Just before Jon’s birthday, while at a Ladies Bible Study, one of the gals mentioned that they had a certificate to blow your own glass float. She didn’t think they would use it and offered it to the group. I shot my hand up for my son Jon. It would make the perfect birthday gift! He loves to watch the glass artists in town.
We found out that the certificate was for the Oregon Coast Glassworks in Newport, Oregon. They had recently moved into a new space in the center of town on Hwy 20. We were excited to check it out.
We will mention Oregon Coast Glassworks,
however, this is not an affiliate, review, ad or promotional post.
Just our experience – which was so awesome – that I want to share exactly where it happened.
During the Christmas Break, our out of town company from Austin, Texas (Mimi) wanted to go watch the glass floats be blown. We stopped by our local shop on Highway 101. It is pretty loud in the shop. There is a viewing area and a spot outside to watch. On the day we were there two people were there to blow glass bowls. We’ve seen the demonstrations many times. It has never inspired me to want to lay out $65.00 to do it myself. You pick your colors, then the artist sort of moves you along through the process quickly, in under 10 minutes. A few nudges and grunts and here, blow on this, and then it is done. While we were watching, we remembered Jon had the gift certificate for Newport, and made an appointment for the whole crew to drive down.
We noticed right away that the Oregon Coast Glassworks was different. It is open, bright, and full of glass art. Their prices to purchase the completed artwork was much more affordable and our group made a few selections while we waited. The process starts with picking up to three colors. They have a beautiful glass counter that makes it easy to see what the colors would look like after fired and cooled. The bottom of the cupbard shows the shapes and designs that are available.
Jon chose a swirling Tweezer Twist pattern. He wanted Blue and Pink and White, and went for Teal, Pink and White. The sign for the choices says to allow a half of an hour for the Glass Art Class. I was excited.
They had safety gear for our whole crew and we were all invited to come into the creating area to watch up close.
They spread the colors on a table, and Jon gathered a bit of melted glass.
Kris was our instructor. He was very happy and excited and talkative. He talked Jon through every step. He never grabbed the rod out of his hands and was able to use descriptive words and phrases to help him if he was going too slow or the glass was getting mis shapped. Very encouraging and patient with his direction.
You can see how large their area is for creating your piece of art. It was pretty cold for these Texans so it was nice that you got to all come in to watch.
Here is the finished piece that we picked up yesterday in Newport. I think it is beautiful, Jon is really pleased. He wanted Pink and Blue. We wanted the colors to be a bit more separate and swirled, not so dotted. Not sure how to explain that better next time. We were hoping for Blue, White and then Pink. Twists in the blue and white to look like waves, and pink on top to look like sunset. We imagined the pink to be lighter, so the teal underneath would show through, but it didn’t turn out that way. Jon is still REALLY pleased and I think it is really pretty!
Newport, Oregon is just a beautiful place to visit. Our experience was so positive and exciting that I will be recommending all of our visitors to save a bit of their travel monies to create a piece of art at the Oregon Coast Glassworks. They do offer discounts to groups – and love the homeschool groups that come in.
This will become at least a yearly tradition for us. We have found many floats on the beach the last few years and have not really looked this year. With surfing, I spend most of my time watching the boys in the water. For the first time in 5 years, I can finally say, I realize how fun it is to blow your own float. It was worth it. A thank you to Oregon Coast Glassworks for their contribution to the activity that created the gift certificate and a thank you to the family that passed it along to Jon for his birthday!