Welcome to the April 2003 edition
of the Cloud Glass Newsletter. In this newsletter we have:
Hello everybody, apologies for the
long time in producing this news letter, but we have both been very busy with
our 'proper' jobs and of course researching Davidson Glass.
Over the weekend of the 15/16 March we had a stall displaying Cloud Glass at the
Broadfield House 'Pressed Glass Weekend'. Sadly the very warm and fine weather
kept many visitors away, but we were able to meet a number of Cloud Glass
Collectors. This made the whole weekend worthwhile for us, and we really enjoyed
the opportunity to chat to people. Broadfield House are having two more Pressed
Glass Weekends this year. The next one will be on July 19/20 and the again in
September. We will be attending both events with displays of our display of
Cloud Glass and hope we can meet more of you.
Siegmar Geiselberger has published the
first edition of 'Pressglas-Korrespondenz' for 2003. One of the catalogues
reproduced is a 1965 catalogue for Sachsenglas (formally Walther). The catalogue
contains many of the famous Walther styles from the 1930s particularly the
centre pieces and vases. It does not look like any where made in Cloud Glass. To
Web Site Updates
The following pages have been
added or changed on the web site:
A new page has been added on
post-war Davidson Glass. This page can be found under the 'George Davidson &
The Jobling Cloud Glass
catalogue page has a new addition which was purchased at the recent Swinderby
fair. We also heard of a pair of Amber Cloud Glass Brockwitz 'Meissen' vases
which had been recently sold.
Further researches in the
Archives has revealed a new earlier start date for the first production run of
Orange Cloud Glass. See the Orange Cloud Glass page for details.
We have added a table of
production dates for the different colours of Cloud Glass on the 'Colours'
Yellow Cloud Glass - Is it a
Is Yellow Cloud Glass a distinct
colour, or just Orange that went wrong? This has been hotly debated by
collectors and dealers for many years, As a result of our research and some
valuable insight into the problems of making orange glass from Adam Dodds,
former Glass Technologist at Davidson we can finally say that Yellow Cloud Glass
is simply Orange Cloud Glass that went horribly wrong.
The range of Cloud Colours made by Davidson is well documented in the Pottery
Gazette and in contemporary product catalogues. Nowhere is Yellow Cloud Glass
mentioned. Our own examination of Davidson's production records for the 1930s
again reveals no Yellow Cloud Glass. Indeed the only mention of Yellow glass of
any type was in 1942 when Davidson made some lenses for the RAF in Red, Green
and Yellow. It appears that they also made some No. 55 ashtrays in this 'RAF
As any collector of Orange Cloud Glass is aware, Orange comes in a variety of
shades and colours, from the 'custardy' rims and bases of unmodified Orange to
the red tinged trails of the later modified version. Orange was made for only a
very short period of time, and most seems to have been made for the export
market, particularly Australia and New Zealand. The first production run for
Orange was in February 1933. The glassmakers had severe problems getting the
production correct. There are many references to their problems including 'seedy
metal' (lots of bubbles in the glass), 'bad colour' and even 'bad shape'. The
last production run of 'unmodified' orange was in June of 1933. Production
resumed in December 1934 when the first 'modified' version was produced.
Presumably in the intervening months Davidson went back to the drawing board in
attempt to iron out the problems. In this they seem to have succeeded as the
modified form has a much more consistent colour and uniformity. Incidentally the
term 'modified' comes from the Pottery Gazette, when in a 1934 report on the
British Industries Fair their reporter wrote:
"...We also noticed that the orange cloud has been subjected to some
modifications, and in its new guise this appeared to be in great demand for the
The question, therefore, is how can we explain the different variations in the
Orange Cloud including a yellow variant. Whilst working at Davidson's in the
late 1950s Adam Dodds faced similar problems when attempting to make orange
glass for car indicator lights, To be exact they were attempting to make the
colour 'British Standard Signal Yellow' which despite it's name is orange.
Orange was apparently a swine to make, (Adam's own words) as it was not a simple
matter of adding a colouring material to the base soda-lime batch. As well as
getting the ingredients correct, other factors such as whether the temperature
of the pot, gatherer and finished article goes up or down come into play and
consequently were not always under control.
They managed to get the colour correct for British Standard Signal Yellow by
creating a batch which consisted of two parts pink cullet, one part ruby
(selenium/cadmium/zinc type) cullet and a small amount of soda-lime mix to bulk
up the main ingredients, which were cadmium sulphide, zinc sulphide and sodium
selenite. The correct colour was only achieved after umpteen trials. Examination
of the samples and conferences on what to do next often took place in the local
Adam confirms that effects such as the 'custard' colour seen on unmodified
Orange Cloud were also seen when making signal yellow. The reddish tinge seen on
some modified forms of Orange Cloud could result from a selenium/zinc/cadmium
mix which was too red. Adam also notes that some rubies were yellow when pressed
and blown and only changed to red in the Lehr or with additional heating.
The balance of evidence from both first hand recollections of the problems in
making orange glass and from surviving documents does indicate that Yellow Cloud
is not a separate colour, but a 'second' produced during the production of
Orange Cloud Glass. Although it would be nice to think that Yellow should be
added to the range of known Cloud Colours, it is simply and interesting - and
rare - variation of an existing colour.
On a historical note, Adam records the fact that Selenium was in short supply
immediately after the war. This prevented production of colours such as pink,
ruby and orange. The shortage was over by the mid 1950s when both Sowerby and
Davidson were again making ruby and pink glass.