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Gary Stuart Scrutton was born on May 30, 1937 in Portland, Oregon. He and his wife Doris were married on September 2, 1955. Gary passed into eternity on February 25, 2014, preceded by Doris a couple of years earlier.
Gary’s first job was as a glass glazier, which he did for four years. In 1960 the Scruttons purchased Doris’ aunts greenhouses and for the next twelve years worked as florists. The next business venture was Fabrille, a stained glass company making Tiffany-style lamps and windows. The Scruttons turned this company over to their sons when they went on to making hot glass. After retiring from making fine weights Gary pursued an earlier hobby, making custom cars.
In 1981 the Scruttons built their glass studio, naming it Parabelle, a word play on their logo which features a pair of ringing bells. Gary is very much a hands on guy, and in addition to melting his own glass (including his own colors), he designed and made his own tools and molds. He seems to enjoy this part of the process almost as much as making the weights. Doris worked as his assistant and helped design some of the weights, the first ones being made in 1983. Gary very much admired Clichy but did not desire to just copy them. The last Parabelle weights were made in 1998.
Most Parabelle weights are millefiori designs, though sometimes lampwork nosegays or flowers would make their appearance with the millefiori. Most Parabelle weights were made in small limited editions of from 10 to 25 pieces, with some early editions as large as fifty. Special weights include double overlays, piedouches, baskets with or without a handle and triple weights in the manner of Baccarat.
Excerpted from The Dictionary of Glass Paperweights, Paul H. Dunlop, Papier Presse 2009.