Featured Artist Archive > October, 2010
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click picture to enlarge
click picture to enlarge
glass has been a part of Colin Richardson's life for as long as he can remember.
As a very small child, he watched his mother start a stained glass studio in the
basement of their house after she left her job as a geologist. He watched as she
cut and assembled intricate panels to go into homes and public installations in
Iowa. By the time he was approaching his teenage years, she had expanded her repertoire
to include fused, slumped, and sandblast-carved glass. Colin often accompanied
her when she went to shows and sometimes to do installations. On one of these
trips, they visited a glassblower who had agreed to make vases for etching. Colin
was invited to try making a piece at the furnace to see how it was done. One terribly
ugly ashtray/candy-dish later, he was hooked. In 1994, he took a short course
during the summer holidays and started thinking seriously about glassblowing as
joined the Gaffer's Guild at Iowa State University so he could practice gathering
hot glass and creating simple forms as a recreational glassblower in the Materials
Science and Engineering Department of Iowa State University. At their simple furnace,
he spent a lot of time practicing how to handle the tools of a blower. Then in
1996, took his second glass course at the Corning Glass Studio in its opening
year, with Eddie Bernard and Pamina Traylor.
not completely decided on a career in glass, Colin studied Psychology and English
literature at Winona State University, graduating in 2006. During that time he
started working part-time at Touchstone Glass (his mother's studio). Following
graduation, he became a full-time member of the studio, and soon started producing
his own designs.
were a natural fit for Colin as he is intrigued by botanical forms, by the incredible
variety of colors, shapes, and textures in plant life. As he began creating his
own designs for vacuum-encased paperweights, he has turned for inspiration to
flowers, fruit, and the tiny creatures that hide among or flit between berries
and blooms. His still-life assemblages, captured in clear glass, are an attempt
to express the intricate details of plant structure, the simple beauty of outward
form, and the vibrant life that often exists just beneath the threshold of our
perceptions. The paperweight above shows dendrobium orchids and an admiral butterfly
with a background of wood and leaves.
Richardson's work is held in many private collections and major museums. He can
be contacted via his website or his Facebook page.