Bill O’Connor had a life long love affair with glass. It started with natures glass, obsidian, and his fascination with humans fashioning tools and implements with stone, 

In the early 1960’s he started collecting and learning about all things glass from Boston & Sandwich pressed glass to Steuben. He became an expert on American glass and began collecting and studying American Glass. 

In the early 1970’s he learned glassblowing with Josh Simpson and it changed his life. He built a studio off his home in Connecticut and embarked on a journey of glassblowing in a one man run studio. Bill stopped blowing glass in the late 1980’s and concentrated on Kaleidoscopes.

In the late 1970’s he started making Kaleidoscopes with Craig Musser, Van Dyke Ltd. and in the mid 1980’s and early 1990’s then made The O’CONNOR kaleidoscopes at his Quinnipiac Glasswork Studio. His Kaleidoscopes were beautifully designed and the glass creations within are masterpieces of lamp worked glass, consisting of spirals, hermetically sealed ampules with controlled bubbles, glass shot tumbling in multi-viscous liquids.


Bill lived his entire life in Connecticut. he attended Saint Aedan School, Westville CT, Notre Dame HS, West Haven, CT and Paier School of Art, New Haven CT.

He served in the US Army Reserves in the 1960’s

He was an artist his entire life. Among his credits for his Art Glass are many Shows which included a “One Man” Show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, two in Japan and several in Galleries in New York City and across the country.

He was an accomplished Painter, Sculptor, Artist-Dot Etcher in the Printing Trade, Glassblower and Kaleidoscope designer and maker. 

He was known for his Art Glass and excellence as a Kaleidoscope maker. In 1982, Smithsonian Magazine included him in an article featuring top Kaleidoscope makers. He was often referred to as the “King of Kaleidoscopes” as well as “The Dean of Kaleidoscopes”. 

His Kaleidoscopes can still be found for sale from time to time, as well as his Art Glass if you are lucky enough to find it.

Bill had so many interests besides his artistic pursuits and was a self taught authority on many subjects during his lifetime such as: Archaeology, Flint Knapping, Gemology, Geology, Early American Glass, Early American Lighting Devices, Period American Furniture, Early American Clocks and Watches and Art Restoration to name a few. He loved to purchase old violins and restore them. Through out the years he taught him self to play the violin as well as the flute. Many who knew Bill referred to him as a Renaissance Man. He was truly remarkable. He loved life and lived it to the fullest.