Drinkx Culture showcases the very best in designer glassware and barware, with a focus on high-end stemware with a mid-century aesthetic. Our ever-growing collection of swanky swigs includes pieces by Asta Glass, Georges Briard, Culver Glass, Fire & Light, Fred Press, and Dorothy Thorpe.
“Kathryn Gooding, designer of Asta Glass - Distinctive Barware, had always enjoyed a good martini but couldn’t find enough interesting glasses from which to drink them.
Sensing a need, she left behind a career in finance, founded Asta Glass, and became its designer, manufacturer, chief bottle and glass washer (really!), salesperson and accountant. With no formal art training, she relied instead on her sources of inspiration. She taught herself the method of sandblasting designs onto glasses and wasn’t satisfied until each glass met her meticulous standards.
Now using both sides of her brain, Kathryn happily works on new designs and shapes inspired by the Bay Area’s beauty and the ideas that pour into it from around the world. Together with a small group of local craftspeople and artisans, she still manufactures, sells and keeps the books at her studio near San Francisco, California, and makes a fine martini for herself, her husband, and whoever drops by at the end of the day.
Asta Glass maintains its original vow of providing an interesting and fun product, at a very good price, and we try our best to bring you great service with the utmost civility. We like to think that somewhere, we've made someone's day, every day.”
From www.culver-glass.com & elsewhere
“Since our founding in 1930, Culver Glass has pursued one overriding principle: To be the best, and then get better. To perfect the craft of glass, then advance it to new levels. Attaining this goal requires a commitment from every member of the company—from the president to the craftsmen to the office staff—crafting every job with the same care and devotion we would use in our own homes. We just wouldn't have it any other way.”
Culver Glassware was founded in Brooklyn, New York in the 1930s. In 1980, the company was moved to downtown Rahway, New Jersey. Known for lavish designs and use of 22 karat gold over those designs, the company gained notoriety and its products became highly collectible. The founder's son, Mark Rothenberg, ran the company until 1996, when it was sold.
Culver glassware was very popular in the late 1950s and remains so to this day, especially in light of its use as props in modern TV shows that romanticize post-war American culture. Not all pieces are permanently marked with the Culver name; but, it seems that the older, original ones from the 1950s & ‘60s are more likely to be signed.
From www.glassencyclopedia.com & elsewhere
Dorothy Thorpe was a renowned artist who ran a decorating studio in the Los Angeles area, designing fine glassware and ceramics. From the 1930's through the 1950's, she obtained glass from various companies, decorated and sold the finished pieces. Most of her glassworks are signed.
In the mid-1950's, as a guest designer in New Zealand, Dorothy Thorpe created tableware for Crown Lynn Potteries. The Auckland Museum maintains a collection of her work.
Many of her pieces have sand-blasted or deeply etched designs, but she also worked with silver overlay. She used a trademark of a large printed T in the center with a smaller stylized D on one side, and the same image in reverse on the other side. This trademark is often etched onto the side of the piece, near the design.
Her designs are found on Heisey glass pieces, Cambridge glass, and many others from that period. She died in 1989.
“Fire & Light hand-poured colored glass tableware has a way of drawing the eye, enchanting the viewer with the unique play of light that filters through its rich spectrum of colors and textures. This enchantment is not simply a quality of the glass or its pigmentation, but of the very way in which it is made, the very hands that pour and press it, the beliefs and spirit that drive the people who craft the product, and the community from which it originates.
Fire & Light Originals has a noteworthy heritage, formed in 1995 as a partnership between the Arcata Community Recycling Center in Humboldt County, California, and a group of local investors who wanted to develop an innovative plan for using crushed, recycled glass. Our founders decided to turn their recycled glass into a raw material, manufacturing distinctive products for sale in and out of the immediate area. After careful consideration, the group decided upon a distinctive line of colored glass dinnerware which would be created by melting crushed glass in furnaces, adding pigment, and pressing the molten glass into bowls, plates, and glasses. In December, 1995, the first glass products were poured and pressed from the Fire & Light furnaces, and the world became a bit more luminous, slightly more colorful.
Fire & Light colored glassware is a product whose history is a kind of future, where age-old craftsmanship meets innovative manufacturing, utilizing post consumer glass as a resource. But it's the beauty that will get you, the twinkle of light on the surface of a watery blue bowl, and the knowledge that we get as much happiness out of making the colored glass bowl as you will from having it on your table.
From www.xlibris.com & elsewhere
“Fred Press is perhaps one of the most versatile and prolific of America’s present day artistdesigners. Hundreds of his original sculptures have been numerously reproduced and collected by many people throughout the United States. His paintings, which have been exhibited in one man shows as well as group shows and competitions, have brought critical acceptance as well as prizes and have been acquired by such notable institutions as the Worcester Art Museum. His product designs, which have been distinguished by New York’s Museum of Modern Art with a good design award, have been executed in a multitude of media and distributed widely into virtually every corner of America.”
Born in Boston, Mass., he founded the sculpture collection Contemporary Arts, Inc. and taught at Vesper George School of Art. His works have appeared in many major venues, including the National Academy of Design, NYC, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Boston.
From www.wikipedia.com & elsewhere
George Briard -- born 1917, as Jascha Brojdo -- was a noted, award winning designer in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He is best known for his signature dishware and glassware - everything from cups and plates to gold plated serving dishes. His signature collection was stocked at noted department stores, such as Neiman Marcus and Bonwit Teller.
Born in Eastern Europe, he moved to the United States in 1937 and studied art in Chicago. He served in the U.S. Army throughout World War II as a Russian interpreter. He left the Army in 1947, and started working in New York with Max Wille, whom he had met in art school. Brojdo began painting metal serving trays for sale, and began using the name “Georges Briard” to mark commercial pieces. Brodjo was also a painter and would use his real name on his artwork, but Georges Briard became his signature as a designer of commercial works, which were wildly popular and numerous.