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This is a collection of autobiographical essays by Paul J Stankard, recognised widely as one of the world's master glass artists. Stankard is particularly renowned and respected for his flame-worked floral motifs expressed in crystal paperweights, rectangular columns, and orbs. Paul was trained in scientific glassblowing and worked in industrial scientific glass during most of the 1960s. Challenged by an inner sense of creativity and the need to establish his creative independence, he started making paperweights in the early 1970s. Attracted to the emerging studio glass movement, recognised as a maker of fine paperweights, and driven by an intense and incessant pursuit of excellence, Paul was -- by the 1980s -- recognised as a highly accomplished glass artist, a member of the pioneering generation of glass artists in America. As the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of his art matured, and as he continued to develop new techniques for expressing his art, he also assumed more prominent influence in the development of educational programs and institutions that celebrated and expanded art in glass. Throughout his life, Paul also wrestled with, and learned how to succeed in spite of, a learning disability -- dyslexia. The book presents the author's record of his life as a struggling, then highly successful, artist; reveals insights into the challenges he faced as a dyslexic and how he came to understand, then circumvent, his disability; and records his perspectives on the history of the studio glass movement in America as he witnessed and experienced it during the past fifty years. This book will be of value to readers interested in the life of a major American artist and the history of the glass art movement in America, as well as to those looking for an inspirational story of how, in one man, the human spirit faced, addressed, and outwitted a learning disability and climbed the steep road to success to become a master artist in glass.
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