Paul Willsea & Carol O’Brien, Glass Artists

Paul Willsea and Carol O’Brien, glass artists working out of their studio in Naples, New York, create glass blown and cast bowls along with other blown forms for wall or tabletop.  For more than 20 years Paul and Carol, have worked together combining blown and cast glass to create classic contemporary works of art.

The “Pyramid” series combines two strong forms: the solid casting with either a fluid blown form or another cast vessel.  The addition of silver leaf evokes a sense of antiquity and preciousness.  The “Crackle” pieces illustrate a weathered texture in the color.  The “Ring” pieces are about color: lots of it and how it relates to and defines the form.

Paul Willsea & Carol O’Brien

Paul Willsea and Carol O’Brien are a husband and wife team.  With their children and an assortment of animals they live on 54 acres in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York.

Paul and Carol have intentionally chosen to keep their business small.  Each piece is made by them.  What you hold and enjoy is the product of an artisan’s willingness to make a lot of mistakes and to learn the potential of their material.  What motivates them is the never ending search for the right color, the perfect proportions and a profound gratitude that they can support themselves doing something they love.

“Our work is a response to what we love in our world; the bloom of a flower, the movement of water.  There is an element of mystery in the creative process; working with the glass we always anticipate a satisfying discovery that we can share with others.”

Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in World History from Alfred University and has pursued further studies in Glass at the renowned Pilchuck Glass Center in Washington State. Prior to establishing his own studio in 1981, he apprenticed with master glass artists Ira Sapir and Randy Strong. Carol received her Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors in Art, from Hamilton College.

Their works have been shown at major galleries, museums and juried exhibitions throughout the United States, including the California Crafts Museum, San Francisco. Among the many corporate collections in which their work is represented are those of Hyatt Regency Hotels, Kawasaki, Dean Witter Reynolds Corporation, and Citibank.