Friday, February 10, 2012

True Recycler

My first experience with Ray was a wonderful linkage of art and environment. In the early 1970s, I managed a recycling center on the PSU campus (essentially the only one in the city at that time). A block away, Ray and others had established a glass-furnace operation. Somewhere along the way, the glassmakers realized the recyclers had good, clean glass that could be used in their furnaces. At that time, we especially had specialty glass, such as the cobalt-blue and white glass used for women’s skin care and make-up.

Ray always felt bad that the school lacked funds to pay us for our glass. But he figured out a wonderful way around this small problem. His student artists were required to make glass objects for us, and I still have a number of remarkable pieces in my home. It was one of the gr
eat joys of my job then to wheel a 55-gallon barrel of clean scrap glass down the street on a late afternoon to the hot-glass studio and then to hang out with Ray and others. They taught me much about their craft and I told them some truths and few lies about recycling.

Jerry Powell

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