Glass artists

Derek Preston’s skilled hands turn glass into art.
Karl Hübner, Cologne

Each Piece is Unique

Glass artists around the world work with “Duran” borosilicate glass produced by Schott-Rohrglas. In England alone, the company has some 100 customers who are glassblowers. One exam-ple is Lichfield Studio Glass in Rugeley, near Birmingham.

The most famous terraced stands ever built for standing spectators in a European stadium were no doubt “The Spion Kop” in Liverpool. The Spion Kop, Afrikaans for “spies hill,” got its name from the site of a battle during the Boer War. In 1994 the East stands were torn down and replaced by seats. The concrete remains of the former Kop were donated to souvenir production. Some pieces were shipped to Lichfield Studio Glass in Rugeley.

The renowned glassblowers created artistic souvenirs from these bits and pieces. One example is a glass football player who seems to be poised to dribble a concrete chunk of The Kop – all mounted on a mahogany stand. Many fans are more than willing to pay a good price for such memorabilia.

Glassblowers praise “Duran”

A combination of glass and 24-carat gold. The Lichfield collection of royal carriages is something quite special.
Some 30 percent of the orders received by the team at Lichfield Studio Glass are for such decorative art. The other orders are for industrial products, especially laboratory glassware. For glassblowers borosilicate glass 3.3 is the raw material of choice. “It is simple to join and is thus easy to work,” says Lichfield glassblower Derek Preston. In addition, this particular type of boron- containing glass is preferred because of its excellent optical properties.

Derek Preston and his colleagues have worked with “Duran” from SCHOTT for years. They appreciate not only the product quality and short delivery times, but also the company’s flexibility in fulfilling special requests. And it is particularly practical that SCHOTT’s British affiliate is located just minutes away from Rugeley.

A locomotive made of glass

A glass football player and a piece of concrete from the historical stadium of FC Liverpool – a souvenir for fans for a good cause.
And so it was very convenient when SCHOTT UK ordered a farewell gift for George Fletcher, long-time manager of glass tubing sales at SCHOTT UK. Derek Preston took some “Duran” and produced a replica of the first steam locomotive used for passenger service – the “Rocket” designed by George Stephenson. Although this unique piece is not for sale, glass souvenirs of The Kop can be purchased. A hospital in Liverpool is selling the special mementos produced by Lichfield Studio Glass for a good cause. The proceeds from the sales have been donated to a cancer foundation run by the hospital. More than 250,000 pound sterling have been collected so far.

But there is another connection between Lichfield Studio Glass and the city of Liverpool, located some 120 kilometers away. Despite his murderous daily commute, Lichfield’s Manager Mike Hagen has chosen to stay in the Beatles’ hometown on the Mersey River. On Saturdays, however, the drive to the home games of his football club Liverpool FC in Anfield Road is a breeze. And although The Kop isn’t what it used to be, it is still something special.