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View Full Version : Stqying in France even longer!


KD-W
07-15-2002, 05:33 PM
Well, I've decided to stay with Nadine and Fred until the end of August... we are invoved with a fascinating Archeological project
This area is the center of glass making in France.. there are others but they are mainly art glass... There are five glass factories in this area specializing in glass making for luxury perfume bottles... they make 95% of them for the world market. Then there is another that makes glass tubes and containers etc for pharmaceutical products and another that specializes in fancy bottles and carafes for liquor.
The glass factories came into being in the 14th century and were moved around to be near the woods needed to heat the glass...special sand from Le Treport and wrack and seaweeds were used as ashes for potassium..
They started by making flat glass for windows, moving on to bottles and in fact there is also a crystal factory near here making hand made crystal..
So.. on top of this, comes the whole phenomenon of the Meringovian site discoveries. Much earlier news here...
They lived around here and in Germany, and right down to the borders of Spain in the 4th to 6th centuries. There may be people who know more than me who can jump in here.. I am still trying to research all this, working with books in German and French... and although I can cope in both languages fairly well, it is a stretch sometimes... ANYWAY, The area is littered with Archeological sites and work goes on continuously in the study and preservation of their life styles and art.Many sites were discovered in the Somme and Picardy during the 1st World War when the trenches were dug but at the time, no-one could stop to realise what they were finding...
Now there is a great deal of growing interest in historical treasures.. The Museum in Berck Sur Mer where in fact Nad and Fred and George Dilly, curator, and I are already starting work on the exhibition of contemporary glass beads, was built especially to house the growing collection of Meringovian finds from immediately around the museum, but it also has to have other exhibitions to help support it, even though it is Government funded, as is the Museum in Picardy that houses an extensive Roman glass collection...
National Geographic has done documentaries etc.. the whole movement towards preserving history worldwide seems to be gathering momentum again in the interests of tourism...
So. Fred was approached by an archeologist a year ago who had been trying to find a glass worker capable of making authentic reproductions of the glass beads that have been discovered all over the Gallo Roman and Meringovian territories... (of course Rome has been moving beads around the planet for much longer... I have beads from West Africa that are 200 BC, time of Ptolemy in Egypt..if I'm not much mistaken, given a century of two...bad on dates... )
It took a while for him to get it right but now they are sold in George's museum, I mentioned that before.
So.. I have now demonstrated bead making at one glass museum, not George's, another, close to here, in a town called Eu,with Fred... in fact we even made the local paper this week, in color!
I went yesterday to Blangy Sur Bresle, which houses a glass museum and gallery in the 14th century Le Manor de Fontaine.. behind the museum is a site on which a small Meringovian village is being built, using the information found in the digs... there is already a wood burning glass furnace and also the kilns used for making pottery.. I was presented with a little pottery lamp...there are young archeologists working with other friends as volunteers at the weekends on the site.. I have filmed and photographed it ...
Back to that in a minute...
It seems that I have been asked to exhibit my work at the gallery attached to the museum, with Fred and Nadine.. they will be showing their own work and the Meringovian beads and my work was invited on the strength of the few pieces in my pocket and the way Nadine discribes my 'fame' etc(!).. The exhibition is to take place some time in 2004...
The one in Berck ,,the collected works of bead makers from all over the world, is in 2005. ( More about this later when I have spoken to and hopefully involved the ISGB...things are moving so fast right now.. and I have to send them the official paperwork... so I probably shouldn't even be talking about it yet...
You'll all have a chance to submit work if you wish to.. it just takes time to get it official...
I will be returning here as often as I can in the meantime. continuing to work, both making beads, and teaching, writing in English for both exhibitions and generally following this path I seem to have been dropped on...
I was going to return to my home in Arizona in two weeks but in August, six glass workers come from Belgium. they are originally Czech glass workers...to make 4th to 6th century drinking glasses and bottles at the Meringovian site.. it becomes a sort of miniature art festival.. but the main thing is that the glass is melted with wood.... one of the younger glass workers has to sleep by the furnace the whole three days, feeding the wood.. they use an enormous amount of wood to keep the heat up...I am going to film and photograph the whole occasion and hopefully submit an article to Glass Quarterly or somesuch... Because they are not actually making beads, I don't think it will be suitable for the Lapidary Journal, even though I have already written 50 articles for them over the years...
So.. I'm pouring out all this stuff..I hope it is of interest to you...
I will show you the Meringovian beads... and continue to keep you in touch if this is of interest.. in the meantime, I must go to bed.. tired after a picnic on the beach.. the sun has finally decided to grace us...

KD-W
07-15-2002, 05:35 PM
I just showed you the sign and some pots that are made on site at the same occasion.... the beads will follow tomorrow, hopefully..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

craftylady
07-15-2002, 06:22 PM
Thanks Kate Cant wait to see the glass.:D

macbeth7
07-15-2002, 06:26 PM
Kate,

Well, I for one look forward to your posts...keep 'em coming! :cat:

Beth

llis
07-15-2002, 06:53 PM
Gosh, how interesting! Perhaps you could put some articles into the publisher here at WC! It's easy to do and if you have any problems at all, I'll be glad to help you.

Hear is a link.... WC! Publisher (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Publisher/)

:cat: