For as long as i can remember I've enjoyed creating from making snow sculptures in my parents yard or doodling on anything. My more formal introduction to art started at Anoka Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids MN in 1984, this is where and when I started to take art seriously one of my first college classes was glass blowing at ARCC. During my time at ARCC I was the teaching assistant for glass blowing and metal casting classes, and spent most of the next 2.5 years in the art dept. there. The next step in my arts education was an apprenticeship with Nancy Freeman, a glass blower in New York. The next several years are filled with to many stories to go into to much detail here suffice to say I was working as a glass blower in Minneapolis MN and Santa Barbara, CA. The next notable bio marker is in the early 1990s when I started back to school at the University of Minnesota to work on getting my degree in art, this coincided with working for Allina Health System. A few years into this stage and after several promotions and advancements at Allina my work responsibilities overtook my desire to finish my degree, however around the this same time I was blowing glass out of a studio in northeast Minneapolis on weekends and evening to satisfy that creative itch. This was the way things were till 2002 when my wife and I moved to rural Otter Tail Co. in west central MN. In 2002 I built my current studio and have be creating here ever sense.
For me, blowing glass is like that rock. Not a rock. Not one of the many I easily passed by on boyhood walks with my earth-science teacher father. But that one. The rock that made me stop, look, pick it up, and finally take it home. Those red, brown, and orange bands of color held in my fingers that traced lines of sinuous beauty as they also told the story of that rock's formation and found a place to sit so well in my hand. It was like meeting or making a friend.
That's why I love glassblowing. Not only the imagining and preparing, the mixing, fusing, blowing, shaping, tempering, finishing, and then passing on for enjoyment and use -- but the way all these combine to tell a story, to capture and hold the flowing liquid beauty of blown glass. I love the way my art combines all those wonderful facets of glass: light, color, transparency, opacity, reflection, and refraction as well as the form and texture of objects largely designed for everyday, practical use. My craft creates glasses, bowls, vases, and other pieces each unique as the natural forms of earth, stem, leaf, and fruit that inspire them. I enjoy planning and balancing the mix and flow of color and form each piece requires as much as I enjoy its unpredictable, usually unrepeatable results.
Like that rock's place in nature, my glassware is intended for use. The beauty of a wineglass I make is not best revealed on a display shelf but holding wine, fitting a hand, bringing beauty to a table in the glory of a simple meal alone or gathered with friends. A blown glass plate of my making, with its with its colorful streaks and swirls, demands the compliment of fruit, cheese, or bread just as a brandy at the end of the day wants a glass as singular as the life and occasion available there for reflection. The point of my work is to underline and enjoy the day, the table, the occasion, the quiet and noisy times that should be as well spent as they are unique.
My studio sits in rural lake country looking out at fields and trees, sky and water, the snow and green buds of changing seasons. I sometimes think of my glassblowing as enlisting and enlarging those natural forms and processes in much the same way my 2400 degree furnace takes silica, vision, and breath and transforms them into new objects for this world, My art is part of the that world but adds a place of distinct beauty and usefulness in it. A good place and part for glassblowing, just like that rock.