Frederick Carder was born in the village of Wordsley near Stourbridge, Staffordshire, England, in 1863. He built a career in glass that spanned more than 80 years. Carder left school at age 14 to work in his father's pottery works. He soon enrolled in night school at the Stourbridge School of Art and the Dudley Mechanics Institute (where he studied chemistry). In 1880, Carder began working for Stevens & Williams, and in 1891, while still working there, he started the Wordsley School of Art for glassworkers. In 1903, Carder left England and moved to Corning, New York, to found the Steuben Glass Works.
This page is a guide to resources about Carder's life, career, and work. It provides links to digitized resources from the Rakow Research Library's physical collections and includes some images of Carder's work from the collection at The Corning Museum of Glass. A search of the Library's and Museum's collections will provide many more resources and images for you to explore!
In the late 1870s, Carder saw John Northwood's replica of the Portland Vase and became interested in glass. He developed a relationship with Northwood who recommended Carder for a position in 1880 with Stevens & Williams. Carder's first designs were for cut crystal, but he later created designs for colored glass and for pieces using the cameo technique.
Carder's designs began winning awards, and in 1891, he started the Wordsley School of Art for glassworkers while continuing his work as a designer at Stevens & Williams.
In 1902, Carder toured glassmaking centers in Germany and Austria. In 1903, Carder toured the United States, which led him to move in that same year to Corning, New York.
For more information about this period in Carder's career, see "Frederick Carder: The Early Years," All About Glass, The Corning Museum of Glass (May 2, 2014). A transcript of Carder's notebook detailing his 1902 trip is also available on All About Glass, The Corning Museum of Glass (February 28, 2013).
Image: CMoG 70.2.14 Mat-su-no-ke Vase
When Carder visited Corning, New York, in 1903, he met with T. G. Hawkes, who operated a successful glass-cutting company. At the encouragement of Hawkes, Carder moved from England to Corning and they founded Steuben Glass Works in 1903.
In January 1918, the Steuben Glass Works became a division of Corning Glass Works. Carder remained with the Steuben Division until 1932. In February 1932, Carder was moved from the Steuben Division and appointed art director of the Corning Glass Works. After 1932, he converted his office at the Corning Glass Works into a studio and continued to experiment.
In 1959, Carder retired from Corning Glass Works.
Image: CMoG 75.4.210 Vase
The Rakow Research Library has several digital collections of Frederick Carder materials, so you can explore these papers, notebooks, and design drawings from almost anywhere in the world!
|Frederick Carder Papers -- Digitized materials from the Frederick Carder Papers|
|Frederick Carder Notebooks -- Digitized materials from the Frederick Carder Notebook Collection|
Carder Steuben Glassware Photographs -- Photographs of Steuben Glassware designed by Frederick Carder
Bardhan, Gail. “Carder Steuben: Color Cut to Clear Tableware.” The Glass Club Bulletin, no. 221 (Spring 2012): 16-22.
Bush, Edward A. “When Frederick Carder Lost Control of Steuben.” The Glass Club Bulletin, no. 218 (Autumn 2010): 9-15.
Hill, Stan. "Wordsley School of Art." The Black Country Man 34, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 73-80.
Hylen, Beth. "Frederick Carder: Sketching his Vision." The Glass Art Society Journal (2008): 50-53.
"The Legacy of Frederick Carder: A Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Renowned Designer." The Gather (Autumn 2013/Winter 2014): 9-10.
Loos, Ted. "The Many Shades of Jade." Traditional Home 11, no. 4 (September 2005): 192-199.
Shovers, Alan N. "Frederick Carder: Glass Artisan of the 20th Century." Antique Trader (online). Feburary 25, 2008.