Caithness History

The story behind the success...

Robin Sinclair founded Caithness Glass in Wick, North East Scotland in 1961, the company first started designing and creating many forms of Art Glass and in 1962 started creating paperweights with the arrival of Paul Ysart, who primarily made millefiori paperweights. Colin Terris then joined in 1968 to establish an engraving studio, trained by Paul, Colin soon began to experiment with many ideas, techniques and designs that were far beyond the conventional style of paperweight design known to that day.

In 1969 Colin designed the first modern-style Caithness Glass paperweights, the Planets set, which was an instant success. At the time the first weights were released, the paperweight team consisted of two people working in a corner of the Wick Factory. In 1969, Caithness established a second factory in Oban and in 1979 opened the Perth Factory.

In 1992, new glassworks and visitor centres were opened in both Wick and Oban. By 1973, forty four people were involved in the paperweight production process. Caithness centralised paperweight production in Perth in September 1995. Over time, Caithness expanded it's wealth of designers to include Alastair MacIntosh and Helen MacDonald and the present full team can be seen here »

This has translated into a diverse range of paperweight designs, from double magnum to miniature weights and from the modern to traditional ones total more than 2,500 as Caithness continue to produce new designs. The Caithness paperweight output has developed a following among collectors the world over and has brought the company from it's small beginnings to its current status as the world's leading producer of fine-quality glass paperweights. 

Colin founded the Caithness Collectors Society in 1976 to allow the growing number of enthusiasts around the world to share in the secrets of the art of glassmaking and marvel at the delights of specially designed paperweights - with some limited editions created exclusively for members of the Society. The Society is still thriving today and our members are enjoying the many benefits and direct contact as Colin set it out to do.

Click here to find out more about the Collectors Society click here »

See the factory and making of paperweights  »
Watch how the Caithness team make paperweights and learn about Caithness Glass.


Colin Terris has produced a catalogue now in it's 2nd Edition that you may also be interested in "Caithness Paperweights - A Charlton Standard Catalogue

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