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Glacier Glass Works: Handcrafted holiday ornaments

Dec 1st, 2012 | Category: Crafts

by Cameron Deuel

Kristen Fisher and her husband, Bear Yoho, didn’t intend to start a glass-blowing company. “It just sort of happened,” Fisher said.

PHOTO BY CYNTHIA ST. CLAIR

Their interest in the craft began about 16 years ago when Yoho was just starting to toy around with the art of blowing glass. Fisher remembers people asking them to create pieces, especially pendants. “People were ordering such large amounts that it started to effect our work schedules,” Fisher explained. Eventually, the two decided to work on their art full-time.

Although they began in Glacier, they traveled to Florida for a short time, eventually returning to the Pacific Northwest – first in Eugene, OR, then settling back in Glacier. They have created a presence at the Bellingham Farmers Market and Allied Arts in Bellingham, with occassional sales at their home. Bellingham provided a great community as an artist, Fisher said, which gave their new company a chance to grow.

“We made really good glass-blowing friends,” Fisher said. “You just start to sell more merchandise and you end up buying new equipment. Before you know it, you have a business.” Fisher said she didn’t consider her glass-blowing as a career until she had been doing it for eight years.

The couple differ in style and content, Fisher said, as she enjoys decorating vases and jars with images of trees made from smaller pieces of glass. “Bear likes to make nautical themed pieces,” Fisher noted, “Maritime things like a ship in a bottle.”

Overall, the couple enjoys speaking with customers and learning about who buys their products. In addition to the farmers market and other locations such as Glacier Creations, they now sell their glass on Etsy, a website geared towards giving independent craft-makers an online storefront. “I like the idea of people learning about our glass but how the heck did someone from Virginia find out about us?” she said. While they strongly appreciate their online business, the couple appreciates being able to interact with their customers.

In addition to pendants, Glacier Glass Works offers a variety of products from tooth fairy jars to goblets , glass buttons, and straws made of glass, as well as ornaments for the holidays. Fisher mentioned how they use borosilicate pyrex glass, which makes for a more durable piece of art.

The vibrant swirl of reds and blues amongst the clean, clear glass shows how both artists have managed to hone their craft. Glacier Glass Works provides a strong variety in their products, ranging from meticulously created glass ornaments to beautifully crafted shot glasses.

For more information about Glacier Glass Works, visit their booth each Saturday through Dec. 22 at the Bellingham Farmers Market, see their works at the Allied Arts Holiday Festival, or follow them on Facebook. Call 599-1485 or e-mail glacierglassworks@netzero.com. Visit their Etsy site at etsy.com/people/glacierglass.

Published in the December 2012 issue of Grow Northwest.

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