It's about the fire...,

Growing up I always loved fire. I was mesmerized by my parents' fireplace. I was always the kid sitting closest to the campfire. Once I dumped alcohol on a burning fire and got my first lesson in fuel flow -vs- rate of ignition as that bottle of alcohol took off like a rocket. I became a volunteer firefighter during college where I studied electrical engineering and computer science. I've always loved technical art forms; woodworking, photography, metal work. Anything involving tools, equipment and working with my hands.

I took a 15 year hiatus from these loves while I was involved with the computer industry, the last ten of which I spent as a senior systems analyst for a major computer manufacturer. I had seen glass blowing once and subconsciously knew it had all the right ingredients: a lot of tools, equipment and most of all a lot of fire. In 1991 I went to a craft show where I rediscovered these interests and saw the most amazing blown glass work. Later that year I was off to the Penland School of Crafts for a month where I learned glass blowing from several internationally known glass artists. I knew right away. Before I left Penland the first time, I had signed up for another 2-month intensive in the spring of 1992. Having no idea how I was going to handle this with my real job, I went back and turned in my notice. By the fall of 1992 I had my own studio.

I've never looked back.

I still love the fire. I love running my studio, building equipment and teaching classes. But most of all I love creating the work; Molten, fluid, hot (really hot!) glass being shaped, coaxed, encouraged into form with only a few simple tools.
The process is somewhat cathartic for me, almost a meditation. Working in concert with the glass, the rest of the world disappears for a few moments and
it's just me... by myself... with the fire.

Rick Sherbert


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