glasses are “reproductions”.
Our Georgian/Jacobite style drinking glasses are purposely designed for today’s market. The clarity of the glass, the shape, size and foot were designed in a contemporary style; not “Georgian”, not “Jacobite”, and all are hand signed and dated.
My aim was to come up with “new” twists that had never been made in the 18th Century (see photo).
I believe that air twist stemmed glasses have been continuously made since their invention in 1745, a date that happens to coincide with the second Jacobite rebellion. Not every twisted stemmed glass air twist, cotton or colour is a “Jacobite” glass; these would have been any glasses of that period that had engravings depicting symbols of the “Jacobite” cause, a secret society with a death penalty for those that were caught, meaning that secrecy was of the utmost importance!
When Sue and I set up Twists Glass Studio I did so with the idea of keeping skills alive and moving forward with these in a contemporary way. Glass factories were closing at an alarming rate, and this heritage needed to be kept for prosperity, for the next generation. One of these “lost” skills was the making of “cotton” and “colour” twist stemmed drinking glasses that became fashionable during the Georgian period. I know a some factories in the 20th C made a few cotton/colour twists but not as a steady production for any length of time.
Since forming Twists Glass Studio in 1998 we have made a good number of different twists on a range of glasses including decanters and candle holders, I would like to think that I have moved this technique forward, and that these glasses would not be classed as “reproduction Georgian/Jacobite drinking glasses”, either now or in the future.