Antiques Column with Michael Dowse
In all the years I have been writing one of the men I have never ever spoken of is John Ditchfield.
Why ever not, I ask myself. Last week in one of our many stores housing goods catalogued and awaiting their chance to star in one of our auctions I happened upon a small but gorgeous collection of glass by this very man.
Over thirty years ago this very talented gentleman established his own company “Glasform” in deepest darkest Lancashire.
One could have been forgiven for thinking this was just another man blowing a bit of molten glass into a few shapes to sell to the unsuspecting public purchaser, from a shop in a county somewhere in England, but one would be so wrong.
What sets all contemporary production, art or otherwise, above the rest is quality, style, originality, inventiveness, and collectability and Glasform has this in, what we in the world of the antique call, bucketloads.
Whether endorsements by David Dickinson, Eric Knowles and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen are good for a glassblower I dare not comment, but Glasform has had hearty accolades from all three along with many others from the world of the rich and famous.
From the age of sixteen John Ditchfield spent seven years learning the art of glassblowing from Franco Toffolo in his Venetian glass factory in Blackpool.
After a short career change John came back to manage the factory.
He studied Tiffany glass and toured Europe in pursuit of excellence and invention in his art.
All this helped him in his subsequent Glasform productions of beautiful, iridescent art glass from Lancashire and our next auction is a chance to start your collection.