Some of PCA TX member’s favorite paperweight makers are skilled lampworkers who in the 1960s and early 70s began their careers creating scientific glass apparatus using glass rods and hot flames to create industrial products. Charles Kaziun is one of these lampworkers who found his way from scientific lampworking into ornamental glass work and then paperweight making. He was able to experiment with glass and through his fine creative products attracted mentors and advisors throughout his career. He found inspiration in those who came before him including Emil Larson who introduced him to the Millville rose and Gus (August) Hofbauer, a man with vast glass knowledge to share and Arthur Gorham, who encouraged and showed paperweights made by Kaziun in his shop.
Kaziun provided inspiration to Francis Dyer Whittemore, Jr., who worked for Dupont and Philco for 16 years in glassmaking and glass research. Frank was invited to become a scientific glassworker instructor at Salem County Vocational Technical Institute, New Jersey. He instructed many young people and it was through sitting in on an ornamental glassmaking class taught by Frank, that Paul Stankard, a student at that school, became fascinated with thoughts of glass paperweight making as a career option. Using his thorough knowledge of glass, his creativity, and experimentation, Frank created beautiful perfect glass miniatures, perfume bottles, jewelry, and prized paperweights. His later weights (1971-1976) are signed with a W cane.
Other lampworkers from this era with familiar names to PCA TX collectors include husband and wife team Hugh and Carolyn Smith, Joe Barker, Harold Hacker, Ron Hansen, Jack Choko, Pete Lewis, William Iorio, Bob Banford, Ray Banford, Lewis Kane, Wes Lutz, and glass cutters Charles Hannah and Walter Earling.
Collectors value these early examples of paperweight making and appreciate these pathfinders who pursued paperweight making using home-made tools in home workshops, their own creativity, and knowledge they acquired from creating scientific glass apparatus.