Categories

America

Modern American paperweights are at the cutting-edge in glass quality, design and innovative ideas. In the 1940s, a handful of “pioneers” re-discovered the “lost art” of millefiori, lampworking and paperweight-making and began to develop new methods of working with hot glass. They encouraged a whole generation of younger artists who today continue to develop new techniques and create their own individual styles.

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Subcategories

  • Ayotte, Rick

    Rick Ayotte, who originally worked as a scientific glassblower, started making paperweights in the late 1970s. Today he is regarded as one of America’s leading lampwork artists. His naturalistic depictions of birds, butterflies and his colourful bouquets of fruit and flowers - encased in crystal - have attracted the attention of collectors the world over and are eagerly sought after and highly prized at auction. Rick Ayotte’s weights are signed and dated on the side and in the case of limited editions also indicate the size of the edition.

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  • Banford, Family
    Ray Banford (1918-2003) was from New Jersey - an area with a long tradition in glassmaking. Ray, along with his son Bob Banford, began to experiment with paperweights in the early 1970s. Within a few years they were making top-quality weights in a variety of designs. Both artists are perhaps best known for their beautiful lampwork flower weights often set in intricately-cut baskets. In the early years Ray Banford used a number of different signature canes. From 1980 onwards he used a black B in a white circle. Bob Banford’s signature cane has a red B on a white field within a blue ring.

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  • Brown, Jim

    Jim Brown was certainly a “late starter” in the paperweight world. Eventually his interest in collecting paperweights was no longer enough - he wanted to create them himself ! Beginning in 2000 he first acquired the technical knowledge to work with glass and spent hours learning how to make the millefiori canes he had so admired in antique weights. His great variety of canes and range of weights - concentrics, closepacks and panelled - have a look of classic Bacchus while his carpet grounds are reminiscent of antique St. Louis. Early weights are scratch-signed on the base; later he incorporated a “B” signature cane in the design.

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  • Cape Cod

    William Burchfield (1942-2012) originally set up Cape Cod Glass Works in 1976 in Massachusetts. He had first become interested in glass while working at the Pairpoint Glass Company in the early 1970s. The first signature cane in his paperweights bore the initials WBC. In 1990, the CCGW signature cane with a two digit date was introduced and in 1992 rose canes containing the initials wBc were added. The company made a wide range of quality, collectable weights - crowns, marbries, millefiori, scrambleds and crimp roses. The company was closed down in 2000 and William Burchfield moved to Tennessee.

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  • Hansen, Eric

    Eric Hansen was born into a family of glass makers in northern California, so it was perhaps only natural that he developed an interest in glass. Two of his uncles, Ronald and Robert Hansen, had both made paperweights. He first began to encapsulate his floral designs in 1994. His weights, which he makes in his studio in Texas, are usually script-signed and dated in the basal concavity. Eric Hansen is also an experienced pilot and works for one of the large commercial airlines.

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  • Kaziun, Charles Jr.

    Charles Kaziun (1919-1992) - or Charles Kaziun Jr. as he is sometimes referred to - was one of the pioneers involved in re-discovering the techniques of the old French glassworks. By the mid-1940s he was making a wide range of millefiori paperweights (many including silhouettes), lampwork and related items, such as scent bottles. He perfected the art of miniaturization and created the most amazing detail in the smallest of spaces. During his lifetime he used a large variety of “K” signature canes. His later work often contains, in addition to the signature cane, a small gold foil “K”, embedded on the underside of the weight or colour ground.

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  • Lundberg Studios

    From modest beginnings, Lundberg Studios - originally established by James Lundberg in 1970 - created the “California Style” - a cross between surface-decorated techniques and French-style lampwork. The studio opened the door to a new generation of glass artists - Steven Lundberg, David Salazar, Chris Buzzini, and Daniel Salzar, who started his apprenticeship there in the mid-1970s. Weights are normally signed, dated and numbered. Many of Daniel’s weights also have a D.S. monogram on the underside of the colour ground.

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  • Richardson, Cathy

    Cathy Richardson - Touchstone Glass in Minnesota - first worked as a geologist before turning to art in the mid-1980s and learning about glass at - among other places - the Corning Glass Studio. Initially she made stained glass panels before turning to paperweights. In her work she combines a love of nature with meticulous attention to detail to produce realistic images and draws her inspiration from the sea, shorelines, the desert and flower gardens. Her paperweights are signed and dated.

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  • Richardson, Colin

    Colin Richardson, who grew up in Iowa, was fascinated by glass even in his early teens when he watched his mother - glass artist Cathy Richardson - making stained-glass panels. After glass courses at the Corning Glass Studio in 1994 and 1996 he was hooked. The family moved to Minnesota, and after graduating from university in 2006, Colin became a full-time member of the Touchstone Studio. A major influence on his work was a private study course with Chris Buzzini. His glass-encased still-lifes - incorporating flowers, frogs and butterflies - are all signed and dated one-of-a-kind pieces.

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  • Rosenfeld, Ken

    Ken Rosenfeld first came into contact with paperweights when he worked at Correia Art Glass in southern California. He experimented with new ideas and by the mid- 80s he started to create his own designs. His meticulously detailed lampwork designs include flowers, floral bouquets, fruit and vegetables. Earlier weights often had an "R" signature cane on the side of the dome and were generally fully signed - or had a KR monogram - and dated. More recent weights usually have an "R" signature cane and a date cane under the motif.

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  • Sherwin, Chris

    Chris Sherwin has been working professionally with hot glass since 1993. He moved to California in 1997 and spent 7 years learning new techniques and refining his skills at Orient & Flume. In 2005 he set up his own studio Sherwin Art Glass in Vermont, which runs almost entirely on hydro-electric power. He is proud to be a “green glassworker” in a medium that traditionally uses a great deal of fossil fuels. His weights are generally scratch-signed and dated either on the base or above the basal rim.

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  • Smith, Clinton

    Clinton Smith - who was born in Connecticut - became interested in glass at the age of 19 after visiting a glass studio in upstate New York. He served a two year apprenticeship there and then worked in several other glass studios. Since 2001 he has been encasing his own lampwork paperweights. Although Clinton still works full time at a studio in Massachusetts, he produces beautiful pieces in his own studio, which contain a tiny CS signature cane and are scratch-signed and dated around the side.

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  • Trabucco Studio

    Victor Trabucco first experimented with making paperweights in 1977, fascinated by the idea of encasing delicate lampwork arrangements in solid crystal. In 1984, his twin sons David and Jon - who had grown up watching their father create his floral designs - began to produce their own paperweights. Today all three are considered to be among the most creative glass artists in the world. Earlier weights generally contained a “VT” signature cane - David and Jon used a “T” cane - but they have now discontinued this practice and today’s paperweights are dated and scratch-signed "Trabucco" above the basal rim.

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  • Ward, Mayauel

    Mayauel Ward, a native Californian, strives to capture nature in his paperweights; he creates bouquets of delicate flowers, aquariums and desert environments. Like so many other artists he started his glassmaking career at Correia Art Glass and later went to work at Abelman Glass Studio. Mayauel began making lampwork paperweights in 1987. In his early weights he used a “W” cane, but found that it tended to interfere with the design. Since 1994 he has signed and dated his paperweights either on the side or on the polished base.

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