Growing up in New Mexico in the 60’s, I dreamed of someday becoming a glass blower while visiting the glass factories in Juarez, Mexico. After an inspirational trip to Europe in 1973, I pursued this dream and studied art at the University of New Mexico. During this time I learned welding and lampworking glass skills at New Mexico Tech in Albuquerque. I met Belinda who was also attending UNM. We heard of a college in Ellensburg, WA that taught studio furnace glassblowing so we moved there in 1977. While at CWU, I learned to blow glass alongside William (Billy) Morris and Dave Schwarz. This was when Billy met Dale Chihuly and brought back techniques from Pilchuck Glass School to share with the class. Belinda and I graduated from Central Washington University in 1980, me with a BA in Art/Glassblowing and she with a BS in Accounting. I continued glass classes at Pratt Art Institute in Seattle where I studied under Walter Lieberman and Thermon Statom. While there, I conducted Pratt’s first workshops in flameworking techniques.
We moved to Bend at the end of 1980 where we built our own glassblowing studio. We started out selling our work at art festivals during the 80’s and by the 90’s had established enough contacts to stop traveling and show exclusively through art galleries and fine gift stores. We have created numerous commissioned works for corporate gifts and sporting event awards, and placed a number of installations in private homes. We have won mural commissions from Art in Public Places in Bend and from the Space Needle Corporation in Seattle. Our work has been shown at the Popejoy Museum in Albuquerque and at the Portland Art Museum.
I am in love with the challenge of making sculpture from molten glass. In 1996, I took the opportunity to go to Pilchuck Glass School and study under maestro Pino Signoretto from Murano, Italy. It was amazing to witness the skills of a true master glass sculptor and to work in the incredible facilities of Pilchuck. I was able to see traditional Italian techniques and apply them to my own sculpting skills. I feel glass surpasses all materials in its ability to transmit color, light and movement. Its unique characteristic of freezing in motion lends itself beautifully to the aquatic theme which comprises much of my work.
In 1984, I was approached by a friend to see if I would be able to incorporate his sister's cremains within a glass piece. We experimented and discovered that yes, the cremated ashes are compatible with the glass. Around 1992, we started offering this service through a third party and gradually grew this side of our business. In 2015, we started offering this service directly on our Etsy.com site, so that we could have more control over customer service. We were able to offer more items and to deal with our customers directly and promptly. It has been a pleasure creating these beautiful glass keepsakes and hearing of the emotional relief they have provided.