No Green Berries of Leaves -The Creative Journey of an Artist in Glass from The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company is an exceptional resource for both the beginner and advanced glass artist alike.
Boiled down to its heart the book is a memoir of the master American flameworker Paul Stankard, who offers his readers a refreshing and interesting look into the glass art world. However, what makes this book so valuable is that it has a little bit of everything. Part history, part poetry, and entirely uplifting it is a must read for any aspiring artists or individuals who are beset by doubts.
As an MFA candidate entering my last year of school Paul’s’ book has helped ease some of my anxiety about what will happen next. That there is light at the end of the tunnel and that an artist can make a living doing what they love are conveyed throughout this book.
Also the wisdom in this book is exceptionally helpful for any artist needing a little encouragement or guidance. For example one passage that stood out to me was, “Once, when I asked Reese if he believed me to be an artist or a craftsperson, he looked at me sternly and said, “Never let all that bullshit distract you. Just continue to make great work.” Of special note is Paul’s poem that he considers his artistic statement, “Receive this glass it holds my memories crafted blossoms suspended in stillness to be pollinated by your sight anticipating your touch through time. It’s the little gems like these that make this book a great read.
Paul’s book also talks openly and extensively on overcoming his learning disability, dyslexia. This is quite inspiring because so many artists and non-artists alike suffer from issues like these. I myself have struggled with ADD throughout my life and that is probably why I feel such a connection to Paul Stankard’s story.
Since the book is not a manual on lampworking or any other glassblowing techniques I would recommend it to artists in any field especially those who are hitting the proverbial brick wall when it comes to their artistic career. It transcends artistic genres and shows the reader that if you are doing what you love and are dedicated enough to spend the time needed to do it well then there is no obstacle that you cannot overcome.
In summary, if you would like to see the studio glass art movement from the inside out and take a peak inside the mind of one of Americas most exceptional and preeminent flameworkers than you need to buy this book.
No Green Berries of Leaves -The Creative Journey of an Artist in Glass ISBN: 0-939923-55-6 / 978-0-939923-55-7