Jobs go as renowned Island company closes

By Emily Pearce

Friday, January 11, 2013

 

Jobs go as renowned Island company closes

Timothy Harris, of Isle of Wight Studio Glass, working on a commemorative bowl to be presented to the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee visit to the Island.

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.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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by C. GREEN

11th January 2013, at 11:35:31

Very sorry for the sad loss of IWSG.Our healthy competitors for 40 years. They Made some stunning work over the years.

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by Julian Fry

11th January 2013, at 10:33:47

What a shame. I visited there, 5 years ago.

I live in Australia, but was born on The Island.

It's a world recession. The only thing keeping us going here, is mining stuff to sell to China & India.

Looking forward to a pint in the Spyglass: 2014

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by Gary Ball

11th January 2013, at 10:14:54

Really sorry to hear about this, to be honest the glass was never to my personal taste but I fully appreciate the skill and work that went in to it and can remember how surprised I was to see it for sale in a quite exclusive shop in Hong Kong about 20/25 years ago. A sad day for the IW and I hope Mr Harris manages to keep being creative.

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by DAVE SCOTT

11th January 2013, at 09:56:39

Today's County Press is full of Business Closures (even a Prison !!) - but, don't worry - Cameron is convinced we're all on the right road.

AND, pooh power is up and running........

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by Kevin Daniells

11th January 2013, at 09:55:16

REALLY saddened to hear this news. I hope that something can be saved or resurrected. Isle of Wight Glass was a great product and helped to put the Isle of Wight on the map, as it was collected Worldwide. Hopefully all the skilled staff will be able to find alternative employment quickly.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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