Born and raised on a farm in the Villages of Van Buren, I, like many of my friends, went away for education. I returned to work in my community, always feeling a connection with the land. (you cannot get the farm out of a farmer)
I had always had an interest in glass blowing, but it was not until taking classes from Jim Topic, a glass artist in Nauvoo, that I was smitten.
I am always amazed that an orange molten gather of glass can be transformed into an ornament, glass, or other piece of art, using only air, gravity, heat and hand tools.. It is like magic!
Using help of friends and family, I began to gather equipment and remodel a space on the farm to utilize as a hot shop. In the fall of 2015 I was finally able to begin working with glass on the farm. Since that time I have made many mistakes (what my father called experience)
Being primarily self-taught, I started working with clear glass only so I could recycle my “experiences”. In November of 2017 I added color to my glass creations. What a change!
During my travels I always search out another “gaffer” and work with them. This allows me to learn new techniques, see how others create their art and grow as an artist.
This year we added an open-air studio to work in during the Summer heat. What a difference it makes. Sssoooo much cooler, and quiet. We have also upgraded the hot shop with better roof ventilation and will be opening a gallery to display other area artists works, as well as our own, hopefully, this Winter.
Come and visit us at Bloom and Bark!
Join others as they gather in the Villages of Van Buren to learn from the resident artisans in their personal studios. Spend a weekend plein air painting along the Des Moines River, or step back in time as you throw bowls in a Pottery Shop. The inspiring and relaxing atmosphere of scenic Van Buren County, Iowa is, and will continue to be, a haven for creative beings.