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American and European Art glass - Victorian and Art Nouveau to Contemporary
A Brief Overview
Located in Central Coastal California, Lundberg Studios has been producing quality art glass since 1972. It first became known for its iridescent glass and Art Nouveau style. Later, its clear-encased weights with flower, bird, butterfly, and seascape motifs marked the emergence of a new form of paperweight.
The late James Lundberg, founder of the studio, first studied glass while working at California State University at San Jose during the late 1960's. Classically trained in ceramics from an early age, Lundberg worked his way through college as the assistant to the head of the ceramics department, Dr. Herbert Sanders. Through his association with Dr. Sanders, a noted authority on ceramic glazes, James became fascinated with the chemistry of colored glass. He was later to become an authority on the chemistry of colored glasses and one of a handful of paperweight makers who formulated and melted all of their own materials.
A graduate tour took him to Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and England to continue studying glass making techniques. One of the most important lessons that he learned was that very little was being done with colored glasses. On his way home from Europe, he stopped in New York City and was introduced to Tiffany Art Glass. Struck by both the beauty and value of Tiffany’s work, he rushed home to develop similar iridescent luster colors. Today Lundberg Studios is one of the foremost replicators of Tiffany Style art glass.
In 1972, with the encouragement of L. H. Selman, Lundberg began applying his iridescent glasses and Tiffany decorative techniques to paperweight design. They were an immediate success and in such demand that a year later he, with college pal Mark Cantor, his younger brother Steven Lundberg and several other friends moved to set up a larger studio.
The paperweight department of Lundberg Studios has consistently been staffed by glass artists working in the Renaissance Studio tradition, with each contributing his unique skills to the creative process. Steven Lundberg originally trained as the first apprentice to his brother James. Over the years he has worked in all aspects of glass making at the studio, but for the past decade Steven has concentrated entirely on crystal encasement.
David Salazar began as an apprentice to Mark Cantor in 1972. For the next eight years he worked primarily as a decorator of first iridescent, and then crystal encasement paperweights. In 1974, and then again in 1976, Chris Buzzini joined the cooperative and added some very important techniques to the new paperweight style being developed.
Daniel Salazar, who began as an assistant to Chris Buzzini and his brother David, early on showed a great flare for design. He has spent the last ten years innovating and producing his own paperweight designs. In 1976 James Shaw, then a potter, joined the studio and began learning the art of cutting and finishing glass.
Out of the combined experience and expertise of all the artists, a new type of paperweight began to be produced at Lundberg Studios around 1978. Called the California Paperweight Style (or torch work), it represents a hybridization of two antique styles: the Art Nouveau "ice pick" technique and the lamp working procedures of the French paperweight. It allowed for the direct application of complex three dimensional imagery and enlarged the range of paperweights offered by Lundberg. By 1978 the studio was producing crystal encased weights in the new style on a regular basis.
Today Lundberg Studios continues to be a leader in developing new designs and motifs. Examples of their work are included in almost every major museum and private glass collection.
The studio houses the talents of several teams of glass artists who work to create the beautiful lustered lamps, vases, scent bottles and paperweights that have steadily become an important area of production.
In 1989 James Lundberg developed the Worldweight. This earth paperweight, using a complex powdered glass drawing and several layers of specially formulated glasses represents yet another new style pioneered by Lundberg. The Worldweight has been used by numerous corporations, the President of the United Stales, Jacques Cousteau, and the National Geographic Society as a special award for achievement, and the demand continues for this very unique piece.
The Master Craftsman at Lundberg Studios continue to produce the Worldweight, in addition to their other beautiful designs, under the direction of Rebecca Lundberg.