Growing up so close to the (once) glass capital of the world, Millville, NJ glass has always been in the background melody that is my life, everybody knew someone who worked at a glasshouse and most art classes include a trip to the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. During our trip we always went through the museum of glass, which gives a visual account of the area's history, as well as the transition from function to art within the glass community.
Tucked within this small museum is a paperweight display with the famous Millville Rose, and story behind it as well as more contemporary works. One artist always on display is the famed Paul Stankard.
Stankard's works are unmistakeable! Incredibly intricate lamp worked florals often with bugs of various types encased in clear glass - Sounds simple but the process is actually quite painstaking and often ends in failure. One miscalculated movement can lead to a bubble or broken embeds and a failed piece.
Still living so close to Wheaton Arts, I often find myself there soaking up some culture and basking in the glow of the propane torches they use while blowing glass in the studio. Not too long ago Stankard himself was doing a residency of sorts and I was all to happy to visit and see the master at work.
Seeing his passion in person made me realize why he is so popular nobody is as passionate as Stankard!
images here and here