It all started with a bunsen burner, some extra Pyrex tubing, and some free time. I’ve always been drawn to the interplay of light and color in blown and stained glass, and when I worked in bioscience labs I used to play with bunsen burners and glass tubing, bending forms and twisting tubing into interesting shapes. I loved the way the glass felt when it began to melt, to yield to my influence and take on new forms.
Like most people, I was drawn to the world of furnace glass blowing, where skilled artists sculpt amorphous blobs of molten glass into sparkling vessels and sculptural forms. After visiting a local glassblower’s studio and learning more about the process I realized it required far more equipment and experience than I had available to me, so I bought an assortment of supplies and a book and taught myself to do copper foil stained glass, with fairly decent results.
Then one day I saw an ad for a 2hr fusing workshop at a local ceramics studio. I took two of those classes, and they were a good start, but there was no time to do anything more than scratch the surface. Eventually I signed up for a 1 week fusing workshop at the John C. Campbell Folk School, where I learned firing schedules, coefficient of expansion, and how to work with dichroics, enamels, paints, powders, frits and stringer. The course was taught by Beverly Fuller, who was a knowledgeable and engaging teacher, and I had so much fun at JCC that I signed up for another class within 6 months, this one on lampwork bead making. I followed that with a stained glass class at The Clearing, a folk school in Door County Wisconsin, and then an intermediate bead making class at JCC taught by the amazing Terry Hale. Then a class at the Spruill Center with Margo Knight, and another JCC class with Terry and Marjorie Langston, and now I’m hooked.
I enjoy beads, jewelry making, stained and fused glass, and hope to try casting and advanced fusing techniques in the next few years. I’ve made my own kiln and kiln controllers, and am currently renovating my studio to accommodate my prize, a 41″ long Skutt 1414 glass kiln. I always wondered what I wanted to do with my life, and now I know: make beautiful artwork out of glass.
2011 John C. Campbell Folk School, Fused Glass, Beverly Fuller
2011 JCCFS, Lampwork Beads, Bob Rubanowicz.
2012 The Clearing, Design and build stained glass panels, Gary Chaudoir.
2013 JCCFS, Bump up your beads, Terry Hale
2013 Spruill Center for the Arts, Lampwork beads, Margo Knight
2013 Lampwork beads and marbles workshop, Brad Pearson
2014 JCCFS, Advanced Lampwork beads, Terry Hale and Marjorie Langston
2014 Spruill Center for the Arts, Beginning Jewelry Making, Leslie Ferrell
2015 Penland School of Craft, Lampworking sculptural forms, Wesley Fleming, assisted by Jupiter Nielsen