Though I label this an “artist’s statement,” I like to think of myself more as a craftsperson than as an artist, even while recognizing that these two aspects of my being are inextricably intertwined. What drives me and the work that I make, at this point in my life, is a desire to acquire and hone the skills necessary to truly communicate and negotiate with the medium that is glass. At heart, I value creativity over technical ability, but the mastery of skills is essential if I am to be able to articulate a vision clearly without the distraction of technical limitations. It is only when my skills meet my imagination that I can be able to share the world as I see it, without limitations.
Much of what I make stems from taking a series of techniques or objects that I wish to explore and combining them in ways so that the overall piece transcends the individual objects and techniques involved. In this way, it is actually the process and not that product that gives me the most consistent pleasure in working with glass. Glass can be stubborn, unforgiving, and truly frustrating. Because of that, it is impossible to entirely impose your own will on the medium. Instead, the glassmaker must be in a constant dialog with the glass, negotiating with it and coaxing it, not forcing it, into submission. This is something that I absolutely respect about glass and, ultimately, it becomes extremely satisfying when a piece becomes a success.
In my life, in my work and in my art I often seek to use humor to create a relaxed environment so that individuals may work effectively and/or open themselves up to critical and honest thought. Often the work that I make is humorous on a superficial level but contains a lot more to be explored. I try to create work that is generous to the audience in that it provides many different levels and avenues for interpretation, some of which I have not even uncovered myself. Whether those who contemplate my work see only the humor or interpret a deeper, more provocative, commentary matters not to me. What matters is that I have given someone the pleasure of engaging on any level.
I seek to invoke the same delight within the process as I try to create projects that are both enjoyable to make as well as to contemplate after they are made. Working with glass can be mentally and physically tiring but, because it typically requires teamwork, for every project I undertake, that toll does not lay solely on my shoulders. In that regard, I consider it very important to make each experience as wonderful for everyone involved, no matter how the piece turns out. So if the creation of a piece is exciting and entertaining to the point that others want to be a part of its creation, then I have succeeded.