From the time I was fourteen, I have been developing my skills as a glass artist. While I was still in high school, I first experimented with manipulating hot glass with a simple torch and some clear glass rods that my father had bought for me. Being born and raised in Southern New Jersey, I was in the midst of a rich tradition of Glasswork, having many glass factories within an hour’s drive of my home. In 1977-78, I received my formal glass training, in scientific glassblowing technology, from Salem County Community College. I worked as a scientific glassblower for three years, hand fabricating laboratory apparatus that was used by the petroleum, drug, and scientific research industries. It was during that time that I became exposed to paperweights, through the work of James and Nontas Kontes, owners of the scientific glass company for which I was working at that time. Although I am self-taught in the art of paperweight making, The Kontes brothers offered their guidance, advice, and endless support with my learning to make lampwork paperweights. I consider them my glass mentors, and we share a cherished friendship. I also volunteered to work at a nearby glass facility, Wheaton Historic Village. There, I learned how to work with hot glass, in the traditional way, gathering the glass from a hot tank, and then shaping and forming it with the traditional tools used by glassblowers. To this day, I continue to learn new techniques for working glass, through research, trial and error, and by participating in workshops.
Gordon Smith 2019 scaled green lizard and succulents paperweight.
Gordon Smith 2019 scaled green lizard and succulents paperweight. A detailed scaled lizard hides in [...]
Gordon Smith 2019 scaled green lizard and succulents paperweight. A detailed scaled lizard hides in a field of red, gray and green succulents. They rest on a sandy ground strewn with pebbles and mossy rocks. Signature cane. Signed/dated. Diameter 3 9/16".[hide]
Gordon Smith 2010 blackberries on straw paperweight. A very progressive rendering of the ripening st [...]
Gordon Smith 2010 blackberries on straw paperweight. A very progressive rendering of the ripening stages of a blackberry is depicted through eight individual berries, each different from the next in color, and two sprigs of pink buds. They are woven together dimensionally by short stems and three serrated leaves on a straw ground. Signed/dated. Diameter 3 3/16".[hide]
Gordon Smith 2020 daisy and loosestrife bouquet paperweight. Two multi-tiered mauve daisies, their c [...]
Gordon Smith 2020 daisy and loosestrife bouquet paperweight. Two multi-tiered mauve daisies, their cascading petals striped in darker purple and radiating around central orange stamen clusters with a yellow corona and over a rusty-red patch, are spaced by bright orange five-petaled loosestrife flowers, buds, serrated green leaves and a white daisy cousin. Clear, star-cut ground. Signature cane. Dated. Diameter 3 1/8".[hide]