While almost any small, heavy object could be used as a paperweight, the pieces on display at the Paperweight Collectors Association of Texas' Saturday meeting in Tyler are considered by many to be unique works of art.
The glass paperweights on display featured intricate patterns and bold colors that members of the nonprofit association traveled from all across Texas to both inspect and purchase during the group's most recent meeting.
A paperweight of a dogwood blossom with leaves seeming to float over a blue surface caught the eye of association member Art Elder, of Houston.
The piece was designed by Chris Sherwin, one of the group's scholarship recipients, and features both the millefiori and torchwork glass techniques.
Elder, along with his wife Joyce Elder, has been collecting paperweights since 1974 and has a collection of about 300 to 400 of them.
"I always say to look at a paperweight you have to feel it," he said while lifting his latest purchase.
Carl Carter, of Austin, is a former president of the organization whose love for paperweights began after he attended an antique show.
"I found (paperweights) very fascinating," he said. "Being able to hold so much beautiful art in your hand is really amazing."
Today he estimates his collection to be more than 2,000. At his home, he said paperweights are displayed inside cabinets, bookshelves and many other surfaces.
He carries a small magnifying glass while inspecting glass paperweights and speaks passionately about the work that goes into designing the items.
At the event, members were able to purchase paperweights from Roger Jacobsen, a guest dealer. Attendees also were able to catch up with one another and hear stories from those who purchased items at the bi-annual, international Paperweights Collectors Association conference that took place in May.
Carter said that aside from talking about paperweights, the group also enjoys the relationships they've been able to form over the years.
"(It's great) just to be with people who love to talk the talk and appreciate the art of the paperweight," he said.