Tell us about yourself!
I got the glass bug in 1994 hanging out with some friends in the hot shop at Tyler School of Art. Since then, my career path has been a winding one, working as a glassblower, blacksmith, industrial designer, project manager, studio technician, teacher and currently co-founder of a glass furnace manufacturing company in Americus, GA. Through all the different avenues (and tens of thousands of miles) I have traveled, glass has always been a presence, calling me back when I stray too far away.
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
For me, glass is more about the experience than it is about the finished objects. I find that hot glass is a powerful medium for connecting with others as well as overcoming personal challenges. I find immense joy seeing the excitement when someone first plays with hot glass. I savor the dance of the public demonstration, drawing spectators into our spontaneous creativity. I love witnessing a student overcome and embrace the harsh lessons of non-attachment. Glass is therapeutic on many levels and can offer some intense life lessons if you pay attention.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
I have always been drawn to the community that forms around hot glass. The public access studio scene has been so great for bringing together all walks of life. The more that the general public becomes engaged with artists, the better off our society is and will be, and hot glass is a really alluring way to accomplish this connection.
What is your dream project?
This connection has been my primary focus and has culminated in the forming of Mobile Glassblowing Studios with my business partner Chuck Wells. Since forming this company in 2015, thousands of people have seen and experienced hot glass working from our furnaces, many for the first time. It is my hope that this is helping to spread an appreciation for art and the handmade in general. Perhaps it is inspiring the next generation of artists and collectors. It is definitely enabling a whole lot of people to continue and pursue their glass work. I cannot imagine any sculpture that I could create that would have this kind of effect, so in that respect, this is my dream project.
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I have tried getting away from the glass field, it hasn't worked out so well.
What's something about you that most people don't know?
I think I'll keep those secrets to myself ;-)
Why are you a member of GAS?
Networking and tradition. I appreciate the history and efforts of the organization as a vehicle for promoting the sharing of knowledge and ideas. The GAS conferences and events have been invaluable to the growth of the glass art movement around the world.