Some of my stained glass mosaics are set in vintage, silver plated trays. The heyday for silver plated trays in the United States was from 1850 to 1940. Now, many of these trays, once popular, sit discarded in thrift shops. They served a purpose in an earlier time. Although the trays show age and usage, they have character and a history.
A distinguishing part of that history is the manufacturer’s mark, etched on the back of the tray. Today, many of the manufacturers who designed and made the silver plated trays are no longer in business. But their mark still exists
The mark on the back of this silver plated, serving tray identifies the maker of the tray as the Glastonbury Silver Company, Chicago. The company, no longer in business, was active from 1920 to 1950. Mark is shown below.
The mark on the back of this tray identifies the Gorham Manufacturing, a well-known name in silver and silver plating, was responsible for making the tray. The Gorham company was founded in 1831 in Rhode Island and later in the 1960’s was sold to Textron.
Stained glass is a painter’s medium, colored and translucent. The glass plays with the light from dawn to dusk. It is always changing, responding to different conditions, from bright sunshine to rain clouds. It is a natural painter’s medium, a dance of light, glass and color.
Many times, in creating the mosaics, I incorporate older, used objects into my art. Although the trays, plates and bowels have a certain beauty and character, the rim is the most important feature. The rim frames the mosaic and adds a sculptural element. It is an essential part of the art.
Below are a few images of my mosaic art where the rim is a key element.