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Featured Artist Archive
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Featured Artist Archive > January, 2012

FEATURED ARTIST:
ED POORE

Paperweight by Ed Poore and David Graeber
 
Ed Poore
 
click picture to enlarge

Ed Poore is a very different kind of paperweight artist. His specialty is the restoration of damaged antique and contemporary paperweights. Ed is also responsible for creating many of the unique cutting designs we see on some of the finest contemporary paperweights today including the Banford basket cut weights, David Graeber heart weights, John Gooderham miniature paperweight buttons, and many other pieces from other well known contemporary paperweight makers. The paperweight shown here (above left) is David Graeber's "Oval Basket with Chrysanthemums" with cutting by Ed Poore.

Ed Poore began his career in paperweights in 1971 as a glass cutter for the Pairpoint Glass Company in Massachusetts. During his early years at Pairpoint, Ed developed a fascination with the weights made at the factory and collected them for years before discovering there were such things as antique paperweights. That discovery opened up a whole new world for him.

Ed was taught his skills in glass cutting and restoration by Carl Otto Schweidenbach who had been formally trained in glass cutting back in the mid teens of the twentieth century at the old Pairpoint Glass Co. in New Bedford Massachusetts. Carl took Ed under his wing and taught him all he could. This unique opportunity to learn and carry on with old world cutting skills that Carl passed on allowed Ed to direct his cutting and polishing skills to paperweight restoration. It was a struggle at first given that each damaged paperweight dictates its own restoration process due to size, shape, amount of damage, and re-cutting that would be required to bring it back to its original beauty. Many years were spent refining and developing these techniques. The end results of all the research, trial and error, and breakthroughs in technique resulted in the successful restoration of thousands of paperweights over the last forty years. Many of the sparkling beauties we now see in collections and museums were restored by Ed's skilful handiwork.

After working with Carl for nearly ten years, Ed opened his own studio appropriately named The Crystal Workshop. In his new studio Ed spent a great amount of time restoring all sorts of antique glass. He also created small sculptural pieces of his own design and offered glass engraving in the way of original work as well as reproductions of antique patterns.

Ed's son James joined him in the business first as a trainee and later as a fully skilled glass cutter. Several years ago Ed was invited to give a six day course on glass engraving in "the Studio" at the Corning Museum of Glass. His son James came with him as the designated teaching assistant and it was a unique experience which neither of them will ever forget. Ed and James were also invited by the Sandwich glass Museum to hold a Father and Son glass show where the two artists highlighted their work in glass sculpture and engraving. This was an especially proud moment for Ed to have joined his son in such an event and such a successful show.

Now in his sixties, Ed still carries on working in his studio although his pace is just a little slower these days. He likes to take leisurely rides on his Harley Davidson and enjoys spending time with his grandchildren. His son James continues the family tradition of the finest possible glass cutting and restoration work at The Crystal Workshop.

One of Ed's biggest thrills in life is seeing the look on a collector's face when he returns their paperweight back to them in pristine condition after a restoration. That moment puts a big smile on both of their faces. The Crystal Workshop is located in Sagamore, Massachusetts and you can read more about their work on the website at http://www.thecrystalworkshop.com. Ed is always pleased to meet paperweight collectors and you can contact him on crystalworkshop@comcast.net.

The picture below shows a paperweight restored by Ed (left), and the state it was in beforehand (right).





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