Exhilarated by the demands of the process, Al enjoys meeting the challenges of timing and intuition required to manage fluid hot glass. In the studio, he states, “it’s important to stay in the moment, open to the ever-present opportunity to defy gravity.” Al prefers the “glass cowboy” tradition of design and production by a single maker. Form is his primary consideration; he often works with clear glass, focusing on surface reflections and interior views to create sculptural, functional pieces.
The artist states: My first experience with glass was working with glaze formulas for ceramics, experimenting with canes and shards in handle reservoirs and on platters. In 1981, in the hot glass studio at St. Cloud State University, a second gather of glass found its way to the floor, puddling into a foot as I blew out the cup of my first goblet. Glass fever took over through the following years, looking out over the Mississippi River during midnight to 4am blow-times at the University of Minnesota, where I received a BFA in 1986. I served as a studio apprentice in Boulder, CO and in 1989, I moved to Whidbey Island, WA where over the next decade I met some of the world’s most incredible glassblowers, chaired the Artist’s Co-op and built my own studio. After returning to Minnesota, I started working at Foci-Minnesota Center for Glass Arts, where I just keep smilin’ no matter how much my dad still says I should quit blowing glass and get a real job.