Fine Glass Paperweights    410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite #207, Chicago, IL 60605    1-800-538-0766    312-583-1177    
410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite #207, Chicago, IL 60605

Melissa Ayotte

Melissa Ayotte may have been born among glass rods and the roar of the torch, but she is no mere apprentice to her father. In fact, the same curiosities that drew her father to the art pulled her in other directions. Her interest for many years has been in psychology, understanding human motivation and behavior. With this interest in mind sciences leading the way, Melissa found herself more and more interested in the Arts. She began taking photography and sculpture at the New Hampshire Institute of Art while also and delving into her own self-study of painting, poetry and the creative process. Impossible to miss in the Ayotte household, glass called attention into the studio where she cold worked Rick's pieces, pulled colored rod or assisted on design. While finishing her Masters program at Antioch New England Graduate School, she apprenticed in the studio with Rick, and it was then that her interest in glass began to take hold. Upon obtaining her M.A., Melissa began pursuing a career in counseling and clinical psychology, while continuing her work in the studio. Glass initially served as a refuge from the day to day of her career, but as her aptitude developed into skill, Melissa started taking more and more glass and generalized art classes, soon realizing she had found her true interest. In the year 2000 she spent time assisting at Stankard Studio and began full-time at Ayotte Glass Studio where she continues to create. In taking to glasswork and learning to capture these small, still moments of life, she is discovering the most human of motivations: to create what was not there before. Melissa aims to push the limits of the paperweight, creating novel pieces which reflect her sense of the Nature--earthly, human and divine.