I never had an early interest in glass in particular but always had an interest in creativity. Sometimes, I’m not too sure where it’s going; but for me, it’s all about being able to make what I want, when I want, and keep it moving until I can no longer do so. I took the scenic route on the way to working with glass. I was always interested in the visual arts and music, and in 1976, I started my education at Kent State University with a major in painting. During this time, I had a weekend job as a groundskeeper at Hale Farm, an early American historical village just outside of Kent, Ohio. It was there that I was literally thrown into glassblowing. One afternoon, the head gaffer at the glass shop walked off the job after getting into a tiff with the grounds manager. The manager looked at me and said, “Hunting, get over to the glass studio and give the guy a hand.” The next thing I knew, I was gathering hot, molten glass out of a replica of a historic furnace.
When the next semester started at KSU, I found out from a friend that the college actually had a glass-arts program. KSU was a place of great creative energy that produced many talented artists in their own right. I look back at that period fondly and was lucky to have been part of the madness.
In February of 1981, I traveled to Italy for two months to experience the Italian glass scene. My main stops were in Venice and Murano. When I returned, I moved to Chicago. I had planned to build my own hot-glass studio somewhere, and Chicago seemed to be a logical place to do so. Wrong! Chicago proved to be the most difficult place to open up a shop in the world. The fire codes were unbelievably strict, but I managed to finally set up shop at 2710 North Lakewood. It was there that I opened Hunting Studio Glass in the summer of 1982.
The birth of my son, Wesley Justin, in 1987 gave my life new purpose. I left the big city for a more peaceful setting and bought a nice piece of property in central Wisconsin just outside of Princeton. Once I settled in, I found I had more time to focus on my work, and that became evident in the detail and coloration that began to emerge.
As of now, I work with my son, Wesley, as a team in rural Wisconsin. We are always striving to take the work to a new level of intensity. It has developed into a way for me to express myself by painting with molten glass. There is no other material like glass. The colors are totally unique as they can be transparent or opalescent. The way light passes through colored glasses adds a third dimension that cannot be duplicated by any other material.