Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Milk Glass Collection Connection

Stephen just gave me this beautiful book on the history of milk glass, and it has re-sparked my love and inspiration that my collection has given me.
Before I ever even touched porcelain, I was collecting milk glass. Yes you have all seen this glassware strewn through your grandmother's house or piled on tables at garage sales, and that's where I first discovered it as well.

I remember one day in my early 20's rummaging through a dusty salvation army for vintage clothing, when I looked over at the large store front windows filled with milk glass with the sunlight passing through the pieces.
Their translucence amazed me and I was hooked.

I snatched up several pieces for no more that a dollar each, and the collection was born. I brought them home and used them often, filling them with flowers and my personal favorite, placing votives inside and watching them at night with their flickering glow illuminating the room.

Later on in my ceramic career I discovered porcelain, and though I heard of its translucent quality and saw images in books, I never experienced in person.

I was determined to make work that would really be translucent.
So I began working with the buttery clay body throwing it as thin as possible. Stretching my ability and the porcelain until, I thought it would be at that right thinness to let light pass through.

I wanted "milk glass porcelain", and I believe from my time working with the material, I have achieved it.

It has a warmer glow than milk glass, reminding me of pure bright sunshine. While milk glass looks to me of a overcast calm blue winter light.
They both cast beautiful light so well that it melts me every time I see it.

So If you never experienced the special translucence of either I suggest you pick up a piece of milk glass at a thrift store, or even better one of my pots and hold it in the light.

I am sure you will melt, just like I do.


  1. Your work looks lovely, very "wabi"!
    Do you sell any of it in Montreal (where I live)?
    I enjoy your blog as well.
    Take care.

  2. Hey There M, Welcome!

    Thanks for your kind words, and yes wabi it is.

    That's funny about Montreal. My two good friends live there and write the amazing food blog An Endless Banquet.

    I try to visit once a year as it is such a beautiful city and, when I go I look for shops that might fit with my work.

    Any Suggestions???

    I'm setting up an Etsy account soon so Ill keep you posted!

    Thanks For Visiting!

  3. Hello Todd.
    Montreal is indeed a beautiful city.
    Will check out An Endless Banquet.
    I've bought some interesting work from a shop called Farfelu in Westmount. It's an artist-run cooperative and the work varies greatly (some fabulous, some not so much...) Might be worth looking into.
    And do keep me posted about your Etsy account (though I am somewhat apprehensive about my life becoming ever more virtual!!!!).
    And have a look at my blog here on Blogspot if you have a moment.
    Nothing to read (!) just some small drawings I do every morning when I wake up (at 5 a.m.!!!).
    I work in the arts but in a completely different discipline. These little cards are a sort of meditation done while I drink two espressos (how's that for conflict of interest?).
    Will try to think of other shops that might be suitable for your work here in Mtl.
    Take care,