Peter Holmes at age 15 became an apprentice at Caithness to Paul Ysart. Paul selected young Peter as young Willie Manson to assist him primarily on weekends. Paul Ysart was known to keep his glass making techniques quite secret, so much so that he confined his work to times when other workers were not present.
During this period Paul was creating snake and salamander designs. When Peter tried making one of his own (and was successful) Paul confiscated the snake weight and it was never seen again. Nevertheless, Peter continued to work at making paperweights largely working with abstract designs and his friendship with Paul grew. Peter’s work attracted the attention of Colin Terris, chief designer at Caithness. Colin and Peter began to work together on abstract designs they felt would be of interest to the market and of course, Caithness abstract were good sellers.
Times changed and Paul left Caithness to form his own venture, Paul Ysart Glass Ltd. Eventually, Peter left as well taking Ron Hutchinson, sales manager at Caithness with him. Together, they founded Selkirk Glass in 1977 along the river in picturesque Selkirk, Scotland. Sales blossomed and David McGregor and Peter’s brother Philip joined Selkirk Glass. Peter’s relationship with Paul continued on favorable terms and when Paul retired at age 79, Peter and Ron purchased workshop equipment and remaining weights to sell for Paul. Paul also sold some in local shops for as little as $4.00 U.S.
Selkirk productions are created from glass that comes from an original Paul Ysart recipe handed down to Peter from Paul. Peter moved from Selkirk Glass in 2002 to form Scottish Borders Art Glass with his son Andrew. In 2006, Selkirk Glass closed its doors while operating as a subsidiary of Edinburgh Crystal Glass Company Ltd .