Onlline Educational Series from The New Bedford Museum of Glass|
Posting Number 3615 Date: 12/10/21 Return to Posting List
Glass and the Golf Course:
A Cire Perdue Creation by Frederick Carder
Frederick Carder (1863-1963) is the celebrated English glass designer and technician who immigrated to Corning, New York, in 1903 to found the Steuben Glass Works. Prior to his immigration he established a friendship with English cameo glass carver John Northwood, who became a mentor, and worked as a designer at Stevens and Williams, LTD, of Brierley Hill, near Stourbridge, England. In 1918 he sold Steuben to the Corning Glass Company, which hired him to serve as their Art Director, a position he held until his retirement in 1933.
During Carders years at Steuben he developed many attractive and innovative new lines of art glass, but for almost 30 years after retirement he concentrated on exploring the process of cire perdue casting. The term cire perdue translates from the French as lost wax. In this process a sculptural form is modeled in wax and encased in a cast mold. The wax is then melted out of the mold and the resulting cavity is filled with glass, either in molten or reheated powdered form. After cooling, the mold is broken away to reveal the glass sculpture within.
Carder, who modified the process significantly over the years, is known to have made a number of cire perdue glass sculptures as gifts for friends and associates. Our current Marvel is just such a work (Fig. 1). Signed on the underside F. Carder / 1944, it takes the form of an ashtray with a figural bird ornament. Carder created the ashtray for Frederick Parsons, Jr., who worked for the Ingersoll-Rand machine tool company and apparently made Carders acquaintance on the golf course. The golfing partnership was later joined by Parsons son, Frederick, III., who presented the ashtray as a gift to the New Bedford Museum of Glass together with a photograph showing his father and Carder standing together on the golf course (Fig. 2). Frederick remembered that the two men shared a fondness for cigars and, pointing out the large size of the rim notches, noted that the ashtray was designed specifically to accommodate them!
-- Kirk J. Nelson, Executive Director
Cire Perdue Glass Ashtray
Corning, NY, 1944
H: 4 3/8 x L: 6 5/8 x W: 5 1/8
Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Frederick W. Parsons, III
Photograph showing Frederick Carder (left) and golfing partner Frederick Parsons, Jr. standing on the golf course, ca. 1950
Click to view image one: Cire Perdue2.jpeg
Click to view image two: Carder Parsons Photo.jpeg
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