Rose Paperweights and Crimps

Rev. 2004-07-15, 2006-03-24
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"230. Wesley Lutz purple crimped rose weight containing a fifteen-petaled blossom cupped inside four green leaves. Signature cane. "Even though Wesley Lutz started making paperweights in the late 1960s (1975 by some accounts) just after Jack Choko started, he does so now as a hobby and not as a business. He made crimp roses and a few crimp tulips through the 1970s and early 1980s, but only makes a few currently to give as gifts."óThe Dictionary of Paperweight Signature Canes. From the Winters collection. Diameter 2 1/4". $250-400"  From Selman Spring 2000 auction

Purple rose paperweight made with crimp

"229. Francis Whittemore footed blue crimp rose pedestal weight containing a fifteen-petaled blossom cupped inside four green leaves, on a fancy footed crystal pedestal. Signature cane. "I started blowing glass in 1938. I saw someone demonstrating the technique, got interested, and fooled around with it. My father finally purchased some decent equipment. Then I really went to work blowing glass. I got a lot of help, but essentially taught myself. Iíve done just about everything in the glass and scientific fields. I have an excellent technical background in botany and biology as well."óAll About Paperweights. From the Winters collection. (See All About Paperweights, p.105) Height 2 3/8". $300-400"  From Selman Spring 2000 auction

Blue rose paperweight made with crimp
One of two crimps shown in Glass Gaffers of New Jersey - the other below. One petal is missing.  Approximate size reported below.

A crimp is used by making a cylinder of clear glass which is pushed down on a disk or layer of color, like the blue in the weight above.  When this is thoroughly heated and bonded to the clear, the hot glass is pressed down on white powder or glass disk.  The glass cylinder is reheated and formed, perhaps (not tested) the sides chilled a bit.  The crimp is pushed into the end of the hot cylinder, pushing the white glass through the colored glass while also pushing the blue glass into the clear.  The crimp is then extracted.
  The cylinder must then be heated and necked to remove the excess (and distorted) color disks and to shape the curved bowl shape of the bottom of the rose.  Most of these weights have green leaves on the outside of the blossom, which are added at this point.  Then clear glass is added over the cylinder/bowl shape, the weight is transferred to a punty placed at the bottom center of the blossom and glass added above the rose.  Note that this means that the inside of the petals are probably hollow.

Rose Crimp from Glass Gaffers book
Ruhlander Crimp from Glass Gaffers book


----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Firth
To: Museum of American Glass
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 11:55 PM
Subject: What size?

It's me again, ideally not writing every week.
I took out Glass Gaffers of New Jersey by Adeline Pepper to scan a page for an e-mail contact and to look through it again now that I have been around the state a bit.
In my visit comments, I note that a number of the pieces in the book are in the museum - or ones just like them.
Then I was looking at the crimps, figures 192 & 199 (below) and suddenly realized that you might be able to answer a question that has bugged me: How big are these things? What diameter?
I ask because I have the nagging feeling that I am working in the wrong scale in the ones I have built and tried to use. The pictures are clearly extreme close ups and I have wondered if they are much smaller than I thought, with the rose being enlarged by the shape of the paperweight glass.
If you do not have either of these specific crimps, do you have any that were actively used and can you give me a diameter and if possible an image of the crimp and (oh wonder) of a weight made with the crimp?

Mike Firth
Hot Glass Bits Furnace Working Website
hotbit46.htm Latest notes

From: "Museum of American Glass" <>
Subject: Re: What size?    Date: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 10:28 AM

I have to assume from you previous email that you are an glass artist. Where do you work? How did you get interested in Millville Roses? The width of a typical crimp petals ranges from 1 1/2 inches to 2 1/2 inches. The height of the petals on average is about 1 inch. We have several crimps in the collection. Only one is on exhibit which is large and belonged to John Ruhlander. It is on exhibit in the Paperweight Room. I have been working on Millville Roses and identifying the makers for several years now and my goal is to write a publication on the subject. Can you send me a picture of one of your roses? I would like to see your work.

 I work in my back yard in Dallas Texas. I keep trying to define myself and glass hacker seems appropriate at this time. I used to say low experience intermediate. I started glassblowing with classes in 1990 and did a paper newsletter, Hot Glass Bits, for several years, which morphed into my web site with 250+ pages and images mfgl.htm  is one starting point, the link below another.
I built one crimp, smaller than that, which I tried out with a guy with a lot more experience, but no specific crimp experience. The basic theory (layer of glass, push it in) was there and we made sort of a rosey looking blob, but the edges of the brass crimp were melting and the results were just blobby. After some thought and perhaps some reading, I realized that the next step in working the glass should have been to neck the base of the rose, removing the extra forming color and giving the rose its bowl shape. Since that time - a couple of years ago - I have carried around two different sets of bits and pieces - iron and brass - but have not assembled and used them.
Mike Firth
Hot Glass Bits Furnace Working Website
hotbit46.htm Latest notes