Lampworked Paperweights by Melissa Ayotte
Melissa Ayotte, the daughter of renowned glass artist Rick Ayotte, may have been born among glass rods and the roar of the torch, but she is no mere apprentice to her father. In fact, the same curiosities that drew her father to the art, pulled her in other directions. Her interest for many years has been in psychology, understanding human motivation and behavior. While finishing her Masters program at Antioch New England Graduate School, she apprenticed in the studio with Rick, and it was then that her interest in glass began to take hold.
Upon obtaining her M.A., Melissa began pursuing a career in counseling and clinical psychology, while continuing her work in the studio. Glass initially served as a refuge from the day to day of her career, but as her aptitude developed into skill, Melissa started taking more and more glass and generalized art classes, soon realizing she had found her true interest. In the year 2000 glass became the full-time pursuit.
In taking to glasswork and learning to capture these small, still moments of life, she is discovering the most human of motivations: to create what was not there before. Melissa aims to push the limits of the paperweight, creating novel pieces which reflect her sense of the Nature – earthly, human and divine.
|"I consider the limitations imposed by the spherical shape of the paperweight to be very liberating in the sense that I am forced to reckon with the boundaries of the glass and develop new ideas, techniques and creative approaches for expanding those boundaries. The shape itself provides a structure from which I can evolve my own sense of creativity, ultimately aiming to evolve the art of paperweight making in general."|
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