Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Glass is that most wonderful of materials, a clear window to the outside world that protects you from the elements, or a light that can be transformed by colour as it shines inward.
Modern technology has taken glass further, as I found out on my tour to UK prospects with Rüdiger Danders (CEO) and Claudia Thiele (International Sales) of FIWA, a German glass company specialising in double glazed units of modern glass.
Coatings can not only minimise heat loss, they can also be used now to create reactive glass that will darken at the touch of a button; you can protect against damage by toughening or laminating with the consequence that if, like many a filmstar, you try to dive through it, you are more likely to bounce than shatter the pane.
Our travels took us up north to Manchester and then back down to London over 3 days, with the odd couple of hours in-between where I introduced them to some of the more delightful stops on the way.
Quarry Mill nr Manchester was supposed to be a lunchtime stop for food but we ended up wandering around and up the magical garden that had been lovingly recreated there with the help of National Trust volunteers.
Our trip south began with a slight detour through the fantastic scenery of Derbyshire and onwards with a stop for evening tea at Sudbury Hall. After an overnight stop and a meeting in Banbury, we headed for a brief stop in Windsor before our final appointment and trip back to the airport.
Glass has been a recurring theme and it was only a couple of days later, in Lincoln Castle, that I came across a medieval reenactment; like a Brueghel painting, workers were clustered around, making a clay oven which was to be used for making stained glass the next day!
For more historic glass also see
Stained Glass by Alfred Manessier
The Park Hotel Preston
The windows of St Mawes Church