The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2022 to be the International Year of Glass. As a result of this throughout this year there will be activities all over the world to draw attention to the importance of glass in all our lives, an importance which is often taken for granted.
For more than two thousand years glass has been used to produce useful objects : drinking glasses, dishes, plates, vases and so on. Jewellery has been produced throughout the period of glass production and for about a thousand years glass has been used to help people see in the form of lenses and spectacles. There is, however, much more to glass than such things. It allows light to pass into houses through windows but is also used to construct buildings : modern cities are full of tall apartment blocks and offices made of glass which serves as decoration as well as providing light. Furniture can be made of glass and glass sculptures are sometimes placed on it. These things we can see but glass is also used invisibly in computers, mobile phones, the cars we drive and is even used to keep our homes warm in the form of fibre-glass insulation.
At the Chelsea Antiques Fair, 23rd to 25th March, Brian Watson will be giving a talk each day at approximately 4 o’clock on stand 21 about the history of glass which will give those who join the group the opportunity to handle objects covering approximately two thousand years of glassmaking.