I am giving thanks to paperweight lovers across the world this month. Paperweight collectors are some of the nicest people you can meet and they live among. They are everywhere and have come to appreciate glass paperweights in many different ways. Some remember a paperweight their grandmother had that they could touch only if being very careful. Some were attracted while pursuing antiques. Others were offered the opportunity to attend a paperweight collectors meeting with a friend. These collectors form a community of people who love art, are willing to purchase it, and love meeting and visiting with anyone who shows the remotest interest in glass. They seem to love to travel as well; willing to go miles out of their way to visit a glass studio or find a museum, or even attend a paperweight collectors meeting.
Of course, paperweight collectors would have a difficult time being satisfied in life without paperweight artists, so we are very grateful for these unique and talented individuals who come into our lives, inspire our vision, and share their art with us.
Paperweight artists seem to be givers, contributing back to their communities by donating their art for fundraisers, contributing their talents as teachers and lecturers, and contributing to professional glass associations as professional artists. All the while, they are figuring out how to support their families with their passion for glass paperweight making, fostering the inner glow of creativity within themselves that makes them successful, and remaining diligent and careful to stay alert and healthy when working with hot, and I do mean hot, glass working it on the end of long rods or within inches of their eyes.
Another group to give thanks to is the group of people we call paperweight dealers. A number of them are registered with the association called PCA, Inc. These special people are are well educated about paperweights, freely pass on their knowledge to others, travel to conferences and meetings often bringing artists with them, and sometimes have promoted artists in ways that boost their art to the point of having recognition around the world. Thank you.
The highest honor that I can imagine is to have your art purchased and placed in public museums for many visitors to see curated with explanations about the history, the tools, and the technology that the artist has applied to their work. Museums like the Corning Museum of Glass (NY), the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass (WI), Chrysler Museum of Art (VA), Chicago Art Institute (IL), and many others around the world enlighten and educate all of their visitors, offer Facebook pages, YouTube Videos, and websites that help everyone understand how the glass paperweight is made. We are grateful for the work museums do, the research libraries, the authors of books on paperweights, and the many elements that inspire us all to appreciate this art form.