The unseasonably hot weather took us down to Rye on the Sussex coast at the weekend. Once the haunt of smugglers and highwaymen Rye is within easy reach for a short break. There is a sense of living history amongst the old buildings, cobbled streets and passages and of course there are the other attractions such as sea breezes, fish and chips etc.
We’ve visited quite regularly over the years and a visit isn’t complete without calling in to Helen and Andy McConnell’s antique glass shop ‘Glass etc’ on Rope Walk http://decanterman.com/. Andy is a renowned expert in glass perhaps most popularly known for his appearances on BBC TV’s Antiques Roadshow.
I’ve picked up various ‘Whitefriars’ http://www.whitefriars.com/ glass vases in ‘Glass etc’ over the years in different shapes, colours and sizes. James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars Glass) was a London based glassmaker and stained glass window manufacturer in the 19th and 20th centuries. Pieces designed by Geoffrey Baxter, who was employed as a designer between 1954 and the closure of Whitefriars in 1980, are becoming increasingly popular.
Coloured, textured and stained glass have always held a fascination for architects on account of the way glass behaves in different lighting conditions. I enjoy cutting fresh flowers and foliage from the garden and arranging them in one of the Whitefriars glass vases on an internal window cill. The variety of expression is endless between the seasonal contents of the vase, the choice of window, the time of day and the month of the year. The glass can be quite special in the right light and the same vase can look very different in say evening Autumn light from how it looks in morning Winter light. The few tens of pounds that the vases have cost have been repaid many times over by the pleasure they give in use.