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Bio

Inspired by nature in my surroundings in Berkshire County, I have been creating my art in the forms of paperweights, blown glass, sculptural and lampworked glass for the last 13 years.
    I was raised in Litchfield County, CT and became interested in glass, at the age of 19 when I visited Tim Bristow's glass studio in Webatuck Craft Village in New York.  Bristow offered me an apprenticeship and I worked under him for two years. After the apprenticeship, I worked at Arnold Larson's glass studio in Poughquag, NY, Gilmore Glass in Millerton, NY, and several other local shops before I was hired as a full time gaffer at Gartner Blade in Ashley Falls, Ma. I have been with Gartner Blade for 10 years now.                                               
    As a self taught lampworker, I had experimented with various lampworking techniques finding the results beautiful, but quite fragile. I soon realized that I could take the fragile lampworkedelements and encase them in glass. I was hooked on the paperweight technique. My paperweights emerged half a dozen years later through trial, error and perseverance.
     I started dating my wife, Katie in 2004, although we were friends since the mid 90's when we went to high school together. In 2006, we moved to Berkshire County to be close to Gartner Blade. Katie who is a Middle School Art Teacher and a professional photographer found the Berkshires to inspire her artwork and her teaching style. We married in 2008 and bought our first home in 2010. We share a two story glass/photo studio on our property. 
     I am constantly amazed by the variety of animals and flowers out in our yard. My artwork is directly related to my love of the flora and fauna in the Berkshires. Besides my passion for glass, I am an avid outdoor man and enjoy fishing, traditional archery, and hiking. 
 

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Biography

Inspired by nature in my surroundings in Berkshire County, I have been creating my art in the forms of paperweights, blown glass, sculptural and lampworked glass for the last 13 years.
    I was raised in Litchfield County, CT and became interested in glass, at the age of 19 when I visited Tim Bristow's glass studio in Webatuck Craft Village in New York.  Bristow offered me an apprenticeship and I worked under him for two years. After the apprenticeship, I worked at Arnold Larson's glass studio in Poughquag, NY, Gilmore Glass in Millerton, NY, and several other local shops before I was hired as a full time gaffer at Gartner Blade in Ashley Falls, Ma. I have been with Gartner Blade for 10 years now.                                               
    As a self taught lampworker, I had experimented with various lampworking techniques finding the results beautiful, but quite fragile. I soon realized that I could take the fragile lampworkedelements and encase them in glass. I was hooked on the paperweight technique. My paperweights emerged half a dozen years later through trial, error and perseverance.
     I started dating my wife, Katie in 2004, although we were friends since the mid 90's when we went to high school together. In 2006, we moved to Berkshire County to be close to Gartner Blade. Katie who is a Middle School Art Teacher and a professional photographer found the Berkshires to inspire her artwork and her teaching style. We married in 2008 and bought our first home in 2010. We share a two story glass/photo studio on our property. 
     I am constantly amazed by the variety of animals and flowers out in our yard. My artwork is directly related to my love of the flora and fauna in the Berkshires. Besides my passion for glass, I am an avid outdoor man and enjoy fishing, traditional archery, and hiking. 

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Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Our dear friend, Randall has passed. Randall was a collector of art glass and has supplied the east coast glass blowing artists, (primarily in NY, CT & MA) with beautiful equipment which he made in his machine shop. The following is Randall's obit followed by a brief & heartfelt paragraph of what I put together for this past weekend's service. Photographs of the beautiful custom equipment Randall has made for me over the years along with a group photo of Steve, myself, Randall & Danielle  concludes this post.



