Thursday, November 18, 2010

Page 4 - Pitcairn meets John Larson

Raymond Pitcairn did indeed spend a small fortune collecting historic stained glass windows, primarily from the French gothic period. 
Not as art objects only, these panels were to serve as inspiration for his craftsmen to study. Raymond was obsessed with recreating, in the most authentic way possible, the techniques used in 12th century gothic cathedrals and to do that he had to solve the problem of creating the right kind of glass for the windows. 
After investigating several sources he eventually consulted Louis Comfort Tiffany. In 1916 Tiffany directed him to a man named John Larson. 
PHOTO: Glencairn Archives
Larson was descended from a dynasty of glass blowers. 
His father, Axel Larson, came from Sweden where he had worked for the Kosta factory (today’s Kosta Boda Glassworks). After immigrating to America, Axel Larson and his children found work at the Dorflinger Glassworks in White Hills, Pennsylvania
Dorflinger, self-proclaimed “America’s finest glass makers”, created glass for the White House. The factory produced blown ware with color overlays which were elaborately engraved. In all likelihood, Axel Larson in addition to being a skilled glassblower would have had knowledge of color formulas.

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