Beginning in 1993, Bill was drawn into the world of Lampwork, or the manipulation of glass in the flame.
Although growing up in the Seattle area (well known now for it’s glassblowing community), it was not until after leaving the corporate world behind and moving to Montana that I began torching glass. It was on a trip back to Seattle in 1993 that I happened upon Isis Ray, who was selling her handmade beads from a booth in the Public Market. Seeing her beads opened a door, which drew me into the world of glassblowing. She had a very brief description on a small card describing how they were made, and that was the seed for it all. Being a good fire sign, (read pyro), I was immediately drawn to the idea of playing with fire, and perhaps even earning some money in the process. Originally selling at Art Fairs and Galleries, we now have our own store in Corvallis Montana.
I don’t consider myself an Artist in the modern sense, but rather an Artisan in the Old World sense where “the art of glassblowing” would refer more to skill and technique. Pulling and twisting glass is a magical and technically challenging skill, which I have been known for and enjoy very much. The ribbon cane has become a decorative element in much of my work. After years of creating many thousands of small beads, I have transitioned into working with borosilicate glass and continue to enjoy the challenge of glassblowing.
In contemplating my place in the world, I often times reflect on the relevance of my work and my lifestyle. I am after all in the business of selling a handmade item that is a pure luxury. Nobody requires my glass artwork to survive, but perhaps it is fair to say there are those whose life is enriched in a significant way by my work. I know there are those whose face lights up with a smile when they see and hold these creations of fire and earth. That is my reward and my inspiration to continue spreading love and harmony, one piece at a time.