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Featured Artist Archive
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Featured Artist Archive > 2016

FEATURED ARTIST:
ALISON RUZSA

Alison Ruzsa was featured on the PCA website in October 2011. (Click here to read our October, 2011 feature and learn more about her and her career.) It is now five years on, and this article features some of Alison's more recent work.

Women Artists of the 20th Century
Women Artists of the 20th Century
from Alison's "Interiors" Series
(click picture to enlarge)

Alison seeks inspiration from researching her subjects, getting to know them and trying to capture a little bit of their personality. Whether it is a famous artist or a friend she knows personally her goal is to make that personality shine to the viewer. Many of Alison's most famous paperweight series started in this way, like her Interiors series. This example is a tribute to the female artists who influenced the way Alison sees herself as an artists with a strong feminine point of view. It was valued recently at $8000.

Alison's specialises in painting scenes within the glass of her paperweights. She creates the paperweight in layers, starting with a small gather of glass, painting the first layer of the scene onto this glass when cool, then adding more molten glass and another painted layer once that has cooled. To create the example shown above ("Women Artists of the 20th Century"} Alison used seven layers of glass and three layers of painting. The items nearest the centre need to be smaller than those further out because of the magnifying effect of the glass. And when Alison paints on glass she uses the translucency of the back as well as the front of her image to give an all-round three dimensional effect. For example, when she paints in colour the hair on a figure can be seen from one side and the face from the opposite side.

At each stage in the process of adding glass and painting layers to one of her paperweights, Alison must anneal the layers of glass by slow cooling and reheating to relieve the stresses that build up in the glass. And the final stages involving cold cutting and sandblasting to create the shape and surface details. Shapes may be cut out from the base to create the effect of rocks within the scene. And masking and sandblasting the surface produces the magical effect of looking through the windows of a marquee or a building.

Recently Alison has been working on commissions for paperweights of people with their dogs which we feature on this page. The first is a large complex piece commissioned by Toni Chambers as a surprise for her husband Brian, featuring Toni and Brian with their poodles (below right). The close up (below left) shows Toni with Sparky.

Paperweight by Alison Ruzsa: Toni Chambers Poodle Party
Toni Chambers Poodle Party
close up: Toni with Sparky
(click picture to enlarge)
 
Paperweight by Alison Ruzsa: Toni Chambers Poodle Party
Toni Chambers Poodle Party
(click picture to enlarge)

Next is an anniversary gift from Marty Susmaras (he is the photographer at Selman's Paperweights) for his wife Dana, featuring the two of them in silhouette together with their dogs Andre and Bruce. These paperweights beautifully illustrate the way Alison uses gestures in her paintings to convey so much information.

Paperweight by Alison Ruzsa: Marty and Dana
Marty and Dana
close up
 
Paperweight by Alison Ruzsa: Marty and Dana
Marty and Dana
(click picture to enlarge)

The next one has tree branches heavy with snow and is a self-portrait of Alison and the dog she takes for walks, Phoenix. Alison has always incorporated trees into her work, but heavy snow is something that really interests her lately.

Paperweight by Alison Ruzsa: Alison and Phoenix
Alison and Phoenix
(click picture to enlarge)

Our last selection shows the other dog (Phantom) from the Pier Glass studio in Brooklyn, New York where Alison works with her friends Kevin Kutch and Mary Ellen Buxton. This paperweight features Phantom going for a walk with Mary Ellen.

Paperweight by Alison Ruzsa: Mary Ellen with Phoenix
Mary Ellen with Phoenix
(click picture to enlarge)

Alison's work can be seen in numerous galleries, museums, exhibitions and private collections in the States and overseas. Collectors can visit the Pier Glass Studio (Brooklyn, NY) or contact Alison at art7girl@gmail.com.

Alison Ruzsa at work
Alison Ruzsa at work
(click picture to enlarge)


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All Rights Reserved. All photographs on this website are credited to PCA with the suppliers permission unless otherwise identified..
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