The last thing I do before I go to bed is walk out to my studio to check the furnaces. Seeing an aurora borealis, or watching a thunderstorm develop down the valley, or just looking up at the sky on a perfect summer night inspires me to translate some of the wonder of the universe into my glass. That wonder comes out in my work, not in any purposeful way but slowly. My work evolves in such incremental steps that I often don't recognize the natural influences until someone points them out to me. Along with the natural world, my motivation comes directly from the material itself. Glass is an alchemic blend of sand and metallic oxides combined with extraordinary, blinding heat. The result is a material that flows and drips like honey. When it's hot, glass is alive. It moves gracefully and inexorably in response to gravity and centrifugal force. It possesses an inner light and transcendent radiant heat that makes it simultaneously one of the most frustrating - and one of the most rewarding - materials to work with. I attempt to coax it; all it wants to do is drip on the floor. Most of my work reflects a compromise between me and the glass; the finished piece is the moment in time when we agree.
When I haven't made a particular kind of object for a while, it takes a day or two to get back into the rhythm. After only a few days, boredom sets in; at that point I can lose interest and make terrible work or I can begin to push the material and start to have fun. Exploring often leads to something new and interesting - sometimes it just adds more broken glass to the local landfill. I always seem to have more ideas than I will ever have time to make.