In late 2013 we were approached by a new customer, Mr Scott, after a large glass plaque, measuring 60 cms x 28 cms, which he owned, accidentally fell from its display area and smashed. It was extremely precious to the Scott family, holding great historical and sentimental importance. It was etched by Mr Scott’s brother, Sigurd, and given by him to their mother, Rose, as a gift for her 90th birthday.
Etched onto it were eight Northern Lighthouse Board lighthouses, each one representing where the Scott family had lived and moved to throughout their lives whilst their father, John, worked as a Lighthouse Keeper. Beneath the etched lighthouses were engraved the full names of John and Rose, their five children and the latters’ dates of birth, making it a truly personal piece.
After the tragic, accidental damage of the original, Mr Scott, was left with the desire and need to have it replicated. When he contacted us it was the first time we had ever received such an inquiry. Whilst we had received inquiries of replicas in the past, the magnitude of this piece weighed upon us heavily.
Of course, we were apprehensive at first as the task at hand was huge. Could we copy it exactly? Would the customer be happy with the end result? How long would it take? These were questions we pondered before making the final decision to be a part of such a fantastic project.
The piece of glass meant a lot to the family. It was an immense undertaking for Pritesh, our product designer, who was given the task of accurately replicating the Scott family plaque. To begin, he gained access to the photographic images that had been used to create the original as well as using the remnants of the plaque which had been taped together by Mr Scott. These were then etched onto a new, large piece of glass.
This took time and effort, carefully and delicately drawing each lighthouse and its surrounding buildings using digital technology to the correct size and digitally laying it out onto the glass to ensure each lighthouse fitted and was placed in the correct position.
The entire process lasted around three months as there was much planning and preparation to do, as well as communication to be made, but it was entirely worth it for everyone involved. Mr Scott believed we had done a magnificent job and was beyond pleased with the outcome. Pritesh learnt a lot while working on such a piece and was glad to have had the opportunity, as did the whole team. Mr Scott kindly rewarded Pritesh for his hard work by using a piece of the original glass that was undamaged (in that it still held an entire lighthouse, Stroma, within the piece), cutting it down, sanding it and placing it into a wooden plinth with the words “Pritesh – Master Craftsman’ engraved thereon and presenting it to him.
It was one of the greatest things we have ever done as a company – to restore a piece that meant so much to a family and to get it spot on, when we hadn’t had experience in replicating something of that size, entirely from scratch before. It was a great achievement.
The glass plaque was mounted on a wooden base and has been retained by the Scott family as an heirloom. Another two original images of Shetland lighthouses - Muckle Flugga and Sumburgh Head - were together and also undamaged. That sheet of glass was also mounted and was donated by Mr Scott to the Heritage/Visitor centre in Shetland at Sumburgh Head as part of an exhibition which was officially opened this year by The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne.