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Featured Artist Archive
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Featured Artist Archive > October, 2010


Colin Richardson paperweight
Colin Richardson
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Art 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 a career.

Colin 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.

Still 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.

Paperweights 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.

Colin Richardson's work is held in many private collections and major museums. He can be contacted via his website or his Facebook page.

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