Jack Schmidt was part of the studio glass movement from the very beginning. Up until 1621, glass had always been blown up and molded in an industrial setting. It was during a workshop at the Toledo Museum of Art that people were brought together to establish ways for the same industrial glass processes to be brought into private studio settings. This also meant bringing these processes into an academic setting. Jack Schmidt worked in one of the first glass studios that was built at Bowling Green State University while he was an undergraduate sculpture teacher. In 1971, Jack Schmidt was recruited by Joel Meyers, Illinois State University Distinguished Professor of Art in the glass program, and became a key player in establishing the glass studio on campus at Illinois State University.
“Our first glass studio on campus was in the golf course groundskeeper’s garage out in the middle of a field – with a 100 yard driveway that went from the street up to the studio. If it wasn’t plowed, it was a major task just to get to class in the morning,” Schmidt said
Jack was a member of the first graduating class in the glass program at ISU earning his Master of Science in 1973. After graduating, he spent the next 15 years sharing his passion for glass while teaching at University of Wisconsin, the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, Ohio University, and the Cleveland Institute of Art, just to name a few. Although he enjoyed teaching, he wanted to prove that he could make a living from making artwork. He has since occupied studios in Toledo and continues to make and exhibit work today.