(this whole site is basically a resume!)
It is often difficult for artists to separate their personal and
professional lives so I've included a little of both.
' 46 - born in Jackson, TN.
' 48 - hit by a car when I was 2 1/2 yr.. old while crossing the
street on my tricycle (acted a little crazy ever since !)
50 - fell out of a moving car - THAT really made my mother mad
! lived two blocks from Carl Perkins (blue suede shoes!) climbed
every tree in our neighborhood
57 - kissed by certain particular girl (that I had a big crush
on) just before she became Elvis's girl friend. (I was 11 at the
60 - became an Eagle scout
' 63-64 - head of the kitchen at scout camp - responsible for
feeding 200-250 campers, 3 meals a day for two summers (I did
have some help)
' 64 - graduated from Jackson High School (I'm sure you've probably
heard of the JHS Golden Bears?)
66 - saved a kid from drowning in the Moose Lodge swimming pool
while serving as a YMCA Day Camp counselor (some people say he
would never have been in that situation if I had been more attentive
as a life guard. Hey! He told me he could swim and I was only
getting paid $ 35/wk.! anyway) - had about 15 other jobs during
junior and high school years (delivered the Jackson Sun, worked
at a florist, worked at several clothing stores, worked at Camp
Mack Morris (Boy Scouts) for 6 summers, YMCA counselor, etc.
66 - worked at a creosote plant for 2 days! - it probably later
became an EPA Superfund site - I got out of there!
68 - graduated from Lambuth College (a small liberal arts college),
Jackson TN. - while in college I worked in the lab of The Jackson-Madison
General County Hospital (TN) - played in a rock and roll band
(when it was still rock and roll) - was in a fraternity (KA) -
and had several other part-time jobs. I didn't get accepted to
medical school (something about grades!) but I can often guess
the diagnosis of most every patient on "E.R." before the doctors
do - applied to Air Force to be a pilot (flunked the physical,
something about being knocked unconscious when I was a kid - getting
hit by a car does that to you)
BEGINNING OF JIMMY'S FIRST LIFE
68-69 taught 9th grade General Science in Cairo, Georgia, home
of the Cairo (pronounced KARO) Syrupmakers . . . really! In Cairo
they make pickles in the summer, peanut butter in the fall.
' 69 - moved to Memphis, started graduate school - worked at the
Old Spice plant.
' 69 - taught Biology/Chemistry in Memphis Public Schools - took
Navy test to be a pilot - passed it (guess I got healthier ! -
put on waiting list to go to Pensacola - guess I'm still on the
' 70 - married Mary Love Winn (a French teacher now retired and
working at the studio), started doing stained glass as a hobby
(checked a book out of the Memphis Public Library)
' 71 - was a chemist at an electroplating plant (Now that's another
71-73 - taught science and math at Ripley (TN) High School, also
taught photography and was year book advisor (on my staff was
Miles O'Keefe who later played Tarzan in a movie with Bo Derek),
filled in for various doctors as a part time medical technician
73-80 - taught science, biology, anatomy & physiology, etc. in
various Orange County (FL) schools
74 - did my first commercial stained glass project - an Earth
Shoe store sign (remember them?) - they went out of business a
couple of months later (but don't think the stained glass was
76 - cut off part of my finger in a shopping cart (now called
"chopping cart") accident at a Publix Grocery (let's see 1976
minus 1946 made me 30 yrs. old at the time) You should warn your
kids that riding on the back of those things can be hazardous!
(if they can't figure it out on their own) It was a little humbling
having to explain to my high school students how the accident
OF JIMMY'S SECOND LIFE
' 80 - began a new life as stained glass artist ! (difficult with
part of a finger
' 81 - opened J. Piercey Studios, Inc. - immediately got my first
81 - studied design with Ludwig Schaffrath - a new awakening!
' 82 - studied design with Ludwig Schaffrath - a reawakening!
' 83 - made my first trip to Europe
84 - climbed Gannett Peak, highest mountain in Wyoming
' 86 - started designing and executing stone mosaics
' 86 - hiked the Inca Trail
' 86 - summited Mt. Popocatepetl (Mexico)
' 87 - summited Mt. Ranier
' 87 - studied with Johannes Schreiter
88 - assisted Prof. Schaffrath in a mosaic seminar at Pilchuck
Glass School, Seattle, WA
' 88 - became an Orlando Magic Fan
' 92 - grew a pony-tail (thought it was cool)
' 94 - started attempting to speak Italian
' 95 - started studying Italian
' 96 - studied with Italian mosaicist, (in Italy!)
