Born 1976, in Takilma, Oregon, I first became fascinated with glass while attending the University of California at Santa Cruz. Since then, I have studied with professional lampworkers including Robert Mickelson, Roger Parramore and Cesare Toffolo, at Pilchuck and the Eugene Glass School. I currently reside and work in Southern Oregon with my wife and daughter.
I am the sole creator of each of the glass vessels and sculptures on display. They are blown and/or sculpted from borosilicate glass (commonly known as Pyrex), with a special torch using a process called flamework. By utilizing a torch I can achieve much more control and detail than traditional glassblowing.
First, I start with a section of clear glass tubing or rod, which I rotate in the flame of the torch until it is molten. Once sufficiently heated to about 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, I roll the section in powdered colored glass to form a base of color. After several coats of powder, I use various techniques to design the piece. Some of these techniques could be using colored glass rods and painting on the glass, or taking shards of color and inlaying them into the piece. There are a multitude of techniques, some dating back to the Egyptians and Romans, to some just developed recently in the United States. Next, the piece is blown and/or sculpted to achieve the final form and placed in a hot kiln to anneal. Finally, after the piece has cooled, it can be coldworked. For me, the coldworking process usually consists of sandblasting the glass which finely etches the surface, and battuto, which is engraving or carving the glass.
The inspiration for my work has always been nature. The contrast between the highly technical process of flamework and the seemingly spontaneous, organic beauty of Earth's creations drive my work. Growing up in Southwestern Oregon sparked my fascination with nature and its many wonders. I try to imitate its natural patterns, textures, colors, and forms. I seek to explore our complex relationship as humans with our planet. Glass, consisting primarily of the most common element on Earth, silica, is a remarkable medium to capture the gracefulness, fluidity, and flow which surrounds us. I feel lucky to work with it.