This periodic series of three images and responses to questions tells the stories of people of The Valley who love what they do. As Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
This month spotlights Andy O’Brien, stained glass artist, The Luminous Moose Glass.
How long have you lived in Vermont and where did you grow up?
I’ve lived in Vermont for about 20 years. My childhood years were shared between Texas and California, followed by Ireland, London and Connecticut. As for growing up, I’m not so sure that I managed that yet.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I never had a fixed occupational desire as a child. However, I’ve worked at a wider variety of jobs than most, basically as a result of at least 20 moves. Anyways, my mother told me to never grow up!
What was your first job and how did you get it?
My first job was at 14, as a dairy hand on my uncle’s farm, milking cows and driving tractors.
Who was the biggest influence in your decision to choose the work that you do now?
The stained glass work that I do has been with me throughout 40-plus years on my gypsy’s life journey. You can see much of it on my website, www.LuminousMoose.Glass. But it wasn’t a “who” that influenced me, rather, circumstances of my rather Bohemian lifestyle at the time. I signed up for an adult-ed course in stained glass, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
What steps did you take to get to where you are today/ what sacrifices have you made to get to this point in the work that you do?
High school was my sixth school with six colleges after that. With my 20-plus moves and many jobs, I’d say an awful lot of steps preceded where I am now, but this has all blessed me a rich and diverse cultural and experiential background to draw on for my expressions in glass. The trade-off (as opposed to sacrifice) is that I have not experienced all that goes with growing up in a place where friends and family have lived for generations.
What is the best advice that you have ever received?
“Rules are made for the exceptions, be the exception.”
What are you most grateful for in your life?
Loving friends and family (and especially my guardian angels who have had to work overtime!).
How do you give back?
From the heart.
What do you do in your free time?
If I’m not working at the Round Barn or working on the glass, you may catch me relaxing on the porch with a pipe and beverage or visiting with friends.
Do you have a favorite quote to live by?
“It’s the poet’s job to figure out what’s happening within oneself, to figure out the connection between the self and the world, and to get it down in words that have a certain shape, that have a chance of lasting.” Galway Kinnell. Stained glass art is my poetry.
To suggest someone for Love What You Do, email Robbio