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. She invited me to her studio, where I learned techniques developed by her and Kay Kinney, aka “Kay the Potter,” a California ceramics and glass artist and crafter, author of Glass Craft (published in 1962 by Chilton Book Company). 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. 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.