From the time I was fourteen, I have been developing my skills as a glass artist. While I was still in high school, I first experimented with manipulating hot glass with a simple torch and some clear glass rods that my father had bought for me. Being born and raised in Southern New Jersey, I was in the midst of a rich tradition of Glasswork, having many glass factories within an hour’s drive of my home. In 1977-78, I received my formal glass training, in scientific glassblowing technology, from Salem County Community College. I worked as a scientific glassblower for three years, hand fabricating laboratory apparatus that was used by the petroleum, drug, and scientific research industries. It was during that time that I became exposed to paperweights, through the work of James and Nontas Kontes, owners of the scientific glass company for which I was working at that time. Although I am self-taught in the art of paperweight making, The Kontes brothers offered their guidance, advice, and endless support with my learning to make lampwork paperweights. I consider them my glass mentors, and we share a cherished friendship. I also volunteered to work at a nearby glass facility, Wheaton Historic Village. There, I learned how to work with hot glass, in the traditional way, gathering the glass from a hot tank, and then shaping and forming it with the traditional tools used by glassblowers. To this day, I continue to learn new techniques for working glass, through research, trial and error, and by participating in workshops.