Monday, November 7, 2011

The best gifts are always handmade.

Have I ever mentioned that I love glass? I am attracted to glass as much as I am to pottery. Well, maybe even more than pottery now that my love affair with clay has cooled a bit. I have a modest glass collection going too: stained glass window adornments; glass balls, vases, and bowls; antique glass bead jewelry. I love blown glass, fused glass and lampworked glass. I love to visit glass blowing studios and I've been to the American mecca for glass lovers- the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. I took about eight thousand pictures of the bridge of glass there. I also had the privilege of visiting the glass blowing shops of Venice, Italy and there witnessed a master glass blower demonstrate his craft. From that trip I brought home a small collection of glass fruit and candies because a chandelier wouldn't fit in my suitcase.

Once I got to make a fused glass plate at a class I attended with my friends in Switzerland. I've pondered taking stained glass classes here at home and came really, really close- late one night while internet window shopping- to buying a lamp working kit so I could start making my own glass beads. But every time I start thinking about doing any of those things I have to ask myself Do you really need another hobby? Then I give myself a reality-checking swat upside the head.

So that is why, despite the prodding of my oldest son, I haven't gone to visit the newest glass blowing studio that is only ten miles from here. My son, Kris, knows the artists and has done some photography for them.  I know deep down that if I go there I am doomed. Doomed. I will be sucked into a glowing glory hole that will cause me to stop returning the calls of brides and to exchange my apron for asbestos gloves. I'll have to give up flour and butter for molten balls of silica. This place is in my back yard for crying out loud. It would just be too easy.

But last month, while I was far away waiting for a baby's arrival in Michigan, my mother took my youngest boys to the studio on a special mission.
After my return home, I was utterly delighted by a very belated 50th birthday celebration. My mother and boys felt cheated out of a day-of celebration and a piece of my birthday cake. They were impatiently waiting to present me with their special gifts, made at the glass studio just for me.

They each got to blow the air into the melted glass to form these precious artworks. Samuel made this beautiful green pear.

My mother assisted with the formation of this delightful apple.

And Peter's breath is in this hanging ornament. He is anxious to see it on our Christmas tree but in the meantime I want to let it sparkle in the sunlight of a window.

Because they were made with love and thoughtfulness, these pieces are going to hold special places in my glass collection and in my heart!


  1. "And Peter's breath is in this hanging ornament."
    Really? That made me tear up. Precious gifts.

    Give in and go visit. I can't wait to see what you make.

  2. So cool!! What a great idea Gramma had!

  3. Love the picture of your mom and the boys. My favorite part of your blog is when you post family photos. We sure miss y'all.

  4. We miss you both too and think of you often.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.