Pugh Glassworks, Modern & Contemporary
The history of glass manufacture in Dublin during the late 19th Century is linked to the Pugh family. In May 1863 Thomas Leetch and Thomas and Richard Pugh took over the Potter’s Alley glassworks on Marlborough Street from the firm of Irwins. A wide range of domestic and industrial glass was produced. They employed the workmanship of some of the leading artisans living in Dublin at that time. Under the auspices of the Pughs’ business, the great Bohemian glass engraver Franz Tieze developed a highly individual and elegant style ranging from naturalistic to neo-Celtic motifs. Tieze and other engravers, such as Joseph Eisert and William Hieronimus Fritchie, achieved success in the Irish industrial exhibitions of the late 19th Century for the quality of their craftsmanship.
With the closing of the Potter’s Alley glassworks, c.1890, no flint glass manufacture occurred in Ireland until the opening in 1947 of Waterford Glass (now Waterford Crystal) at Ballytruckle, Waterford. With the input of capital into the enterprise during the early 1950s, Waterford Crystal has since established its name at international level as a brand synonymous with Ireland.
In more recent times contemporary Irish Glass Art has emerged. Influenced by the founding of the Studio Glass movement in the United States during the 1960s, contemporary design in the real sense (work produced by an artist from concept to finished article) has existed in Ireland from the early 1970s. Simon Pearce in Kilkenny founded the first glass studio in this country. Today there are around 350 people involved in glass studio-based activity. Some of these artists represented in storage include Paul Devlin, Bob Frazier, Alva Gallagher, Elaine Griffin, Deirdre Rogers, Karen Scally, Shirley Steadmond, Suzannah Vaughan and Catherine Wilcoxson.
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