OK, what are paperweights anyway? When I talk about paperweights, I'm referring to small glass objects containing colorful canes in complex designs, or graceful flowers, bouquets, or even animals that are encased in crystal. Fine glass paperweights were made by glass artists who were also master craftsmen. Whether or not they were ever used to hold down paper is immaterial. Probably less than 1/2 of 1% are ever used for this purpose. Instead, they are prized for their beauty, grace, and, in some cases, rarity.

This slide on the right is an example of a complex bouquet botanical made by Paul Stankard, the recognized Dean of contemporary paperweight artists. Although the flowers may appear realistic, they are actually sculpted from colored glass rods, and then encased in molten glass at temperatures of 1500-2000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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