Cathy Richardson & Alison Ruzsa 2021 "The Bower Bird" Encapsulated Flamework with Hand Painted Decoration

Dimensions: 3-5/8” Diameter & 4" Tall

Makers Mark: Hand inscribed by both artists.

Provenance: Brand New 

Condition: Mint. Please see photos and let us know if you need any additional assistance.  

In the spring of 2019 at the international convention for the Paperweight Collectors Association in Flint, Michigan two of the most important female glass artists joined forces. As part of the three day convention the artists did a demonstration at the Flint Art Institute hot shop bringing together their artistic expertise in a way that had never before been attempted. During the live demonstration Cathy Richardson built flamework components and once the glass sculpture was fully assembled Alison Ruzsa vacuum encapsulated the sculpture within the handpainted glass blank she had previously prepared.

From this first collaboration the two have begun working on a new collaborative series exploring encapsulating even more complex flamework from Cathy within Alison's detailed hand-painted enamel blanks. Due to restriction in geography (Alison in New York and Cathy in Minnesota) it has been an interesting endeavor and a slow process. But finally, with just 3 or 4 works into the series we can finally begin to see the fruit of their labor.

Both women have enjoyed working together on the series and have been eager to tackle the challenges that have come with combining the two techniques. One of the things that they have found most challenging is how to find the proper ratio between Cathy's flamework and Alison's enamels which you can imagine can be tricky to get just right especially once you factor in the optic properties of the glass. 

In this example we find a young bachelor  Bower bird showing off his collection of flamework flowers at the center of his bower decorated with moss and an elaborate twig structure surrounded by a thicket of ferns. Both scenes are fully encapsulated in clear crystal with Cathy's flamework at the core and Alison's hand-painted enamel around the periphery.

For more on Alison and her technique please watch Pondering Paperweights Episode 1.