“Green Bear Paperweight” by the WheatonArts Glass Studio. Handcrafted at WheatonArts, this adorable bear is sitting upright with his paws wrapped around his. 3″ h x 2.5″ w x 1.5″ d.
Paperweights have been made in this country since about 1850 and currently enjoy popularity for both practical and decorative purposes. In the South Jersey factories, paperweights were made by the glassworkers as a “whimsey” or “end-of-day” piece, not as a factory production item. They were given to friends and family as mementos.
Air bubbles or colored elements such as flowers and spirals magnified under a clear crystal dome are typical of early South Jersey weights. Handcast animal figurines became popular novelties in the early 20th century. At WheatonArts, our resident artists continue the southern New Jersey tradition of paperweight making.