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UK: crystal maker“s new furnace keeps flame of tradition alive

Crystal With a Twist, a start-up glass manufacturer in Stourbridge, central England, formed around staff made redundant from Stuart Crystal has added a new, custom-made furnace.
The firm, based on t…

Crystal With a Twist, a start-up glass manufacturer in Stourbridge, central England, formed around staff made redundant from Stuart Crystal has added a new, custom-made furnace. The firm, based on the former Royal Doulton Works in Stourbridge, started up with five glass makers and now employs seven. Glass making in the Stourbridge area dates back to the 17th Century when it was begun by craftsmen from the Lorraine region of France. However, in the last ten years the four large crystal works in the area have closed down leaving small, traditional cut-crystal makers and innovative studio glassmakers to carry on the craft. All of the Crystal With a Twist staff were recruited from among the workforce made redundant when locally-based Stuart Crystal was closed down by parent Waterford Wedgwood. Crystal With a Twist has won orders with Waterford Crystal to create an Airtwist range, as well as establishing crystal glass twist ranges for the UK and overseas market. The business received help with business planning, marketing and branding from the Black Country Chamber and Business Link. The Chamber helped the firm access funding to buy the new furnace, and introduce a new glass product range called Celebration. David Thatcher, managing director of Crystal With a Twist, said: “When we started up, we had just one second-hand furnace, then we added another one. “This latest help from Black Country Chamber and Business Link has enabled us to purchase a furnace which has been made locally to our own specifications and to move ahead at full steam and increase the work we are already undertaking, while at the same time introducing a new brand“.

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