William's Open Road


    Atlanta Team


    Stanwood, WA


    Public Television: Season 4

  • ON DVD:


William Morris Glass

“Would you rather have one year of utter vitality, or would you have 10 years of just sort of ho-hum mediocrity? Either choice is fineā€¦Live the choice that you make.”




Beliefs & Faith Character Choices Confidence Experience Fear Passion Planning Self-Reflection Pressure Individualism


Being Creative


ceramics, comfort, learning, making things, mentors, mistakes, safety, tree house, truck driving, wisdom


William felt safe and comfortable when he was working in the arts. The torturous questioning and self-interrogations stopped, and this was a sign to him that he was on the right track. He may have been confused about many things, but he knew he liked to make things. To young people who are anxious about deciding what they want to be when they grow up, a condition he relates to firsthand, he offers the following advice: "You'll never be sure. You don't want to be sure. It's not a matter of being sure. It's a matter of just having enough faith and love for what you're doing." Thanks to his mother, who was a painter, he was involved with the arts ever since he could walk. Besides growing up in a creative environment, he found several mentors at school who helped him explore the areas of the arts that interested him: he started in ceramics and quickly turned to glass. Willing to do whatever it took to learn his craft, he accepted a job as a truck driver for an art school, since he couldn't afford to attend and didn't have the qualifications. As he recounts, he lived in a tree house without electricity or running water. He kept everything he owned, including his dog, in a Fiat 128 sedan. Shortly thereafter, he began a ten-year apprenticeship with a famous glass artist, Dale Chihuly, who passed on valuable wisdom. He would say to William, "There's two things you have to remember about learning something: If there's somebody out there that does it better than you, you have, one, the choice of doing it the way they do it, or pay them to do it for you." Unable to afford the latter option, William concentrated on the former: "Anybody that I saw that was good at anything, I just did what they did, until you reach a point where you're able to make the choice for yourself."

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)