RISING costs and cheap imports have been blamed for the closure of a renowned Isle of Wight company and 11 job losses.
Ventnor-based glassmakers Isle of Wight Studio Glass ceased trading last Wednesday (2) and is due to be placed into creditors' voluntary liquidation following a meeting of shareholders and creditors, scheduled for January 18.
Insolvency practitioner Portland Business and Financial Solutions, based in Fareham, has been appointed to wind up the company.
Isle of Wight Studio Glass was founded in 1973 by Michael Harris, and won great acclaim for its imaginative and innovative designs.
Last year, managing director Timothy Harris presented the Queen with a commemorative bowl during her Diamond Jubilee visit to the Isle of Wight.
Accomplished glassmaker Mr Harris, who took over the business following the death of his father in 1984, said: "Over the past year we have been battling against increasing energy bills and overheads and facing a worldwide downturn in trade, but we carried on in the hope we could turn the business round.
"Sadly, in December it was evident that we simply could not continue."
Outstanding skills and the exploration of new designs and techniques had kept the studio at the forefront of decorative studio glass worldwide, but the market had been eroded by cheap imports from China and the Far East, he said.
The closure of the studio was met with dismay by glass collectors. Antiques Roadshow expert Mark Hill posted on Twitter: "Shocked and sad to hear about the closure of Isle of Wight Studio Glass."
Mr Harris said he was determined to resurrect the business, in some form, in the future.
"I will continue to be a master glassmaker, but the structure of any future business that administers this indisputably creative and respected Isle of Wight company has yet to be confirmed," he said.