From the Mailbag|
Posting Number 3471 Date: 11/06/20 Return to Posting List
What a shame that these Steuben pieces are hidden away. Too bad the museums do not rotate them more often,or at all.Many times they are sold to raise money for the museums. Thanks for sharing them with us
Those of you who attended the Carder symposium a couple of years ago in 2018, will recall meeting the longtime contributor to the world of beautiful glass art, Charles Lotton. I knew of Charles Lotton and was familiar with some of his glass, but in my being able to personally see the impressive array of stunning glass pieces that he and his family members brought to Corning was a true treat for the senses for a glass lover like myself.
Then came the honor for me to sit with him in Kitty Erlachers shop for about an hour with others and talk glass with this special artist. I had not known about his backstory and how he started in glass blowing, but quickly found out about his incredible path to becoming one of the most creative and experimental glass blowers of the past half century.
What I also didnt know was that Max Erlacher and his wife Kitty had known Charles Lotton from early in his glass career. After that symposium, I was fascinated with Charles career and started to do more investigation into his history and his career. Unbeknownst to me, Max had apparently engraved various pieces of Charles earlier in their careers. I studied and viewed what seemed like thousands of pieces of not only Charles', but all his family members who also went into the field. His is quite a story and any of you so inclined should look his name up and read about his most intriguing story in the glass world.
Anyhow, to the crux of this story. Earlier this Summer when Max Erlacher was engraving my heirloom Carder Steuben vase with the sun face which was told in an earlier edition of the Gazette, I was perusing the Live Auctioneer website as I have done so often in this Summer of being close to home. I came across an auction that had many pieces of Lotton art glass from all the contributing Lotton glass blowing family members.
I then saw a piece being offered that was somewhat of a scarcer type of creation that Charles Lotton undertook during all his years of creating. He certainly made rondels in his career, but not nearly on the scale of his other many creations such as bowl, vases, lamps, etc. Out of all the rondels that I have seen in my studies of Lotton, I never saw one like this. It was referred to as a bing cherry wisteria pattern rondel. The one side with the wisteria pattern is unlike any others that I had seen, but when I saw the back side with that intense color and uniform iridescence, I felt it was the finest that I had ever seen.
To me immediately, I felt that the center of the iridescent side was screaming for a sun face engraving by Max. Yes, I know, I already had Max doing a sun face engraving for me. What can I say, I have always loved the motif.
I won the piece at auction, immediately sent Kitty pictures and my desire for Max to do one more sun face for me. Kitty agreed that she too had not seen such a rondel creation from Charles and she too was intrigued with the project.
I had the piece sent directly to Max and what you see in the pictures below is the final product. Pictures, especially taken by me really dont do justice to the beauty of this piece. Lighting also plays a part as to how it will look. I just received it yesterday but have to say that in my humble opinion, I honestly feel that this piece is a museum piece, and a tribute to a friendship of two glass geniuses and their lifelong accomplishments. Charles created the rondel in 2002, and Max engraved it in 2020.
To me the real backstory here is the combined years of these two icons creating such beauty over so many decades for the people who appreciate glass as true an art as any. I am so honored to have been able to speak with these two gentlemen in person and now have what is frankly the pinnacle of my glass collection.
Click to view image one: Rondel1.jpeg
Click to view image two: Rondel2.png
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