John’s father Pietro worked with glass for ten years in Italy. After coming to the United States about 1911 he worked for various glassworks until opening his own small glassworks in 1947 in Star City, West Virginia. He died in1950. John Gentile was born February 12, 1923. He died on February 12, 2006. John learned to make glass by working with his father and two brothers, making as many as one hundred paperweights per evening, after hours. In 1946, after serving in the army, he returned to glassmaking at his father’s business. John, with the help of his wife Gertrude, has over the years made thousands of paperweights using simple bubble, swirl and frit techniques. The better weights to come from this maker feature a lampwork ladybug, snake, lizard or caterpillar made for John to encase by a Michigan lampworker, Henry c. Johnson in the late 1960’s.