Muffin Spencer-Devlin spent the better part of her formative years chasing a golf ball toward fame and fortune. She traveled and played and traveled and played on the LPGA Tour for twenty-one years. She won three LPGA events; the MasterCard International in 1985, the United Virginia Bank Classic in 1986 and the Ping Cellular-One in 1989. She crossed the million dollar mark in career earnings in 1999.
She retired to Laguna Beach, California in early 2000. Other than to support a yearly charity event for H.O.M.E.S. (Helping Our Mentally Ill Experience Success) at Mesa Verde C.C., she looked for stimulation beyond the realm of sport and professional golf. She spent a year as studio assistant to famed sculptor, Cheryl Ekstrom. She learned to weld at OCC. she tried the stone sculpting course at LCAD. She even tried a year of handymanning around town, yet nothing sparked her imagination or ignited her passion.
Until 2006 when she first watched her best friend, Megan Ekstrom blow glass. And she watched for a long time. The heat was intense and the fear factor high. When she finally dipped a hot pipe into the furnace and brought out some molten glass… She was hooked. Megan graciously agreed to teach and they embarked on a project of 160 wedding paperweights. It was Muffin’s literal trial by fire.
Bitten hard by the glass bug, she showed up every week to stand in front of the fire and blow stuff with Megan. “Little bowls at first,” she explained, ” I was put off by getting anything bigger than a small bowl into the annealer by myself. And then I’d love what I’d made and realized I could put it in my pocket and gift it to a friend with great flair, as if I’d had a precious jewel to present.
In the summer of 2009, famed Laguna Beach glass blower, John Barber asked Muffin to assist him during his glass demonstrations at the Sawdust Art Festival. She was thrilled and scared poopless all at the same time. “I pointed out to John that I had no experience in the realm he was talking about, but he reassured me and let me know he’d tell me what to do as we went along. And he did and I learned 22 new things every time! It was an amazing summer.”
Muffin spent 4 years as John’s apprentice. In 2012 she went off on her own to pursue her own company, Trophy Glass. “Now I am my own Master and currently engaged in a fascination with bringing elements of my old life into this new one.”