Monday, August 3, 2015

What's Hot in Asheville? Lexington Glassworks


Photo by P. MacLeod

What's Hot in Asheville? 


On a recent visit to the beautiful NC mountains, we visited Lexington Glassworks, which was featured in the WUNC-TV PBS series, NC Weekend (7/9/15). In the interview, glass artists Billy Guildford and Geoff Koslow discuss their backgrounds, approach to glass blowing and marketing. (I highly recommend watching the video.)

The 5000 square foot studio has huge bay doors in the front, which welcomes visitors. Inside, the front of the studio is a gallery of their beautiful functional and decorative work. The working side of the studio is also demonstration space where they welcome people to watch as they create their art.

It is important to note that Billy and Geoff hand made their equipment (furnace, hood, glory hole). Billy says, "We physically built the equipment ourselves from the raw material, a bunch of sticks of steel, then to all of the refractory material. . .To be a proficient glass artist, you'd better be a proficient metal fabricator and wood worker as well. It goes hand-in-hand. So it's really important before we started this studio that we knew we had a well-rounded background of skills." (Quote from video interview.)

As for their business approach, Billy explains, "When we were writing our business plan and figuring out what kind of business we wanted to run, we wanted to be very casual, so people could come in, witness the art of blowing glass because a lot of people don't realize it is an art form and how much work goes into creating one little object." (Quote from video interview.)

We were absolutely fascinated by the demonstration that we watched. They were working on rocks glasses with a crackle finish. The crackle is created by dunking the freshly formed glass shape into water so that it stresses the glass, but because the glass is still hot enough to be pliable, it doesn't thermal shock and completely crack. Billy and Geoff worked together and explained each step of the process as they created the piece.

As an art glass lover, I was completely in awe of their beautiful work. My budget only supported buying a glass ornament (picture below), but I hope to come back and buy more work in the future!


May all of your scores run true!
-paula
Lexington Glassworks' front gallery
Lexington Glassworks’ front gallery

Lexington Glassworks, located at 81 S. Lexington Ave., is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.  For a look at the work or for more information, visit lexingtonglassworks.com.


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