Randall S. Watkins, 84, of Sandy Hook, died peacefully at home on January 21, 2012, with loved ones by his side following a courageous battle with cancer.
Mr Watkins was the husband of Carolyn ("Connie") Smith Watkins. He was born November 14, 1927, in Monhessen, Penn., to Ruth (Jones) and Reginald S. Watkins. The family moved to Danbury in 1930, and then to Sandy Hook in 1936.
Mr Watkins enlisted as a machinist in the Air Force in 1948, during the Korean War. He served for more than three years in Alaska, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant.
He worked for many years at R.S. Watkins & Sons, a company that had been founded by his father, before starting his own business, Beacon Real Company, with his brother Jack in 1976. Mr Watkins worked full-time at his shop, which was like his second home, until 2011, continuing a strong work ethic his children learned from.
Avid golfers, Mr Watkins and his wife Connie were members of Newtown Country Club for more than 40 years. Mr Watkins landed three holes-in-one on the NCC course, one on Hole 6 and two on Hole 8. Mr Watkins also enjoyed hunting during his younger years, and fishing with friends in the Great Lakes.
He was a Mason for over 55 years, a member of Hiram Lodge 18 in Sandy Hook.
About 25 years ago, Mr Watkins was approached by a glass blower who was seeking help in creating equipment for his studio. From that day forward, it was a great love of Mr Watkins to create equipment for glass artists, who in turn formed a great bond with him and affectionately called him The Godfairy of Glass Blowers. Artists often thanked Mr Watkins for his contributions to their art form, and told him that his blow pipes became instrumental in the way glass is blown on the East Coast.
In return, Mr Watkins not only became a connoisseur of glasswork but also found great pleasure in regularly sharing pieces from his personal collection with family, friends and many others.
In addition to his loving wife of 57 years, Mr Watkins is survived by his daughter, Terri L. Watkins-Braziel, and her husband, William, of Sandy Hook; a son, Randall S. Watkins, and his partner Laura Sanger, formerly of Sandy Hook; granddaughter Brandi Braziel of Sandy Hook, and grandsons Tyler Watkins and Ryan Watkins, also formerly of Sandy Hook.
Mr Watkins is also survived by his brother Jack and wife Dawn; another brother, Tom; and a sister, Anna Lou Goodwin, and her husband Robert; all formerly of Sandy Hook. He will be fondly remembered by his many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
He was predeceased by a brother, Elwood Watkins.
The family would like to thank Dr Michael Cohenuram and the staff of The Praxair Cancer Center at Danbury Hospital, Masonicare of Newtown and Masonicare Hospice for their wonderful care of Mr Watkins during the final months of his life.
A celebration of Randall S. Watkins's life will be held at Newtown United Methodist Church on Saturday, February 4, at 12:30 pm.
Memorial donations can be made to Praxair Cancer Center, 24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury CT 06810; Masonicare at Newtown-Hospice, 139 Toddy Hill Road, Newtown CT 06470; Newtown United Methodist Church, 92 Church Hill Road, Sandy Hook CT 06482; or to the recipient of one's choice.

Randall has made the possibilities of following our hopes & dreams easier to obtain thanks to his overwhelming kindness & generosity. The beautiful crafted tools and equipment that we use in our everyday lives will be cherished for a lifetime. The visits to our studios will be greatly missed along with Randall’s enthusiasm for the art of hand blown glass. Seeing the sparkles of his eyes like a child on Christmas as we create new works has been great inspiration to us. In behalf of fellow glass artists, & myself we thank you Randall.













Steven Gartner, Clinton Smith, Randall Watkins & Danielle Blade


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New Website Up!


Hello everyone!
My new website is more or less finished! I will only be using this blog to show my life (animals, family, hikes in the wilderness, that type of thing) and shows (mostly retail paperweight shows/meetings for now). The blog will be accessible through the new website and also at http://clintonfsmith.blogspot.com. Eventually, the blog will get a major overhaul as well, but one thing at a time here.

For Collectors, there are pages of Gallery links and upcoming shows that will show you where you can buy my work. I hope to have a "Collector's Only" page in the near feature where you can download newsletters. In addition, I hope to have quarterly if not monthly newsletters that you can subscribe too starting soon!

For Gallery owners, you can sign up to have access to buy my paperweight directly on-line.  

So the new web address is same as the old, but again, it’s http://clintonfsmith.com/ or http://clintonfsmith.com/

Thanks!

