Sunday, February 11, 2018

Glassblowing, perchance? Check out DC GlassWorks and Sculpture Studio in Hyattsville

Studio space of Beth Hess & Leo Lex (w/ dope mural of both in background).

At last year's Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival, I struck up a conversation with local glassblower Beth Hess at her Wunder Around booth, stocked full of colorful, beautiful pieces of blown glass. I was so curious about the glassblowing process that I kept asking Beth a bunch of questions like; how do these different colors appear and not bleed into each other? How are the shapes are made, etc. What is your sign? (Just to mix it up. 😉) All was going well until I noticed I was holding up the line, so we parted ways with so many questions left unanswered. I've been empty ever since, which is why I was elated when Beth reached out recently to let me know that DC GlassWorks and Sculpture Studio was having an open house. Glassblowing demonstrations and more opps for my questions-a-plenty? SO. THERE. 😊


DC GlassWorks and Sculpture Studio is located in a part of Hyattsville that I love exploring. Just before Franklins, take the Rt. 1 overpass on the left, head to Decatur. So many warehouses and industrial-type buildings whose stories I hear whispers of as I pass by. Or maybe that's my kids, yearning to be fed. Anyway. Tangent. Back to the post.

Here's Leo, demonstrating how it's done! 👊

According to its website, DC GlassWorks and Sculpture Studio was designed to be a "well maintained studio with professional equipment that was open to all persons in the DC Metro area. Over the years, we have expanded the amount of equipment, opened up the metal fabrication area for classes and rental, and added metal casting to the curriculum." 


What I didn't realize is the classes bit. I'd always imagined glassblowing to be way too intimidating for one to just dip their toe into, a la a class. Turns out, I'm wrong. (Never happens. Enjoy this fleeting moment.) They've got a class where you can make your own paperweight, a beginning glassblowing class, a vases class, etc.  Who knew?  Now you do. Take a look at this handy calendar of classes. All this schmitter, schmatter about needing to head into DC for art classes is malarkey. We've got it all along Route 1, folks. You just need to actually set foot inside and explore. Some straight-up hangry talk for y'all. 😎

I got a chance to meet a couple of the artists at the open house, including Leo and Shari Flynn, who had many interesting brain sculptures and showcased this lovely looking glass, perfectly sized for a beer (like everything, really. Amirite?):

Shari Flynn
Beth's rainbow vase, Leo's murrini vase and Shari's brain sculpture (in back)
📷 DC GlassWorks
Andddddddddd: I got a chance to purchase a vase of Beth's that I'd been eyeing for a while now on her Instagram account here. Look at the beautiful colors and shapes of these beauts below.


College Park's Beth Hess of Wunder Around.

I went with the yellow/pink combo! 👏Looks lovely on my windowsill, eh? Happy Valentine's' Day to me! :)


You can check out more of Beth's work (and shop) here. And don't forget to keep you eyes peeled for this spring's Gateway Open Studios tour. Like this open studio tour, it's a great way to get to amazing local artists, see their workspace and buy some fantastic local art. I'll share news about it here as soon as I've got the info.

DC GlassWorks and Sculpture Studio
5346 46th Ave, Hyattsville, MD 20781

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