Though it may seem implausible, these translucent orbs bursting with activity and life are made entirely from glass. The New Jersey-based artist Paul Stankard, largely considered to be the father of modern glass paperweights, discovered in college the scientific glass blowing and the manual process of creating scientific instruments out of glass. He was instantly hooked and for 10 years worked with industrial glass. Eventually the pressure of a growing family at home lead to an experiment with the creation of glass paperweights in his garage to supplement his income.
When Stankard suddenly directed a decade of industrial glassworking techniques into the interpretation of flowers, bees, vines, and leaves encased in glass, it wasn’t long before an art dealer discovered his work and he began to create art full-time. His pieces now appear in over 60 museums around the world including the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Louvre.