It’s that time of year again! If facing the gift giving season puts you in a state of angst, consider that there is a world out there where education and gift giving merge and you can let your hair down creatively and experience the ancient art of glassblowing for yourself. That’s right. Wouldn’t it be really cool to make your own ornament this Christmas? Well, you can. Here are the details:
From now until January 10th, you can blow your own ornament and you can lock in your savings by signing up by December 10th.
The regular retail price for blowing your own ornament is normally $47.00 but the promotional price for this deal is if you are an individual you get it for $30.00. If you bring a friend or are part of a group, you each can get the class for just $24.00. Since the class is considered a service, it is not taxable in the state of Virginia.
Who Can Participate?
The youngest student we have had for our annual BYOB event was five. The oldest was 90. The great thing about this class is that we can easily customize it to the age groups that are participating as well as the comfort zone of each person. Don’t like really hot temperatures? We can take the blow pipe and get the glass out of the furnace for you. You can do as much or as little of the process as suits you. Our five year old was more like a director who danced in the studio as she made her decisions about what colors I should add to her pieces and she was ready to blow the glass at the end, making each of the five ornaments she got to make that evening. With this example, I hope I have provided you with an idea about just how flexible we are with our students. You only do as much of what you feel comfortable doing and you get to be on the blowing floor designing and making your own glass creations! To do this, its important to communicate first what you feel your capacity is for heat exposure and we adjust accordingly. Is something too hot? No worries! With our glassblower shadowing you at each step along the way, help is just an arms length away!
How To Get Started
First, contact us for dates that are still available at our link below. Our schedule of available dates is constantly changing and its important to get your appointment asap! As a general guide times available for this event currently are: MWF 10 am to 2 pm and then 6 pm to 9 pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays are available 6 pm to 9 pm, and after December 15 our schedule opens up on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that both morning and afternoon & evening hours are available (same as for MWF times). Weekends are available from 10 am until 9 pm. We are not open on Christmas Day and New Years Eve and New Years Day. To register for this promotional event, you need to go to FB and “like” us at the following link (clicking on the link will open a new tab/window in your browser) :
Then, simply message us on Facebook about your preferred times and how many will be in your party who will be blowing glass and we will do the rest!
How Long Does It Take?
I schedule each ornament “class” in a half-hour cycle. A class is in truth one-on-one instruction so we can have as many or as few people signed up as you want! Sometimes we get through much faster than just half an hour, but some people will need more time to make their delicious glass creation. Also, your ornament has to go into a special cooling oven once it has been blown where it is available the following day. For those who are traveling a distance from the studio, shipping is available. We have shipped all across the world and know how to get very delicate glass to its destination all in one piece. Each piece is in its own gift box unless your piece is blown larger than our standard-sized ornament gift boxes in which case it is carefully wrapped in bubble wrap or foam to keep it safe for taking away.
Where Are You Located?
We are located at 8685 Virginia Avenue, Newport, Virginia 24128. We are 13 miles from I-81 on Route 460W and are about 43 miles from Roanoke Virginia and 6.5 miles from Blacksburg, Virginia. Contact Parker Stafford for detailed directions (through our FB page or at email@example.com). The studio is located directly on Route 460W so you can see us from the highway!
What Do I Need To Wear?
We require that you wear only 100% cotton clothing. Synthetics can break down from the brief exposures to heat and we just don’t like them. So check your clothes; no cotton/synthetic blends either! Do not wear open-toed shoes. Clothes should be comfortable to you, not too loose. Wearing a T-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt over it is an EXCELLENT idea. You can then adjust for heat while also wearing the long sleeved shirt to protect your arms against any radiant heat you might encounter. Normally the studio does not get oppressively hot, but it can get warm and most normally the heat is experienced more as brief periods when heating the glass up for the next step. Wear shoes that grip well and leather is best.
I Don’t Want To Make An Ornament – What Other Options Are There?
You could make a small suncatcher for the same price! For $10.00 more, you can also make a superglobe which is a suncatcher that is approximately 10 inches in diameter with more color and opportunities for cool visual effects across its surface. These make great display pieces in large windows, for example! It takes a little more time to make a superglobe, so make sure we know you want to make one so we can schedule accordingly!
What Do I Need To Bring?
Bring yourself. Bring your family! But please, no clowns….we don’t like clowns….But seriously! You are welcome to bring friends along to watch if you want. Taking photos is encouraged. We are family friendly and are happy to discuss glassblowing with you and how we make the things you see in the studio. We provide you with safety glasses, gloves and even arm protectors if you need them. Your price includes all materials and supplies and there are no add-ons either! Having something to drink afterwards is a good idea in order to stay hydrated.
While visiting our neck of the woods, we can suggest some really great restaurants in our area that have been been making the news where you can bask in your new-found creative spirit while eating good food. We have a great sandwich place with a green twist (sustainability!) called Mikie’s 7th (closed on Sunday) which is just 2/10 of a mile from the studio as well as The Palisades (6 miles) in Eggleston and The Bank restaurant in Pearisburg. These restaurants stand out from the crowd and are all locally owned and operated by locals who love to make really good healthy food (many things on their menus are locally sourced and even organic when they can!) There are other options available in the New River Valley including Blacksburg to our East and a number of other interesting places to see and food to eat! Just let us know if you are interested in making some new discovery while you are visiting!
If you are coming from further afield, let us know how long you plan to stay and we can offer up suggestions for where to stay, what to see, what to eat, and where to go. We have a couple of interesting covered bridges within minutes of the studio (who knew, right?), and some beautiful vistas we can point you to along with other places to visit. Our region is host to more artists and artisans per capita than most localities in the state, so there are a lot of very interesting gift shops offering handmade items as well as cultural events that happen year round. Stafford Artglass is part of the Giles County Artisan Trail network of 19 counties in Southwest Virginia that include studios, restaurants, farms, and galleries. With so much here, let us know what we can do to help make your stay more interesting!
Happy Holidays and I hope to see you at the studio!