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Holiday Recap

Happy New Year!
We have had a mild winter so far in Berkshire County, MA, aside from the 32 inches (yes, 32 inches!) we got Halloween night. Besides that, it's been mild with several days reaching the upper 40's and low 50's! Am I jinxing this? But anyway, a great holiday season was had by all with family, friends, food, love and as always art. Here are a few photos from the holidays.
Enjoy!



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December Paperweights & New News!

The new news is that a new website is in the works for 2012. The new site will be easier to navigate and will feature a page where galleries can buy directly online. For collectors, a list of galleries where you can buy my work will be alongside information of upcoming shows where you can purchase my work. The blog will still be accessible, but it will be reformatted to include only posts about my life and paperweight shows and the animals I encounter in my backyard. The newest paperweights will be featured on the main site. Happy Holidays & Best wishes for 2012!
Clinton

Large Salamander weight. 1st LARGE weight encapsulated in Schott glass. 3 1/8 inches. First weight with signature cane on the bottom alongside signature etch. 

Large Salamander weight. 1st LARGE weight encapsulated in Schott glass. 3 1/8 inches. First weight with signature cane on the bottom alongside signature etch. 

1st weight with new vacuum pump. Signature cane also on the bottom.

1st weight with new vacuum pump. Signature cane also on the bottom.

1st weight with new vacuum pump. Signature cane also on the bottom.

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Inspiration in my own backyard and beyond

Aside from the constant animals I see in our property, like this doe and her two fawns, the Berkshires are filled with cultural attractions like the Berkshire Museum. The Berkshire Museum in nearby Pittsfield has a current exhibition on Geckos! Along with my wife and our friends Jeff & Jill, we were able to see Geckos from around the world. I was thrilled with the opportunity to see the Geckos and the possibility of using them in my artwork.


















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A Great Week in Newport, Rhode Island

Just returned from Rhode Island last night. Had a great time with my family and had some time to relax away from the everyday work day of HOT summer days in the glass studios! The week ended at the Newport Reggae Festival where we got to meet Yellowman! Here are some of my favorite shots.

Out to Eat!

Newport at Night

Purchased a Perthshire  Weight! 

Tried my hand at Ocean Fishing

At the Breakers!

Katie at the Breakers

Me & Katie, my Mom, Mimi and my sister, Mariah

Views from a boat ride

Mariah & her friend Heather driving around Newport

Kayak Tour

Kayak Tour

We got to meet Yellowman at the Reggae Fest

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Delaware Valley Paperweight Collector's Association Weekend, July 16 & 17

Our table at the Delaware Valley Paperweight Collector's Association Meeting in Horsham, PA


Another Table Shot

Another Table Shot

Paperweights getting some attention!

Clinton with collector, Lee
Clinton starts his presentation

Presentation by Clinton Smith included a movie of the entire process of the making of a paperweight and a Key Note/Powerpoint presentation





Daniel Salazar gives his presentation


DVPCA President Toby Kruger

Don Formigli, Toby Kruger, William Pitt & Clinton Smith

Clinton Smith talks to fellow paperweight artist, Gordan Smith

Clinton Smith talks with Glass Artist Daniel Salazar



Don & Clinton

The Garden Party at the home of the England's. Boyd England's glass studio

Clinton Smith & Boyd England





Our hosts for the weekend, Deedee Dohan and Vice-President Andy Dohan

Katie Malone-Smith & Clinton Smith in the Dohan's beautiful gardens

Artists and members of the Paperweight Collector's Association at the home & studio of Glass Artist Paul Standard in Mantua, NJ

Clinton Smith & Glass Artist David Graeber in Paul Stankard's studio

Daniel Salazar, Paul Stankard, and Clinton Smith

Paul Stankard talks about his art



Paul Stankard takes the time to meet with fellow artist Clinton Smith to discuss his work.

A visit to Wheaton Village's Museum of American Glass 

Katie who is a school teacher loved the one room school house at Wheaton Village

Paperweight Gallery at Wheaton Village

Glass Studio at Wheaton Village


Clinton studies the glass at the museum


A trip to Hersey on the way back, just for fun!


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