I make art & stuff. How did I get here?
Life is strange in the paths that it takes you down. Starting at an early age, I acquired a love for archaeology. Having my father’s college anthropology text books around the house and the chance discovery of a stone arrowhead helped set this in motion. This passion led me to study first at the University of Akron, then later at Kent State University. It was while I was studying archaeology at KSU that I discovered the art of glassblowing by accident in 1992. On my daily long treks from the commuter parking lots, I would walk by the building that housed the glass art department on campus. It was a large industrial looking building that sat on a busy corner where I would have to wait to cross the street. The studio had many windows and garage doors and was always open and humming with activity; especially loud music. One day my curiosity made me stop and investigate the big open garage door and loud noises emanating from inside. I was fascinated by what I saw. People playing with FIRE! I pretty much knew instantly that I had to try my hand at this.
The first time I held a blow pipe in my hand I was hooked. I had always loved art and the joy of creating with my hands and mind. The glass program was still under the direction of its founder and American studio glass movement pioneer Henry Halem. My first glass art instructor was then Graduate student Rene Culler; now a noted glass author, educator, and artist in her own right. Outside of school I was fortunate to find a mentor in another Kent State glass program student and Hale Farm glass blower: Mike Levinsky. Over the years I would work with Mike at his private studio in Copley, Ohio. Later we would both be involved with the Steinert Glass School in Kent, Ohio which was started by John Steinert. Eventually I acquired Mike’s old studio equipment and started the Canal Fulton Glassworks with my parents, Sandy and Bud Graham.
Glass for me has been a journey. It has made me patient, centered, relaxed and full of purpose. I can’t imagine not doing it. It is hard to believe that I have been playing with hot glass for over 25 years.
In 2014, I went back to Graduate school and earned a Master’s degree in Education. Since then, I have added the title of High School Visual Art Teacher to my CV.
I am inspired by history, anthropology, chemistry, nature, decay and this peculiar singularity known as life. I maintain a studio and art gallery called The Canal Fulton Glassworks.