October 7, 2011 by Darren
Hobbies, In Case You Missed It...
P.J. Hicks used a torch all his life to make welding repairs. Now he fires up art.
Having spent most of his professional life at sea traveling the world, retired chief engineer P.J. Hicks has no hesitation diving into new passions.
Five years ago, during a fish scouting trip in Washington state’s salmon-rich Puget Sound, a buddy dragged him into an art glass shop to buy some supplies. “I saw this display cabinet with three dozen little glass fish. They were so entirely lifelike, it was unbelievable. I said to myself, ‘I gotta learn how to do that!’”
On a whim, Hicks blew $500 on a glassblowing torch and raw materials and went home to “fool around.” A career engine room maintenance chief for several American West Coast shipping companies, he was comfortable with a flame from his welding days. After tinkering with making glass beads for a few months, he took some classes, bought a bigger torch on eBay and began tackling bigger projects. Read More