Few glass producers can capture the essential elements in glass of the sea, sand, earth and sky quite like Mdina Glass.
Founded in 1968 by Michael Harris and Eric Dobson in Malta, this dynamic duo set about creating studio glass like never before seen. It captivated a new audience of this time of free expression and innovative design.
They created free form glass that took inspiration from this beautiful island’s surroundings. Few glass blowers had achieved this before and they soon became a huge success with the visiting tourists taking back pieces of their work as souvenirs, word soon spread.
Michael Harris left Mdina in 1973 and set up Isle of Wight studio glass, which is still carried on by his sons. Mdina is still a huge success today being run by Joseph Said, Michael’s first and most talented apprentice.
My collection of Mdina has slowly grown with favourite pattens and colours such as the Maltese Blue and Yellow, which has a iridescent quality. When you look into the glass it’s like looking into a deep and calm pool of water.
The tortoiseshell pattern, which I’ve found harder to find, has a richness to the browns flecked with gold that really do replicate the polished shell.
Crystal blue creates fascinating effect, glass is formed and blown that really does look like a crystal rock that has veins of blue and yellow running though it. These colours and technics typify Mdina.
The late sixties and early seventies pieces are hugely collectable today, some are signed others are not, making it tricky to date. Anything that can be attributed to Michael Harris of this period can fetch thousands.
My collection is somewhat more humble but for me just as enjoyable, but who’s to say what I will find and discover over time, of this man’s remarkable work.