Jack’s undergraduate and post graduate education is in business, and he has had a long and successful business career. In 1980 he found his passion for working with glass by attending a workshop at a stained glass studio in Marietta, GA. Jack’s wife Valerie, an accomplished artist, encouraged his creative development. Over the next several years, he created many wonderful stained glass windows. He attended several fused glass workshops with Patty Gray, a known glass artist. He found his true passion working with glass, and today is an accomplished and award-winning fused glass artist.
Born in Oshkosh, WI, Valerie Beatty is a glass and jewelry artist currently residing in Trinity, FL. In the early 1970’s, she received her first formal training in silversmith jewelry work at the Oshkosh Art Museum. Valerie moved to Florida 33 years ago and taught art in the Pinellas County school system after receiving her degree from USF. She has enjoyed working in watercolor, colored pencil, cloisonné, fused glass, and jewelry. She has attended numerous glass workshops and recently had the privilege of studying with the well known glass artist Patty Gray. The last three years her work has consisted mainly of fused glass pieces and jewelry created from manipulated fused glass and sterling silver.
patsy monk was a nurse and paramedic while living in Virginia. Her life changed dramatically when she moved to Florida in 1999. She began working with multi-media art. In 2001, patsy began making lampwork beads and began teaching the techniques in 2003. Education in any craft is part of credibility. She has attended classes by glass bead artist Marilyn Jobe, Lynday Huneycutt, Linda White, Molly Heynis and Megan Ballarini, with additional classes scheduled in the next 2 years. Patsy has done demos and taught classes privately and in groups in Manatee County, Sarasota County, Hillsborough County and in Atlanta, Georgia. Working with molten glass is an exciting challenge for her and teaching others the skill is also a unique thrill. Creative expression is a vital part of life!
David Spurgeon apprenticed as a hot glass assistant at the Morean Glass Studio & Hot Shop and was a self-taught lampworking glass artist when he started. He has studied art throughout Asia and the United States, including Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines. His exposure to different cultures is evident in his glass works through a variety of flora and fauna.
Douglas Taylor Jr. of Firebug Productions has over 11 years of glass-working experience. He began working with glass in 1999 at Raku Art Studios and making production pottery full time while attending college. After graduating with a BA in Ceramic Engineering and Sculpture from the University of South Florida, he began working with Dean James Glass Works in Ybor City where he made production glass full-time for the American crafters market. At that time, Douglas developed new techniques from combining his many other art talents to create mixed media sculpture. He has had the opportunity to work with and learn advanced techniques from many glass artists such as Fritz Driesbach, Tim Miller and Susan Gott. Douglas also enjoys and is prolific in metalworking, woodworking, glassblowing and photography.