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Featured Artist Archive
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Featured Artist Archive > September, 2010


Gordon Smith paperweight
Gordon Smith
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Gordon Smith's 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.

Gordon's 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.

Over 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.

Today, 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 or through his website:

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