R. MICHAEL YATES|
Photo courtesy of:
The Saturday Evening Post
"AMERICAN CARVED CRYSTAL" is a web store of the:
R. M. Yates Company, Inc.
4452 Warner Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44105
Voice: (216) 441-0900
FAX: (216) 441-5608
After serving in Italy during World War II, R. Michael Yates, while attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, opened a small glass-carving studio in 1948. His first studio was in his hometown of Ford City, Pennsylvania - a town built around glassmaking. It was the home of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company factory (PPG), then the largest of its kind in the world, where his father and brothers worked. After three years of honing his artistic talents and technical skills he moved his studio to Cleveland Ohio. At the time, he was one of only a few glass carvers in the United States…He proved to be a trendsetter.
Michael Yates developed numerous techniques and inventions now widely used by virtually all other glass artists today, earning him a reputation as the preeminent sand-carver in the United States. In the early 1960’s he experimented with the essential techniques of photo-resists, die-cut vinyl masks, pantograph and ultrasonic engraving as well as acid polishing and glass mold making.
Over the years, Michael produced numerous carvings for heads of state, governors, U.S. Presidents, astronauts, entertainers and sports figures. Some of his one-of-a-kind creations are in museums and private collections. Michael Yates helped perpetuate the tradition of hand craftsmanship in an art that represents the elegance and beauty of a bygone era.
He also taught his son Robert to carve glass at a very early age. Robert M. Yates, Jr. started carving glass at the age of five and sold his first piece at age nine. His specialties include engraved portraits in crystal - a technique he developed. He was commissioned by Tiffany & Co. of New York City to carve a limited edition of crystal plates, vases and bowls with a Far East motif. After Michael’s semi-retirement in 1985, Robert took over the helm as President of the company.
Critics acclaim Michael Yates’ unparalleled expertise in innovative style and technique as the ultimate sculptural effect possible in the art of sandcarving:
“For more than 20 years it has been my privilege to work daily with some of the finest contemporary artists in the world - artists, moreover, who choose to work in that most demanding of media, fine lead crystal. Yates’ genius lies, I believe, in his singular rapport with the demanding, unforgiving medium of lead crystal. By sheer talent and inventiveness, he belongs to that elite society of glass craftsman - Galle and Lalique among them - who have lovingly mastered the difficult art of crystal carving”.
Richard L. Pope | Bachelor of Science | Rutgers University | Specialist in Glass Technology | President of Vesta Glass Company | Corning, New York