Featured Artist Archive > September, 2010
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glass career started in 1978, when he attended Salem County Community College
in New Jersey and trained as a Scientific Glassblowing Technologist. Following
college, he worked in the research industry, fabricating laboratory apparatus.
During this period
he was first introduced to the art of Flameworked Paperweight making through the
work of James and Nontas Kontes, two well respected paperweight makers, and also
owners of the scientific glassware manufacturing company where Gordon was employed
at the time. Gordon began experimenting himself, and this together with the Kontes'
encouragement, lead him to Wheaton Village, where he volunteered to work on weekends.
Here he learned how to handle hot glass on a blowpipe and during the next year,
Gordon continued to experiment combining his flameworking abilities with his experiences
from Wheaton Village, eventually producing his first paperweights.
early designs featured stylized/realistic renderings of flowers and strawberries.
Currently, his motifs explore a wide range of subjects, including floral designs,
aquatic environments, and also earthy environments which focus on snakes, reptiles,
spiders, and the like. Some of his most ambitious paperweights combine environments
that portray earth grounds above, with aquatic themes below, something rarely
seen in paperweight making. The paperweight shown here features a Western Shovelnosed
Snake, hiding amongst pieces of bamboo. Each scale of the snake was made individually
and applied to create a truly realistic scene.
the years Gordon has produced some wonderful works of art in combination with
such artists as Johne Parsley, the Kontes brothers, the Late Barry Sautner (a
legend and true pioneer in the art of cameo glass and diatraita glass carving
techniques), and Anna Boothe, a contemporary glass artist that works with the
ancient art of Pate de Verre.
Gordon Smith is well respected worldwide as an acknowledged master of the art
of paperweight making. His work is displayed in many public museum collections,
in addition to numerous private collections. His studio is in Millville, NJ and
you can contact him directly by phone: 1-856-785-2628 or email Gordon@gordonsmithstudios.com
or through his website: www.gordonsmithstudios.com.