After my first class at age 17, I was hooked. In this molten form, glass loses its fragility and responds only to gravity and myself. By shaping, stretching, and blowing I bring the glass to life.
Glass is not only a way to express myself but also a way to fulfill my need to work with my hands and to have something to show for a day's work. At a young age, I learned a strong work ethic from my family but especially my grandfather. He was a stone mason and I started working with him at age 11. From these experiences, I learned the value of hard work and the value of mastering a craft. After two years of “playing” with glass, I decided that I wanted to master the medium. I gave up virtually all of my other passions; playing drums, guitar, saxophone, recording music and doing live sound. I then dedicated every spare moment aside from school and work, to pursue the mastery of glass. I started selling my work at outdoor art festivals a few years later as my summer job during college. As I was finishing my degree, I started taking professional level glass classes from world-renowned artists.
After 3 years of learning from over a dozen glass artists, I began to focus on my career as a glass artist and began pursuing galleries to carry my work. At the same time, an opportunity presented itself to help me open my own public studio and gallery. In the summer of 2012 I opened Lake Superior Art Glass. Here I teach classes, give demonstrations and sell the work of over 60 other glass artists. After years of perseverance, the cogs of my wheel are in place and I can now continue to grow as an artist and expand my body of work. My inspiration is two fold. The first is technique based. Glass is a very technical medium. From the physical skill-set to the chemistry of working colors, this aspect of the medium fulfills my desire to learn, practice and master. The second is my passion to express myself through glass. These two areas must exist in equal proportions. Without the technical side, I am unable to express myself. Without the passion, there is no drive to continue the path towards mastery.
I am also encouraged by the medium itself, the act of working with glass in its natural state. New colors continue to emerge and the challenge of working these colors or working with new techniques makes this, as many have said, an unmasterable medium. I face this challenge every day and try to convey this to people through my work by using techniques that will foster a sense of amazement in those who view my art.