For the past three years the Picture Butte artist has been crafting pieces of colourful glass, which is currently on display at the Art Gallery in Picture Butte.
“I’ve kind of run into it by accident. I was doing bead work and that kind of stuff to start with and I put a piece of glass in the kiln just to try it and see what would happen and I kind of fell in love with the way it forms and everything and I quit everything else,” joked Hampton, adding he pretty much crafts anything that can be fired in a kiln.
The Picture Butte Art Gallery marks the first time Hampton’s works of art have been on public display in a gallery setting but previously he has sold his art at the Millarville Farmers’ Market and Christmas show, as well as the Christmas show in Fort Macleod.
“I only started selling it last year because my shelves were full at home and no place to store it,” he joked, but that means he buys more glass to make more stuff.
“I’ll be going to a lot of the local markets I’m thinking this year,” he added.
Prior to finding his art niche, Hampton was a workaholic until retiring ten years ago from the transportation and automotive field.
Becoming an artist was definitely quite a departure from his previous experiences.
Hampton said he started out by working with beads and making pendants but now he only creates glass pendants.
“I tried doing some ceramics and that really wasn’t my thing and I just kind of fell into the glass,” said Hampton.
The transformation from bead work was quick and easy.
“I was out at a hippie farmers’ market and I saw a guy doing some fancy stuff and I told my wife when we get back that’s what’s happening,” said Hampton, with over 50 pieces of his fused-glass creations presently on display at the Art Gallery in Picture Butte.
Hampton is also a member of the Lethbridge Society of Glass Artisans, which offers lessons at CASA in Lethbridge.
“Through the society we give lessons on doing different types of glass work,” said Hampton, adding the group also has a little art studio in the city.
For more information about Hampton’s work contact him at 403-732-5004.