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TITLE
Caithness Glass Blowing, Wick, Scotland
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_3787
PLACENAME
Wick
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Wick
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
35618
KEYWORDS
glass blowing
glass manufacture
Caithness Glass Blowing, Wick, Scotland

Caithness Glass was founded in 1961 at Wick in the far North East of Scotland, by the late Robin Sinclair, local landowner and politician. The idea was sparked off by an unemployment crisis in this area when the farming and herring fishing industries collapsed in the mid-20th century.

The Sinclair family was closely concerned with the county of Caithness and when the government started to build a nuclear reactor near Thurso in the late 1950s Robin Sinclair looked for an enterprise that would create local employment for the town of Wick. Something that would find a market with the tourists who came to this remote part of Scotland, and could be easily exported, was Art Glass. It converted raw materials which were readily available into prestigious products by means of artistry and skill. Robin decided to seek Government sponsorship to build a glass factory.

A new purpose-built factory was eventually funded by the Scottish Industrial Estates agency, and leased to Caithness Glass in 1961. Initially the Company made bowls, vases and drinking glasses in the popular Scandinavian style of the time. They soon became well known for their distinctive coloured glass designs, which echoed the haunting colours of the Scottish landscape.

Caithness Glass went into receivership in 2004 and the company was bought first by Edinburgh Crystal and later by Dartington Glass. The Visitor Centre and glassworks in Perth were closed and a smaller operation was set up in the Crieff Visitor Centre in 2008.

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Caithness Glass Blowing, Wick, Scotland

CAITHNESS: Wick

glass blowing; glass manufacture

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

Caithness Glass was founded in 1961 at Wick in the far North East of Scotland, by the late Robin Sinclair, local landowner and politician. The idea was sparked off by an unemployment crisis in this area when the farming and herring fishing industries collapsed in the mid-20th century.<br /> <br /> The Sinclair family was closely concerned with the county of Caithness and when the government started to build a nuclear reactor near Thurso in the late 1950s Robin Sinclair looked for an enterprise that would create local employment for the town of Wick. Something that would find a market with the tourists who came to this remote part of Scotland, and could be easily exported, was Art Glass. It converted raw materials which were readily available into prestigious products by means of artistry and skill. Robin decided to seek Government sponsorship to build a glass factory.<br /> <br /> A new purpose-built factory was eventually funded by the Scottish Industrial Estates agency, and leased to Caithness Glass in 1961. Initially the Company made bowls, vases and drinking glasses in the popular Scandinavian style of the time. They soon became well known for their distinctive coloured glass designs, which echoed the haunting colours of the Scottish landscape.<br /> <br /> Caithness Glass went into receivership in 2004 and the company was bought first by Edinburgh Crystal and later by Dartington Glass. The Visitor Centre and glassworks in Perth were closed and a smaller operation was set up in the Crieff Visitor Centre in 2008.