My lifetime involvement with glass began at age 5 when I became mesmerized by an antique glass prism paperweight at my grandmother’s home. For hours on end I would gaze into the depths of that prism, dreaming and wondering at the magic that could create an object of such deep transparent color ,a color so rich it seemed edible,yet so transparent I could see objects clearly out the other side.
I never fully recovered from that experience, and today, over 50 years later, I find most of my days consumed by activities which are in one way or another related to the production of glass objects.
I started working with stained glass in 1969 and operated a working studio making custom commissions for over 10 years. I began blowing glass in 1977 at California State University Chico. Glass blowing became a passion for me at that time, and remains so today.
I began working for Mike Nourot in early 1978. After spending 6 years blowing production art glass for Nourot Glass Studio in Benicia, California, where I also ran the grinding shop, I moved back to my beloved Nevada desert and opened my own studio. This was late 1983.
I made my first beads out of cow horn from one of our ranch cows and fossil ivory in 1975. I made my first glass beads in 1977 at the university glass studio, beginning with a project making simple powder glass beads in a clay mold using scrap from my stained glass. I had not seen the Krobo beads from Ghana at that time and now find that my process closely paralleled theirs.
With the opening of my new studio in 1984, along with a variety of other art glass projects, I began making clear cased latticino cane beads. During this period I also experimented with marble making. Somewhere in 1986 or 87 I pulled my first chevron cane and have spent the majority of the last two decades exploring the design potential of the chevron bead in many variations. This work still occupies most of my creative time and shows no sign of letting up.
I make beads primarily for my own enjoyment and my collection bears that out. So I don’t let the complexity of a design series or production details or problems with same deter me from pursuing the final object. This can often result in finished objects with substantial time investment. It's not uncommon for one of my beads to have over fifteen hours time in it. But for me, this is time well spent. I get quite immersed in the process, most often to the exclusion of the rest of the world around me. As a consequence, I spend very long hours in the studio and I make a lot of beads. I can’t help myself, they cannot remain unmade.
From a philosophical viewpoint I feel that glass ,as a substance, brings to physical reality the abstract concepts of color and light. I could not imagine working in a medium more exciting or more full of magic. I have truly found my life work and for me it's not work.
I continue to blow art glass in my studio and I still find magic in my grandmother’s paperweight. With my beads and other glass objects I like to think that I might be leaving something behind to entrance future generations, and just maybe, hopefully, to inspire some future glass maker to find his or her magic. Without the work of those generations before me and the unseen hands of those involved in the complex production of my raw materials and shop supplies, my work would not exist. To all those people and for their efforts, I owe my gratitude.
Item: Blue Vessel, studio glass
Dimensions: 6.875 inches tall by 7.75 inches wide
Price: SOLD to Nevada
Item: Vessel, studio glass
Dimensions: 4.75 inches by 3.25 inches
Price: $65.00, plus s/i
Item: Dark Green Vessel with Swirl, studio glass
Dimensions: 5.625 inches by 4.75 inches