Flitting / Flyttning
Vic Bamforth from Stourbridge, the traditional centre of English glass-making, uses painted graal to illustrate some of the historical connections between the English Midlands and Sweden.
The Story of Richard Foley “the Fiddler”
According to a folktale, Richard Foley was an iron-master from the West Midlands of England – later the centre of the English glass-making industry – who travelled to Sweden in the early 1600's under the guise of a travelling fiddle player. The real purpose of his visit was industrial espionage and he succeeded in learning the secrets of the Swedish slitting mills which made it possible to produce nails on a much cheaper industrial basis. On his return to England he introduced the new techniques and became wealthy.
The Scottish term “flitting” is used to describe migrating or moving home. Glass illustrating the theme is by Vic Bamforth, James Coignard, Alison Kinnaird, Nancy Sutcliffe and a number of other artists.
A further link between Stourbridge and Glasriket concerns the problems affecting the glass factories in both areas. Back to the Future celebrates 400 years of glass-making in Stourbridge, the closure of the last major glass-making factory and its rebirth as the home on studio artists - Including Vic Bamforth
Vic Bamforth: The Fiddler
Vic Bamforth: Back to the Future: 400 years of Stourbridge glass-making