My father has been many things in his life, a jeweler, a builder, a photographer, a monk. But for most of my teenage years, he worked in a stained glass studio. I loved visiting and seeing all the different processes required to produce commercial art glass, and seeing the passion of a team that genuinely enjoyed their work. They made the kind of huge installations you find in glamorous casinos and hotels around the world, and were always pushing the boundaries of the kind of shapes glass could be built to create. But what fascinated me the most was the how the designers would pore over the glass stock looking intensely at the color and texture of each piece to find the right area to cut a shape from. It's more than just picking the right color, every panel of glass has it's own internal structure, like the grain in a piece of wood. Learning to read this texture was a skill the artists developed, much like a sailor learns to read the wind on the waves, and they'd have to find their cut in the glass. Without this careful planning, the final results feel disjointed. With it, the whole window would come together as a stunningly coherent creation. This was a powerful, early lesson in understanding that the quality of your resources and your ability to understand them were a critical part of a mature artistic process.