Artist Profile: Clinton Smith
"Creating small environments encapsulated in glass invokes the wonder and pleasure of nature and the imagination."
Inspired by nature from his surroundings in Berkshire County, Clinton Smith creates paperweights that combine delicate glass elements with the beauty of a crystal dome encasement. Smith's paperweights feature wonderful animals and fantastic flowers, including those from New England and beyond as well as elements of flora and fauna created from his imagination.
Smith begins each paperweight by creating delicate glass sculptures through the process of lampworking. The elements are assembled together into a composition by melting colored rods of glass. Then the artist encases the assembled design with a clear dome of glass crystal. The paperweight is cooled very slowly to room temperature for 40 hours.
Clinton Smith has been creating paperweights, blown glass, sculptural and lampworked glass for the last 13 years. Smith had experimented with various lampworking techniques, and found the results beautiful but fragile. He soon realized he could take the fragile elements and encase them in glass. His paperweights emerged half a dozen years later through trial, error and perseverance.