As I am writing, we are in the middle of our Texas summer weather which comes down to one word, HOT. I have always lived in a home with air conditioning but I do know what it is like to sleep without it and it is no fun. We forget and take A/C for granted, but in my lifetime so many changes have occurred such as the Internet and iPhones. I can remember all the books my parents had for us, including a complete set of encyclopedia books which we had at our disposal to help with our school work. Now you can hardly give these books away and the answers to most of our questions are just a “Google” away or, as Joyce Elder says, “ask the box.”
I have seen the transformation of paperweights also. What artists are now able to achieve, especially with lamp work, is far beyond what it was when I first started collecting. As an artist, Cathy Richardson has been able to blend all the new high tech inventions into a very positive transformation. Cathy is an artist who has achieved major excellence and skill.
Cathy was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Falls Church, Virginia. From a very early age she was always outdoors with her mother and father. Her mother loved to garden and they lived near Chesapeake Bay where her father loved to fish. Thus, she absorbed into her soul the wonder and beauty of the environments around her.
Cathy first pursued a career in geology (B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.), but in the 1980s she returned to her first love—art. Her first artistic pursuit in stained glass was very successful and turned into a business. She has always been fascinated with small details, the interplay of light, color and textures, and glass has all of these qualities. From there she started making paperweights. This is not the first time I have seen a great paperweight artist start with stained glass. Gary and Doris Scrutton started their glass career making stained glass art. They were millefiori artists and Cathy is a lamp work artist, but detail was of upmost importance to the Scruttons as it is for Cathy. A natural looking setting is her main goal when making her paperweights. She is creating a tiny environment for the viewer to look at again and again and to see something new each time.
Her latest endeavor is sandblast carving of the surfaces of her weights. She feels that this way she is able to bring design elements that are inside the weight to the surface and create a new dynamic between the interior and exterior.
Please join us in New Braunfels this September and meet this exciting artist. It is such a treat to have her come and be with us and share her life journey and her love of this art – the Art of the Paperweight.