About Preston Studios
After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Texas Tech, Jerry Preston spent 14 years as a Field Director in the America Red Cross, including tours in Viet Nam, Thailand, the Philippines, and finally ending up in the early 1970s at Patrick Air Force base on the Space Coast in Florida. There he met what was to become his partner John Emery, and ran into a Al Beck in Palm Beach (after a Red Cross fundraiser), who taught him the very basics of glass cutting.
John Emery spent 8 years studying history in College starting in 1968, first at University of South Florida in Tampa, then competing his BA at Rollins College, and doing additional graduate level work at USF. John’s Father, Carleton Emery, worked for Pan American World Airways at the Space Center, which allowed John, at times, to take two courses in French History and then jump on a plane for $25, wander about Paris, and go do a Chateau County Tour. The Art Department at Rollins College for many years housed the world’s largest collection of Tiffany art glass (which now comprises the collection seen in the Morse Museum in Winter Park, Florida) – so John was exposed to the works of Tiffany at a young age, since his grandparents lived just up the street from Rollins College and across lake Virginia from the Mckeans, who owned the Tiffany collection.
Both Jerry and John essentially taught themselves as hobbyists in stained glass, creating new and original designs in lamps from the very start – this was before Odyssey and Worden systems became available. In 1976 the Red cross threatened to ship Jerry Preston off to another location and John Emery had exhausted the emotion of going to college – they both changed their life courses and formed Preston Studios. The fall of 2016 will mark their 40th year in business.