The following article, from Volume 21 No.1, February 2002, gives a brief synopsis of the origin of Glass on Metal Magazine.
by Woodrow W. Carpenter
Glass on Metal
Glass on Metal's Volume 1, No. 1, January 1982, was mailed mid December, 1981. It had germinated for more than 30 years. In 1947, I became interested in enamel as an art medium when I met some well known artists who worked with enamel. By 1952, I was manufacturing and selling enamel colors. Some time during this time period, I wondered if art enameling would grow as industrial enameling had, if artists were given more opportunity to learn about the material and have an exchange of good reliable information. The thought kept coming to mind but there was never enough time, until - about mid summer, 1981, we had more visiting enamelers than usual. Most were relatively new to the art, but very enthusiastic and eager to learn. The problem: they were from small towns with no enamel books in their libraries and no one else in their areas to talk enamel. One day, as one of the visitors left, I mentioned my long-time interest in publishing a newsletter to Bill Helwig, only to find he had long been working on a book. In less than thirty minutes, decisions were made. We would start publishing the first of the following year; Bill would be the editor, and it would be called Glass on Metal, the two basic materials of enameling.
The issue was prepared and mailed to everyone on Thompson's customer list. A copy was inserted into each order shipped. Extra copies were sent to our distributors, foreign as well as domestic. The first subscription to come in was from Vivian Kline, of Cincinnati, Ohio, a long time friend. She had not only been a faithful subscriber throughout the past twenty years, she has assisted us in preparing issues for mailing, by helping to put them in envelopes and applying the labels.The first issue contained twelve black and white pages. By Volume 6, No. 6, it had grown to twenty four pages, eight being in color on a regular basis. After a little more than twelve years, starting with Volume 13, No. 3, we started claiming it a magazine rather than a newsletter.
During the first fourteen years, Glass on Metal was published six times a year. From Volume 15 to the year 2002, it was published five times in alternate years, and four times in the years in between. It is now published five times a year.
Jean Tudor has compiled two comprehensive indexes. One covers Volumes 1-14, and the second Volume 15-17. She is presently working on one for Volumes 18-20. Jean has provided a great benefit for us all in compiling these indexes.
We believe Glass on Metal has achieved a major milestone in publishing and exchanging information about enamel, unequaled elsewhere. This is most certainly due to our writers, many of whom have contributed throughout most of our 30 years. We are very grateful for them making Glass on Metal what it is today.
In August 1991, the was established to exhibit both historical and contemporary enamels. At the present, almost 800 enamels, dating from circa 200 AD to the present are on display. Sixty seven of the enamels have been donated to the Enamelist Society Museum. The Enamel Museum is open Monday thropugh Friday 9:00AM to 3:30PM. The unique part of our museum is you are allowed to touch most of the enamels.