Site concepts - Who is Frank A

Author: Frank Andrews

My first involvement with glass was in the 1980's while I ran a small antiques shop in North London that specialised in lighting.

I bought two pieces of coloured glass that I instantly fell in love with and kept them on display in the shop to find more information. A regular dealer visitor told me that they were Monart and that he had more if I was interested. He specialised in metalware and had just been putting the odd pieces of glass he accumulated into boxes. A few days later he arrived with a huge boxful of glass from circa 1900-modern, it included some labelled Monart and signed Vasart as well as Lalique, Webb and much more.

I started to piece together the history of Monart and went on buying expeditions to Scotland where I rarely paid more than ten pounds for a piece, often as little as one pound! As the story unfolded I began a collectors club and eventually this lead me to publish the book Ysart Glass. At some point I discovered my first two pieces of Monart turned out to be James Powell Cloudy glass! But by then it was too late.

The 90's recession was bad timing and my publishing and book distribution business ended up with huge debts... After working to pay these off, it all got too much and I withdrew and left the UK.

My internet involvement began in the late 1990's as a moderator on Compuserve glass board where from the others in the team my knowledge expanded to other types of glass. I started getting emails from Ysart collectors and to address their enquiries put the club newsletters on-line as what was to become Ysartglass.com. The site just kept growing as more collectors turned up with more questions and an eagerness to share their own glass. The work on Ysartglass is nearly complete and following a conference I organised in Perth during 2005 - I set up a new site Scotland's Glass.com to showcase all Scottish Glass talent past and present. This is still being established and the emphasis will be to make this a community site for collectors, glassmakers and historians.
Also in the 1980's I commenced an IT career which with high rewards financed much of the glass and publishing interests - I eventually specialised in large scale document archiving and management for global corporations.
The Glass-Study was born out of a business plan for a new approach to ePublishing, the venture needed a hard-headed businessman to help manage the concept and after a few false starts, I realised that it was not going to happen easily. I felt the ideas will be invaluable to the world of collecting and should not be put aside but that I was not willing to try and manage such a business on my own. I have completely reviewed the ideas and instead of starting with the publishing model decided to try and make it self financing by building the historical reference library. Aware of initiatives by Google and others to digitise libraries - this one had to reflect it specialist nature and allow the annotation of the early texts to highlight gross errors.
This first stage will continue until all of my trade journals and directories are digitised, along with a number of early books and detailed indexes of all copyright books. At that point I will start to present the original catalogues in my possession - these will be organised in a similar way to the catalogues on Scotland's Glass so that searches will be by shape and other aspects, as well as maker and catalogue date etc.
While any member can directly add content and hold discussions in the forums, this will eventually be complimented by tools allowing 'Private' collaborative working on-line.

It is already possible for others to contribute and edit material directly. The permission to do so will be granted on a one-to-one discussion basis.

My ambition is to make the Glass-study free to all and that can only be achieved by creating a charitable funding organisation. That will allow it to expand beyond a one man library. I am open to discussion and advice on how that can be achieved. I have no fixed ideas and invite anyone to make and discuss proposals in the Suggestion Forum.