Featured Artist Archive > September, 2012
click picture to enlarge
is renowned across the world for his realistic interpretations in
glass of small creatures (especially birds) in their natural habitat.
He has studied nature intensively so that he can make accurate little
worlds encased in glass.
Rick was born
in 1944 in New Hampshire, US. At the age of 18, he began a career
as a scientific glass-blower. He became highly skilled in manipulating
hot glass and used to make and sell lampwork figures in his spare
time. One of his glass blowing colleagues was Paul Stankard, who
set the example of leaving to become a highly successful paperweight
artist. Paul encouraged Rick to encase his figurines in a glass
sphere, and Rick's fascination with creating paperweights was born.
In the early
years his favourite subjects were birds. Through bird watching and
study he became expert in the anatomy, posture and settings of his
subjects and he has often spoken of his desire to share his knowledge
of nature with people who do not have the opportunity to see the
real life originals.
Rick is also
a great admirer of 19th century French paperweights, and over the
years he has added more flowers and other small creatures to his
paperweights. But Rick's floral art is not like the sentimental,
stylized paperweights of the Victorian era. His subjects are essentially
realistic and more three dimensional. He said "My goal has always
been to interpret nature with a fresh eye; to share the drama I
see all around me."
and knowledge are such that he was invited to teach lampworking
skills at the home of French art glass, the Saint-Louis glassworks
in Alsace-Lorraine, France. His paperweight exhibitions, like his
"Songs without Words: the Art of the Paperweight" have toured the
world and his creations are to be found in prestigious collections
in many countries, including The White House, the Smithsonian Institute,
the Corning Museum of Glass, the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, the Royal
Ontario Museum in Canada, and many others. His work has been featured
in numerous publications. The paperweight shown above is called
Sweet Release and measures 3.5" diameter. It shows two beautiful
hummingbirds flying around a branch of pink blossoms.
You can see
more of Rick's work on his website at http://www.ayotteglassart.com
and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.