"My interest in Hot Glass began in 1967 While studying Ceramics and Art Education at Kean University, NJ, ( then Newark State College ). The Ceramics Professor, David Jones, learned of early experiments with furnace worked glass on a studio level at the Toledo ( Ohio ) Museum, and set up a primitive shop. I was fortunate enough to have a chance to work at that furnace. The material, Hot Glass, proved seductive. The same things that attracted me then, drive me now, to pursue an affair with the molten glowing material wrapped on the end of a hollow steel pipe. I try to approach Hot Glass as a medium for expression and growth, made available to me as an individual artist through contemporary technology. My forms are derived from sculptural goals and a continuing dialog with the Glass, forms which exist not only in the traditional three dimensional sense, but glowing from within, absorbing, reflecting, radiating and playing with pure light."
"Hot glass comprises part of the lifeblood of the Earth itself. It erupts, molten and glowing from the bowels and cools, black, and shining in the Sun. This is the material which the artist attempts to control."
Al was introduced to hot glass at Kean College when David Jones returned from a workshop with Harvey Littleton and cobbled together a furnace melting fiberglass marbles. He received his B.A. with certification in Art education in 1969 and went on to graduate studies in Glass with Dale Chihuly at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1974 he completed Masters studies in Glass at Illinois State University in Joel Myers' studio. He then outfitted and maintained his own studio in Frenchtown, NJ, with the help of a NJ State Council on the Arts Grant. In 1979 he had an opportunity to study glass at the Academy of Applied Art in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in the studio of Professor Stanislav Libensky, as an International Research and Exchanges Board Fellow. After returning to NJ in 1980 he served on the faculty of the New York Experimental Glass Workshop. From 1981 to 1983 he was director of the Glass program at Millburn Sr. H.S. In 1986, after restoring the carriage house and installing an innovative furnace system, he began a series of campaigns in Blairstown. His work from Blairstown won inclusion in the "International Exhibition of Glass Craft '88" Kanazawa, Japan and the "1996 New Jersey Arts Annual: Crafts Exhibition". He was Artist in Residence for decades at the Gillinder Factory in Port Jervis, N.Y.until the workshops ended in 2017. Recently he taught, worked and helped establish the program at Glass Works at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, Pa.
"Glass is a mixture of intense heat, primitive instruments, basic elements; smoke, fire, steel, passion, sound, rhythm, dance, joy, anguish...color, occult mystery, skill, imagination, intellect, life, death..."
EAT HOT GLASS!