The first women to teach glassblowing at Pilchuk Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace met there in 1979 and began their collaboration, returning to the school each year as instructors or to work with other glass artists. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Kirkpatrick earned a B.F.A. degree in drawing in 1975 at the University of Iowa and took graduate classes in glass at Iowa State University from 1978 to 1979. Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mace earned a B.S. degree in 1972 at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire and took graduate classes in glass in 1975 at the University of Utah. She earned an M.F.A. in 1976 at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard Risatti Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998)
Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick are among the few glass artists who co-sign their work. Kirkpatrick was introduced to glass as a graduate student and became interested in Dale Chihuly’s technique of picking up glass threads with molten glass. Chihuly referred her to Mace, his teaching assistant, who developed a new technique to help Kirkpatrick transfer her “drawings” onto glass. Kirkpatrick and Mace have worked together for more than twenty-five years, producing a wide range of wood, stone, and glass sculptures.