i. I work as a Glassblower, focusing on barware and other sculptural and decorative items for the home
ii. I do this creative work because:
I find the challenge of working with glass to be extremely rewarding. It is a dance of heat, gravity and centrifugal force, as well as the hand-eye coordination that I have developed over the last 10 years. The never-ending desire to improve my craft and the need for focus and concentration keeps me striving to move forward in better controlling the material.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
My production management background. I am always looking for ways to streamline my processes to make a more consistent product. My enjoyment of repetitive processes allows me to create uniformity in my production work. My love of fire and heat is certainly a big help as well.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Mistakes in glassblowing are often not an option, if you make a mistake it often means scrapping the project and starting from scratch.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
I have always been an entrepreneur at heart. I began selling rocks from my yard to my neighbors when I was about 5. I didn’t find my artistic side until high school when I took my first art class.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
The entire worldwide glass community is extremely inspiring to me. Everyone from beginners to maestros have something to offer. Whether that be a unique perspective on how to approach the material or a specific technique that they have figured out and mastered. I find that most of the glass community is very open to sharing their knowledge and expertise with each other and I am proud to be a part of it.
vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
I first learned to blow glass as an elective course in college at California State University Chico. After that, I attended a two month concentration in glass at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. I then worked and apprenticed for glass artist Bryon Sutherland in northern California for about 5 years.
Following that time, I worked in other studios in Oregon, Washington, and most recently at BOCCI design and lighting in Vancouver. I have also taken courses from different artists at The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass and Pilchuck Glass School. All of these were very important parts to get me to where I am in my career today.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
I think that the worst trap that you can fall into as an artist of any kind is to think you have nothing left to learn. The moment you start thinking that, is the moment you stop improving and growing as an artist.
ix. Some proud career moments:
My proudest career moment to date was when I was accepted at my current position as Studio Manager of Terminal City Glass Co-Op in Vancouver. I have always wanted to help the public have access to this amazing material and TCGC is an amazing organization that does just that! It is a space for everyone; from the curious public, to the established professional, and everyone in between.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Take LOTS of classes from many different people. The learning curve for glassblowing is very steep and it takes a long time until you are able to fully realize your visions into actual creations in the material. I find enjoyment of learning and lots of patience with self are extremely helpful personal attributes for a glassblower.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
I hope to have a successful and recognizable barward brand, and within 5 years to have a co-owned studio with another glass artist. I would also love to get a mobile studio so that I can share the art of glassblowing with even more of the public than I currently do.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
First Pick Handmade: Home Decor – October 19,20 – Heritage Hall (Main Street)
Circle Craft Market – November 7-11 – Vancouver Convention Center
Eastside Culture Crawl – November 14-17 – 1191 Parker Street
Giving Gifts – 4570 Main St, Vancouver, BC
Circle Craft Store – 1666 Johnston St #1 – Granville Island Dougherty Glassworks Studio – 1191 Parker Street – 605.500.5158