Eckerd was born in Clearwater, Florida. He first studied glass at Tulane
University in 1980, while working toward an undergraduate degree in economics.
He fell in love with the material and later attended numerous classes
at Penland and Pilchuck, before attaining a Master of Fine Arts degree
in glass from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He became an Artist
in Residence at Penland for three years and now lives in Asheville, NC
with his wife, Bridget and four children. Rick gaffs on larger works,
while overseeing operations and designing for Eckerd Glass L.L.C., a hot
glass studio he set up in a historic factory near Grove Park Inn.