I fell in love with glass as an art form in the 1970s. In the early 70s, I started creating glass art as a hobby after meeting Onita Jones, a regionally acclaimed glass artist, at a ceramics show in Anaheim, California.Â She invited me to her studio, where I learned techniques developed by her and Kay Kinney, aka “Kay the Potter,” aÂ California ceramics and glass artist and crafter, author of Glass Craft (published in 1962 by Chilton Book Company).Â I bought Kay’s book right away. With the treasure trove of insight she shared about the firing, shaping, and decorating glass; I was confident enough to build a business providing the supplies needed by glass artists and crafters to create their works. It is loaded with information about mold-making, cutting, fusing, shaping, and decorating a wide variety of glass (stained glass, window glass, glass bottles, etc.). The book includes instructions on cutting, drilling, firing, laminating, enameling, and more.
From 1977 through 1981, I was a full-time artist and commercial glass arts and crafts entrepreneur. Â I created glass art and developed a highly successful arts and crafts business around what I learned and created. Rather than rely solely on the sale of my art pieces, I decided to teach others how to create their own art. Instead of teaching each artist, I taught industry and scholastic art teachers. I developed a distribution program for training materials and the products necessary to complete the courses, leaving retail product sales up to the teachers or the shops and schools where they taught.