' 97 - cut off the pony tail (was no longer cool)
' 99 - attended my first professional baseball game (Red Sox vs.
Fenway Park - Sox lost
01 - became Duncan's father (Duncan is a Spaniel/Lab mix)
Fortunately, I have finally left most of my clumsy years behind,
with a few notable exceptions, (except for the 5 stitches I had
to get recently - it's hard to believe that the bamboo in my back
yard is so sharp!)
golf, mountaineering and rock climbing, gardening, cooking, fishing,
playing my saxophone, reading, watching TV.
food: too many to list but most often something I make in
my new kitchen - of course being from Tennessee, I am especially
fond of real tomatoes, strawberries, and peaches; real barbecue,
and real country ham.
Favorite road food: Waffle House - and I can't drive without
a Diet Pepsi in my hand.
car: My old ' 84 Toyota LandCruiser (265,000 mi.)
wish I . . . .
had not stopped taking my piano lessons
made better grades in high school ( I flunked French in high
school and then married a French teacher)
kept on taking my flying lessons (it got too expensive but I
could land a plane if I had to)
made better grades in college
understand what THE CALCULUS is all about
understand how space is curved
understand two books in particular (Focault's Pendulum and Remembrance
of Things Past)
play 18 holes of golf with only one golf ball
wish I had not . . . .
goofed off in school (but it WAS a liberal arts college during
wish I didn't . . .
bite my finger nails, have to wear reading glasses, watch so much
185 lbs. (used to be at least!), blue eyes, dirty blonde hair,
several distinguishing scars and marks (if you read the above
history, you will understand why) no tattoos or pierced body parts
Favorite music/musicians -
some classical, some rock and roll, some blues, a little jazz,
Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Alanis Morisset, Andrea Bocelli and
some of the old dead Italian tenors (I'm now more open to listening
to opera), Ray Charles, Van Morrison
I do like
- TV (A&E, Discovery, PBS, Law and Order, The West Wing, E.R.,
Nova), Naval Museum at Pensacola, FL, ITALY and most things Italian,
Seattle and rainy weather.
- Cinema Paradiso, Il Postino, The Man Who Would Be King, Pink
Panther Movies, anything with Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Michael
Cain, Susan Sarandon
I would like to do:
produce a series of shows for PBS entitled "A Field Trip with
Jim". Each week we would visit a studio, factory, etc. We'd show
kids how things (pencils to Tootsie pops) are made. Field trips
were some of the most formative events of my early school years,
they made me inquisitive... still am.
the above you will see that I, as dedicated to my profession as
I am, do not take myself too seriously. My life itself has been
a mosaic of sorts. I've had many diverse educational, professional
and personal experiences - really a pretty good background - guess
the liberal arts college was of value after all (thanks, Lambuth).
I'll probably keep doing my work as long as I can.
meeting, every job is a new adventure and is approached with the
same enthusiasm. It's a wasted day if I don't learn something
new. I guess my basic philosophy can be summed up in a quote from
one of my best buddies "It ain't worth doing if you can't have
fun doing it". Life is just too short.
am grateful to have a dependable and competent staff. We all spend
too much time in the studio creating the things we create for
us not to enjoy doing it. Not that I or my staff are accident
prone, but I doubt there's one of our stained glass windows anywhere
out there that doesn't have a little of our blood on it. (Hey
we're talking drops here!) But, we are rewarded every time we
finish an installation, and then again when we happen to revisit
an old site.
occasionally visit the site of one of my first large stained glass
commissions and still just sit in awe - thinking, "Man, I did
that !" That window, as with all of our work, has had an effect
on literally thousands of people who have viewed it - if only
for a short time their day was made a little more interesting
or a little more peaceful. We are fortunate as well as grateful
to be able to make a living doing what we do - and yeah, we're
for visiting our site.
T. Piercey, Pres.
J. PIERCEY STUDIOS, INC.