Flower & Flame

The stunning new Flower & Flame documentary paints an intimate portrait of master flameworker Paul Stankard, exploring his work, his wit and his wisdom. The executive producer of the new film is the paperweight artist David Graeber who studied and worked with Paul for 20 years. You can hear him talk about his acclaimed mentor in Shawn Waggoner’s latest podcast Talking Out Your Glass.

The Art of the Flame Exhibition

WMODA is proud to feature 70 of Paul Stankard’s paperweights, orbs and botanical sculptures in The Art of the Flame exhibition. Arthur Wiener, the museum’s founder, is in awe of Paul’s incredible talent. He is particularly fascinated by the mysterious root people and cherishes the unique piece that Paul made especially for his wedding anniversary.

A Living Master of an Ancient Medium

The new Flower & Flame documentary from award-winning filmmaker Daniel R. Collins presents Paul Stankard’s life story…

“A boy wanders the New England woods, inspired by the beauty that surrounds him. Fascinated by the dew on the Lady Slipper Orchid, the honeybees dancing among the daisies, the lowbush blueberries surrounding the summer marshes. He struggles through school with undiagnosed dyslexia, anxious to please his parents, and searching for life’s meaning. Then, suddenly, he discovers it. His path, his profession, his purpose.

​Glass. A magical medium. Neither solid nor liquid. Within its molten core, Paul J. Stankard pries open a window – revealing his memories, his faith, and his future. He trains in the craft of Scientific glass, and embarks on a fruitful career, only to find something is missing…he has a deep unsatisfied need to create. He makes a leap of faith, abandoning his chosen profession to pursue a clearer vision: to live the life of an artist, to encase nature’s wonder in crystal, and to achieve excellence and acclaim the world over.

Breathtaking Beauty Encased in Crystal

First came the failures. Months of experimenting on nights and weekends in a small utility room; a man on a mission, who had left a stable scientific profession, determined to develop a visual language to express the intricacies of his beloved nature in the secretive medium of flameworked glass.

Slowly but surely, he began to achieve his vision. In the beginning the illusions were deceptively simple; a single daisy suspended in a clear dollop of fragile soda lime glass; a spiderwort, delicately dancing in a disc resembling a dewdrop. Then the artist’s ecosystem grew denser, more complex, fertilized by the words of Whitman, pollinated by the growing interest of art dealers, galleries, and collectors who saw something totally unique in his innovations.

After years of dedication, Paul J. Stankard elevated his craft to a fine art. His intricate designs eclipsed the boundaries of the traditional paperweight genre and became something else entirely. His forms evolved in style, structure, and substance, revealing exquisite detail of the referential landscapes he created and tended, and the physical and metaphysical beings that inhabit them."

Documentary photos and story courtesy Paul Stankard: Flower & Flame

Watch the trailer for the Flower & Flame documentary and find information about public screenings.

Listen to Shawn Waggoner’s podcast about Paul Stankard and David Graeber

David Graeber - Talking Out Your Glass

Read more about Paul Stankard’s work at WMODA

Paul J. Stankard - Celestial Spheres
Paul J. Stankard - The Art of the Flame
Paul J. Stankard - Golden Orbs
Paul J. Stankard - Poetry in Glass
Paul J. Stankard - Gardens of Glass
Paul J. Stankard - Orchids Celebration
Paul J. Stankard - Brilliant Botanicals
Paul J. Stankard - Beauty Beyond Nature