three hundred years of collectable glass in one day

The Cambridge Glass Fair

An interview with
Stephen Hazell-Smith

Stephen Hazell-Smith has been exhibiting at the Cambridge Glass Fair from the very beginning. He specialises in Scandinavian glass, particularly Orrefors and Kosta. He kindly agreed to be interviewed for the website.

If you would like to speak to Stephen at the fair click here for further information.

 

Stephen Hazell-Smith
Stephen Hazell-Smith

When and how did you become interested in Glass ?

My mother was Swedish and we were lucky enough to have a number of beautiful Orrefors pieces around the house.

What sort of glass do you collect personally, if any?

Orrefors and Kosta.

Do you have collections of anything other than glass?

Not really, unless you call a wonderful original cartoon by Gerald Scarfe of the ghastly Tony Blair a collection!

Are there any particular styles, periods or designers that inspire you more than others?

I think Scandinavian glass from 1920 to approx. 1975 was in a league of its own. Who else produced such high quality blown glass, some with the most wonderful 3D–like engravings? Their glass is timeless and utterly tactile. I’m always amused by the number of people that come up to me at fairs and ask if my pieces are new! I think it is interesting that when customers adjust to what they are looking at, take the plunge and buy a piece from £50 - £300, they never come back disappointed with their purchase. Instead they are usually hooked on its beauty!

Which are the best and worst aspects of being an exhibitor/dealer?

For me the best is getting people to appreciate what they are looking at. The worst is those who come up to the stand and say that they can’t possibly afford £100 when I know perfectly well that they’ll cheerfully blow that on a night out.

What is the most special / interesting piece that you own or have exhibited?

Orrefors and to some extent Kosta were at the heart of the Art Deco movement and I have many excellent examples from that period for sale. They were also at the forefront of the 1950’s studio movement, which is currently very fashionable with interior designers and again, I have many good pieces from that period.

What was the best piece of advice you were given when you started collecting/dealing in glass?

If you want make a living out of dealing, follow the latest fashion (e.g. two years ago it would have been Whitefriars). Mercifully, I don’t depend on this for feeding the family!

What advice have you got for someone just beginning to collect glass?

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to know the price of everything. In this area it is better to let your heart rule your head and then you will always be pleased with what becomes yours.

 

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