Featured Artist Archive > December, 2010
click picture to enlarge
click picture to enlarge
in Washington D.C. and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, Cathy Richardson was
always interested in art and nature and learned to draw and paint at a very early
age. She loved wandering in the woods, helping in the garden, and walking on the
beach near Chesapeake Bay. Through these early experiences, she developed a lifelong
love of art and nature.
Cathy chose not to study art in college and pursued a successful career in geology
(BA, MA, and Ph.D.). She met her husband at University and they married in 1971,
both going on to become geologists. In the 1980's, Cathy returned to her first
love, art, and built a stained glass studio in Iowa which she named "Nature's
Cathy's images in stained glass drew heavily on nature-flowers, prairie grasses,
trees, birds, sea creatures, and people. She admired the flowing organic lines
in the work done by Art Nouveau artists such as Alphonse Mucha and the abstract
naturalism found in paintings of Georgia O'Keefe, the soft beauty of the Impressionist
painters, and the beautiful realism and sense of light in the 20th century photographers
— particularly Ansel Adams.
Cathy closed the Nature's Image Studio in Iowa when she and her husband moved
to Bowling Green, Ohio. In 1996, she studied lampworking with Bandhu Scott Dunham
at the Corning School of Glass. In 1997, she enrolled at Bowling Green State University
and learned to blow glass. Cathy really liked working with hot glass and wanted
to pursue this area of glassmaking rather than continuing in stained glass. In
2000, she again studied lampworking at Corning School of Glass — this time
with Shane Fero and Fred Birkhill.
Cathy had always liked paperweights — her mother had a small collection
of pretty paperweights and she had seen some of the work Paul Stankard and Josh
Simpson were doing. When they moved from Bowling Green, Ohio, to Winona, Minnesota,
in 1999 (where Cathy's husband became Vice President of Winona State University),
Cathy decided to start a new studio to be named Touchstone
Glass, making paperweights and marbles.
She made marbles over a torch for the first year in the new studio while they
built the equipment for a hot glass shop. The furnace was turned on in October
of 2001. After three or four months experimentation, Cathy began making some of
her early starfish and coral reef paperweights. She made torch-drawn paperweights
for two to three years before moving on to making lampworked paperweights in 2004.
still makes a combination of "California style paperweights" and her more detailed
lampwork paperweights. Cathy has always been fascinated by small details and the
interplay of light, color, and textures. Her current work depicts natural settings
and presents each plant or animal in an environment that seems real and yet shows
it off as an artistic composition. It is Cathy's hope that her paperweights catch
the interest of the viewer and entice them into her tiny world to look in ever
has grown into a family business, with Cathy's son, Colin
Richardson, joining as a full-time glass artist in 2006, and Cathy's husband
becoming one of the team when he retired from the University. He keeps the books
and develops the website, as well as polishing and grinding paperweights.
This paperweight by Cathy Richardson shows a Marsh Marigold, one of her Alpine
Floral series of paperweights, and measures approx. 3.5 inches in diameter.
can be contacted by email at email@example.com.