Having left school at the age of fifteen I went to work for Webb Corbett, the company was situated in Stourbridge and at that time had been recently acquired by Royal Doulton. As a fifteen year old apprentice at Webb Corbett, I was trained in copper wheel engraving by Kevin Andrews who in turn was trained by Cyril Kimberly. The knowledge that Cyril held had been passed on to him by engravers who rubbed shoulders with the likes of the 'gods' of engraving William Fritsche and Frederick Kny.
As any apprentice will know your duties are many and varied. I would be expected to keep the workshop tidy, run errands, fetch the sandwiches from the canteen and make drinks. After a few years I also gave visitors guided tours of the factory. In the early years of my apprenticeship I also studied at The International Glass Centre situated in Brierley Hill. I attended for one day per week studying glass technology for two years and then art and design for a further two years.
Training to become a glass engraver took many years, it began with completing simple parts of designs. Each pattern would be repeated on hundreds of pieces of glass of many different styles, which gave plenty of practice. Slowly I was trusted to complete more complex tasks which included my first commission. I was apprehensive to say the least but I knew I always had Kevin to ask for advice. Part of my training at Webb Corbett was intaglio work which involves complex designs using small stone wheels. My intaglio tutor was a man named Len Postins, Mr. Postins was a wonderful teacher who had been in the trade all of his life. He was late sixties when training me and still working full time. His skill set was so great Webb Corbett did not want him to retire. Luckily for them Mr. Postins loved his work and took great joy in training others.
After 13 years of working for Royal Doulton I felt that I had gained sufficient experience to pursue a career as a freelance glass engraver. The best option for myself at the time was to set up a workshop in the garage at home. I had my first child on the way so having work right on my doorstep meant it would fit in around my new busy life. There have been some additions to the workshop over the years but my commute remains as short as ever, through the back door. My workshop is shown in greater detail on the 'my workshop' page above.
To this day I can be found in my workshop working on commissions and pieces of my own design. Each piece that I produce is unique as it is hand crafted on my own lathes. Please don't hesitate to contact me for any enquiries on either future commissions or pieces for sale on my 'Work of my design' page.