Saturday, November 03, 2007

A little background about my glass journey

I started my glass journey back in 1980 when my son was born. I did stained glass for many years and was happy with my (at the time my newly acquired) “hobby”. I was very happy to sell my glass to all my working buddies and that always made working fun for me. During that phase I sold more than 900 stained glass pieces. Had sales that were sent all over the world…..

I purchased a tiny jewelry kiln (you know the one that looks like a beehive) that was all that was available in the early 90’s. I couldn’t buy any books because there were none available at that time. I didn’t have a clue about the coe’s of glass at that time either…. they didn’t even carry any 90 or 96 compatible glass. So everything was an experiment which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. There were no glass forums and most people at that time didn’t even have access to a computer. I had no clue what I was suppose to do but had alot of glass projects that did work. I gave them away to family and friends.

This was also the time that I decided to go back to school and get an Associates Degree in Horticulture. I was still working full time as a teacher aide and houseparent for deaf/blind children at the School for the Blind in Michigan and that was about 60 hours a week and going to school when I wasn’t working, as well as raising our son. During that time I didn’t have much time to continue with glass. So I put my glass away for a few years. When I started back up again after I graduated from college, and was retired,without retirement pay…. from the day job, and our son was close to graduating from high school….I started to make stained glass stepping stones. I made and sold more than 300 of them. I also started my own Landscape business. The business was very successful until I injured my shoulder and couldn’t do that type of work any more. Installations and clearing out existing landscape takes a toll on your body.

I was out to Portland Oregon and was reminded that I also loved glass but was very much a Horticulturist and had forgotten about the glass until then. The trip ended and I flew home 1 week before 9/11/01. After 911 happened I was very much feeling that something in my life was missing and was looking though my glass supplies and low and behold I came across a box of dichroic samples from Savoy….. Ding… ding…. ding…. something went off in my head…..and I had a ah-ha moment. By this time I was on the computer and found the website for fused glass that Brad Walker founded. Purchased a larger kiln and took off on the continuing glass journey. The 1st Warm Glass Conference was to take place out in Portland Oregon the following year. So the journey was starting. I met many of the people that had been working with glass then and again at the 2nd conference and the 3 and then the 4th conferences. I’ve not looked back. I have taken many classes and hope to continue to increase my knowledge. Just when I think that I don’t have any thing else to learn I find out that there is so much more to learn and the knowledge is never ending!
I have taken classes with:
Bert Weiss
Brock Craig and Avery Anderson
Patty Gray
Richard Lalonde
Janet Schrader
Linda Scott
Linda Steider
Patti Curtin
Richard Simon
and many more that I haven’t mentioned. Of all the classes that I’ve taken I now have more instructors on the “to take list”.


Tom & Cher said...

I just read your list of instructors and I am soooo jealous! Sweet!

Anonymous said...

I am jealous too! I wish I could take a class at least with one of them. Just one. :)
For now I am just teaching myself or better I say learning from the generous people from the w glass forum.