After earning a BA in Social Change from U.C. Berkeley in 1992, with a minor in Conservation and Resources Studies, Willis began working with glass in 1994.
Beginning with an apprenticeship under flameworker Bob Snodgrass, Willis went on to study with and work as a teaching assistant for Roger Parramore. He attended Pilchuck Glass School from 1997-2005 as a student, teaching assistant, and flameworking studio coordinator.
Willis's work is included in public, private, and museum collections nationally and internationally. He has been an instructor of flameworking at locations including the Pilchuck Glass School, the Corning Museum of Glass, Penland School of Crafts, and the Niijima Glass Art Festival, in Niijima, Japan.
Addressing the complex, and simple, relationships between people and nature, on individual, personal, and societal levels,
Willis uses glass in a cross-disciplinary manner. His body of work includes, and often combines, flameworking, hot blowing and sculpting, large-scale sculpture, botanical models, mixed media, cold assembly, and installation art.
Represented by Austin Art Projects in Palm Desert, CA, Willis lives and works in Portland, Oregon.