Ken Rosenfeld has been a paperweight artist since the mid 1980's. Before that he trained and worked as an off-hand glassblower in his own studio and for five years with Correia. He also worked as a scientific glassblower. Ken's paperweight expertise evolved from a formal art and technical background — a Bachelor's degree from the University of California and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University, coupled with over twenty years of studio and scientific glasswork. This has provided Ken with a solid base for developing his lampworking skills; and in Ken's view, lampworked paperweights stand at the pinnacle of artistic and technical glassworking.
He describes his work as follows: "Each flower petal and leaf is made individually, by hand, one at a time. They are then assembled to create the arrangement you see. Then the lampwork design is encased. Encapsulated in crystal clear glass, the design is forever sealed in its own little world. Each paperweight is a recording in time, like a photograph, preserving every subtle and delicate motion made by the artist. This is what sets lampworking apart from all other glassworking."
Ken prefers producing commonplace, everyday imagery in his paperweights.
His pumpkin patch paperweights are especially well known, and he is one of the few paperweight artists to use an artistic arrangement of vegetables as a theme. But most of Ken's paperweights use floral designs because, he says, they are appreciated the world over. "When collectors hold a paperweight in their hands, there is a connection between them and the artist. It becomes a personal art form — a window into the state of mind of the artist."
The technique of manipulating glass rods in the flame of a torch and then encasing them can produce a very profound and powerful effect. Ken believes this process is one of the highest and best uses of glass as an art form. It is a natural and logical evolution of glass art and for him, personally, a pure joy!
Ken Rosenfeld's glass art is documented in several current books and is held in many public and private collections, and major museums, including the permanent collections of the Museum of American Glass, New Jersey, Canterbury Museum, New Zealand, and The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Wisconsin.