Saturday, 2 November 2013

New dogs, old tricks


In contrast to the beautiful, grumpy cat pumpkin of the previous post, here is my effort hanging up outside the same pub.

You can imagine how shamed I was when I saw what the family had come up with inside, but - to be fair - I didn't have much time to make it, being contractually obliged to organise hot punch for a shop over the road. This is why I used a tank-cutter and electric drill (and I call myself a sculptor...), going for the long-distant approach by illuminating the inside with a couple of Glow-Sticks. As it got dark, I only then realised how pathetically dim these sticks were, compared to the same ones I had bought last year, which shone out brilliantly for a full 24 hours. Most people walked beneath it, unaware of it's presence.

On the night, the punch was dispensed (by a beautiful serving-wench) using what is known as a 'Toddy-Lifter', and this, at least, was a great success.

The Bell in Walcot Street is right next to the Bath Aqua Glass company and workshop, and I managed to get them to blow a toddy-lifter at short notice, which was used to great effect - see photo below.

These things were in use for a short period at the beginning of the 19th century - quite often at coaching-inns just like The Bell (currently undergoing external renovations, hence scaffold) - but fell out of fashion quite quickly.

They are a simple 'pipette' device with holes top and bottom, and you dip the bulb into the toddy, put your thumb over the top hole, lift out the toddy, position it over the glass then release it - all without the use of a ladle. I had provided the beautiful serving-wench with a ladle, just in case the lifter was too slow, but in the event she dispensed over 80 cup-fulls without having to use it.

I think that this may be the first toddy-lifter to have been made and used for almost 200 years, and because many people asked where they could buy one for a Christmas present, the glass blowers will now add it to their range in time for that market.

I may have made a bit of history this Halloween...


15 comments:

  1. I'll take one please. Not only is it beautiful it will be so much fun asking folks if I can lift their toddy. So much fun

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could order one from Bath Aqua Glass...

      Lifting someone's toddy does sound a bit dodgy.

      Delete
  2. "Most people walked beneath it, unaware . . . "

    Doubtless those pub crawlers took your gourd for the moon.

    I wouldn't take it personally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It didn't help that there was a bright street-lamp behind it.

      Delete
  3. It's a perfectly beautiful piece of glass, and clearly useful as well. Get your name on its base quickly as the designer before Bath Aqua Glass make their fortunes with it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Tom,
    it is beautiful (and I agree with Mise above: mark it!) For Halloween they can spoil the beautiful form by giving it the shape and colour of an elongated pumpkin.
    For the beautiful one above we have the store 'Manufactum' in some big cities with their slogan "They still exist, the good things" - I can "see" it there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A work of art that Tom (the toddy lifter not the pumpkin) and the most beautiful colour.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As you've shown us yours, I ought to show you mine !! ..... were you going for the minimalist look with your pumpkin Tom ? XXXX

    ReplyDelete
  7. I thought it was a breast pump

    ReplyDelete
  8. I checked their web site, and they don't list the toddy lifters. At least not at this time.

    ReplyDelete