In honor of Father’s Day, we are celebrating the inspiring collaborative studio practice of Paul Stankard and his talented children. What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to focus on the “Father of the Modern Paperweight”, his children, and their collaborative legacy?
Paul Stankard: A Pioneer in Glass Artistry
Paul Stankard is a Master American Glass Artist and American Studio Glass Movement pioneer. Born in Massachusetts in 1943, Stankard began his career as a Scientific Glassblower, giving him the glass “itch”. Today, he is renowned for his exquisite glass paperweights, earning the nickname “Father of the Modern Paperweight.” His achievements have garnered international acclaim, giving him the reputation as one of the most influential glass artists of our time.
The Power of Collaboration
Within the Stankard family, collaboration is more than just a creative process—it is a way of life. Stankard’s studio practice with his children, Katherine, Pauline, Christine, and Joe, can be summarized as artistic synergy. Ingeniously, they layer their talents together, resulting in compelling and magnetic works that captivate all who view them.
So what inspires this family of artists? The short answer is nature! Inspired by the New England landscapes of Paul’s formative years, the Stankards have brought the intricacies of flowers, insects, and vegetation to life since 1990. In their pieces, petals unfurl with grace, capturing the play of light and shadow, while tendrils and leaves sway with an almost ethereal presence. Poetically, the Stankards call into conversation the ephemeral nature of flora and fauna.
Meet the Stankard Kids
Studying natural landscapes and hapitats, and flameworking to no avail is what characterizes the Stankards’ inspiring collaborative studio practice. Christine Stankard Kressley, Paul’s eldest daughter, has worked with her father in the studio since 1990. Known for her artistic talent and aptitude for detail, she thrives as the Studio’s Artistic Director. Pauline Stankard Iacovino, the next Stankard kid to enter the studio, began sculpting as a teenager. She studied marketing at St. Joseph’s University, only to pick up glass blowing. She has been working in the Stankard Studio since 1995. Katherine Stankard Campbell, a glass artist, residing in Southern New Jersey, earned her BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Embracing the same artistic path as her sister Pauline, she entered the Stankard Studio in 1995. Not content with simply contributing to her father’s legacy, Campbell has also nurtured her own artistic spirit. She fashions compelling pieces as an integral member of the esteemed Stankard Studio team. Joe Stankard, the newest addition to the Stankard Studio, helps with material preparation and brings a dedication to perfecting his craft.
With 5 Stankards working side by side, they seamlessly produce works with no tells of different artists behind the torch. By engaging in a continuous creative dialogue, the Stankards are able able to co-produce microcosms of natural beauty. His 3 daughters and his son are successful glass artists in their own right dedicated to their familial legacy and the art of glass. Paul Stankard proudly boasts, “I’ve allowed them all to find their own special qualities… I’ve tried making the studio an interesting place for them to grow. They’ve helped build the studio’s reputation. Ultimately, the integrity of their work is vital. I have to stop and enjoy what we’ve accomplished.”
Through experimentation and shared exploration, they have developed groundbreaking methods that continue to redefine the possibilities of the medium, captivating art enthusiasts and collectors alike.
Leaving a Lasting Legacy
The inspiring collaborative studio practice of Paul Stankard and his talented children stands as a testament to the remarkable results that can be achieved when artists come together. As we celebrate Father’s Day, we admire how this father has nurtured creativity and fostered artistic collaborations within his family. The Stankard’s shared vision and nurturing of craft have profoundly impacted the glass art world. This Father’s Day, let us celebrate the remarkable achievements of Paul Stankard and his children, as they continue to shape the future of glass art through their extraordinary collaborative journey.
Click HERE to Plan Your Visit and view Imagine Museum’s extensive collection of Paul Stankard’s Paperweights today!