ARTIST THIS MONTH: CLINTON SMITH — MORE
The Paperweight Collectors Association,
Inc. (PCA, Inc) is
a non-profit organization dedicated to appreciating and collecting
glass paperweights. For a half-century, the PCA, Inc has championed
the study and collecting of antique, vintage, and contemporary glass
paperweights. The mission of the PCA, Inc is to promote education:
to increase knowledge about paperweights, their creators, and the
astounding glass medium from which they are created.
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PCA, Inc. consists of a convivial group of contemporary artists,
dealers, collectors, libraries, and museums from around the globe.
The interest in glass paperweights is the common thread that binds
the membership: many of our members are just starting out with a
few paperweights while others have established collections numbering
in the thousands. There is something for every collector in terms
of taste and budget. It is the variety and diversity of glass paperweights
that make them so interesting to collect!
2015 PCA Convention. The Paperweight Collectors Associationís
2015 Convention will be held from April 29 thru May 2 in Tacoma,
Washington. The hotel hosting the convention is the Murano. As
the name suggests, the hotel showcases contemporary art glass
which is displayed throughout the lobby. Each floor is dedicated
to an individual glass artist and has an example of his/her work
visible upon exiting the elevator. You can book your reservation
at the Hotel Murano using this special PCA reservation link.
The convention program is presently under development. Included
in the activities will be a pre-convention tour, informative lectures,
an artist showcase, dealers fair, identification clinic, and an
afternoon at the Tacoma Museum of Glass where demonstrations of
paperweight making will be conducted in the hot glass studio.
Keeping with tradition, the convention will conclude with a banquet.
This section will be updated as more information becomes available.
Murano Front Desk
encourage you to read some of the materials on this website about
paperweights and paperweight collecting. We also encourage you to
join this organization.
BENEFITS OF JOINING THE PCA, INC. INCLUDE:
- Receive the
annual PCA, Inc. Bulletin. It is a hardback publication with special
paperweight articles and beautiful color illustrations of antique
and modern paperweights and paperweight objects. It is one of
the definitive publications in the field and is itself a collector's
four newsletters per year, each containing a calendar of events,
and news about developments in paperweight making and collecting
and news about regional paperweight collecting associations. There
is also a classified ad section for both the purchase and sale
of paperweights and publications by dealers and collectors.
- Being able
to attend the bi-annual conventions. These conventions bring together
the collectors, dealers, and experts who provide identification
clinics, workshops, and tutorials on various aspects of the hobby.
They are often held in proximity to a world-class collection or
are the motivation to assemble a once in a lifetime world-class
- But most
of all, it can help you connect with others with similar interest
in collecting antique, vintage, and contemporary glass paperweights.
evolved from the functional to the beautiful during the early part
of the industrial revolution. As the economic engines of commerce
began to generate bills, letters, and other business paper something
had to be provided to hold them down during the breezes that were
common when offices had windows and air was allowed to waft through
the workplace. Early paperweights were simple, functional items
of metal or glass. By the 1840s, a whole industry emerged in France
that would transform the simple paperweight into a glorious work
of art for every desktop.
The French glass factories of the 1840s stood on the shoulders of
the Italian glass workers of Murano (Venice) who continued the artistic
traditions of ancient Rome. While the Italians utilized and retained
many of the ancient processes, the French were the first to capitalize
on the optical characteristics of glass. They enclosed their decorations
motifs within glass spheres and made the magnification part of the
total effect. Their paperweights of the late 1840s stand as the
artistic pinnacle of the classic period. The Crystal Palace Exhibition
in London in 1851 showcased the French and German/Bohemian paperweights
and they were subsequently emulated and 'improved' by the glass
houses in the United Kingdom and slightly later in the United States.
of interest to current collectors can be divided three periods:
Classic period starts in the 1840s and runs through the 1880s
and was centered in France (Clichy, St Louis, Baccarat, and Pantin),
England (Walsh-Walsh, Bacchus, and others), and then America (Boston
& Sandwich, New England Glass Company, and Pairpoint).
The Folk Art and Advertising period began
in the 1880s and continued into World War II. Some of the most original
American contributions to paperweights were made in Millville New
Jersey, including the crimp rose and the frit weights (decoration
made with powdered glass). This period saw the decline of the major
glass factories (as mechanization changed how glass was made) but
saw the advent of small, family-run glass factories that continued
The Contemporary period started
after World War II when Charles Kaziun almost single-handedly reinvented
the processes and mechanisms used to create the classic paperweights
and introduced the "studio glass" artist - an artist effectively
works alone in a studio to create glass paperweights and other glass
objects using the techniques first popularized by the classic period.
Collecting paperweights began almost as soon as they began to appear
on the market. There are many ways to collect and to enjoy the beauty
of antique or modern glass paperweights.
Four general approaches include:
Probably the most common collecting style is the
type collecting where the collector accumulates one good example
of each major type of paperweight style (millefiori, lamp-work, sulphide,
etc) from one or more of the glass factories. This collecting style
provides a broad spectrum of weights in a single collection.
The theme collector tends to collect paperweights
that have a unifying theme or common thread. For example, a theme
collector may collect paperweights that contain birds or specific
flowers. There are some interesting collections that only contain
paperweights that are purple or sulphides of politicians.
The in-depth collector likes to specialize
on one type of paperweight and often have the "definitive"
collection of a specific type of paperweight. The depth and breadth
of this collection style makes it easy to study the variation in manufacturing
techniques and can be useful in identifying "mystery weights"
that occasionally appear in the hobby.
Probably the most fun collecting style (and the
style most people use when they start collecting) is I like it
so I have it. This style is perfectly acceptable and a lot of
fun - although going to the other collecting styles eventually makes
keeping track of what you already have a little simpler and makes
your collecting universe a bit easier to manage.
As important as the books on paperweights (and they have been being
issued in rapid succession in the past few years as more and more
people start collecting) is the paperweight collecting community,
which is best represented by the Paperweight Collectors Association,
Inc. and the website: www.paperweight.org (which you are viewing).
This organization publishes quarterly newsletters, annual bulletins
containing a wealth of paperweight information, and sponsors a major
gathering of collectors, dealers, and contemporary paperweight artists
every other year.
ARTIST THIS MONTH:
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Clinton Smith specialises in creating small environments encapsulated in glass to invoke the wonder and pleasure of nature and to delight the imagination. These photographs show two of his recent paperweights, with berries, flowers, leaves, tiny insects and frogs.
Smith has assisted master paperweight artist Paul Stankard on a number of occasions. In the summer of 2012, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Corning Museum of Glass workshop, "From the Kiln to the Hotshop (and back again)". In February 2013, he received the 2013 Niche Award in Lampworked Glass.
You can see more of Clinton Smith's work on his website, www.clintonfsmith.com. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Collectors Association (PCA, Inc.), a nonprofit organization, was founded
in 1953 and has members throughout the world. The PCA, Inc. became a §501(c)(7)
organization in 1988, a §501(c)(3) organization in 1996, and was incorporated
in the state of Pennsylvania in 1995. The PCA, Inc. is a mutual organization
for the benefit of its members. It does not discriminate against applicants
or employees on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, color,
religion, national origin, size, disability, socioeconomic background, or
any other status protected by state or local law."