Regarding my EnergyWebs, people often say to me, “What a stroke of genius to combine reverse-painting on glass and spin art. What inspired you?”
And my standard reply is ” Do you remember Thomas Edison? He said “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. ”
There was a lot of work ( and luck) involved which led up to creating the first EnergyWeb.
It all started after I met a glass artist named C. Michelle Hurt in 1994. She started working for me as a blackjack dealer ( I operated blackjack tables for amusement only in nightclubs across Florida – but that’s a whole other story). Michelle had just returned to the St. Petersburg area after a stint at Dale Chihouly’s Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Washington.
We had an immediate attraction for one another and we were soon living together in a small rented house not far from the Sunken Gardens. There was a detached garage behind the house which we set up as a studio for her to work in. She created beautiful cold-glass sculptures which she consigned to various art galleries, locally and around the country. She taught me much about glass in general, and more specifically, how to score, break, scallop, polish, paint, and adhere pieces of glass together to create glass sculptures.
Michelle was a wonderful glass artist, but unfortunately, at that time, she was having a problem with alcohol. Our relationship became very complicated and we ended up going in different directions. Such is life…but I do have to thank Michelle for introducing me to the world of glass art. That was the beginning for me.