Studio: international art — 14.1898

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1 cm
Tiffany Glass

in engraving with white lines on a black surface,
following the precedent soundly established by
Blake and Calvert; and so the practice drawings
are made with the brush with white lines upon
black paper. Care is also taken to assert the im-
portance of making all the lines such as can be
recorded freely with the graver; they must be de-
finite and simple, free from cross-hatching, which
is objectionable because it necessitates in the block
a mechanical cutting out of spots rather than a free
and straightforward use of the tool, and without
unnecessary complication of lines and masses. It
is found in the school that these principles of work-
ing are easily grasped by the beginner, and are yet
susceptible of the greatest expansion, until the
most complicated effects can be managed with
absolute certainty. The whole process develops
regularly; each step rests securely upon the one
below it, and no perplexity over advanced details
is to be feared, seeing that when once the funda-
mental rules are mastered all that comes in after
practice is dealt with in the same order and by the
same methods.

These blocks are worth consideration, because
they encourage us to hope that there is at hand a
revival of that school of wood-engraving to which
we owe some of the most fascinating technical
studies that illustrate appropriately the history of
art. If we could revert to the simplicity of
Holbein and his contemporaries, if we could revive
the purity of Bewick’s style, the wood-block would
once again take an honoured place among the
means of expressing his intention which are open
to the present-day artist. But if he revives the art he
must also recall its best principles; he must make his
work original, and he must never forget
that he has to respect the character of
his medium. There must be no more
effort to misapply it in the deluded
desire to imitate the technicalities of
other forms of art; and there must be
no trying to reproduce things that were
never meant to be engraved. What
must be remembered is that his concern
is with line alone, and that tone, except
in a conventionalised way, must not be
allowed to influence him. Purity of
style and directness of purpose must be
the chief characteristics of everything
that he prepares, and his design must be
made with the same care that is needed
in all other forms of applied art. If he
is so far loyal to the principles of wood-
engraving itwill not failtoserve him well.


The industrial arts of


Many Europeans by this time know “ Tiffany ”
as the maker of the beautiful ware that, under the
name of “Favrile,” has attracted so much attention
at the various exhibitions, and quite recently at the
Libre Esthetique Exhibition in Brussels.

Mr. Tiffany first began, like Mr. John La Farge,
by having his opaline glass and certain kinds of
jewels, etc., made for him, from his directions or
under his guidance, by manufacturers. Meanwhile
he was experimenting busily in a small furnace in
his own house, or in the furnaces of the glass-
makers. In 1892 he started the glassworks at
Corona, on Long Island, so as to be able to con-
trol the quality of the glass. This, of course, led
to a series of experiments on a large scale and to
new departures in decorative work.

A brief description of the stock in the cellar
may help to give some notion of the quality
and variety of the glass. It is all called “Fav-
rile,” which is merely a trade name, and there
are from 200 to 300 tons of it generally kept in
stock in the cellar of the building, partly in cases,
partly in labelled and numbered compartments or
racks. These number 5000—i.e., 5000 colours
and varieties are kept accessible. Towards one
end, near one of the two windows, the large panes
are kept. These are machine rolled, and hence

* The first article of this series appeared in The Studio
for August 1897.


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