San Marcos. 512-393-3316. www.wgw.com
Ever since Wimberley Glassworks owner and director Tim de Jong saw the light and colors in the buildup of ice on the railings surrounding Niagara Falls in winter almost 30 years ago, he’s been using that look as inspiration for his own hand blown creations. Custom glass lighting became one of the artist’s specialties when he opened his Texas studio 27 years ago between San Marcos and Wimberley. His signature style of bringing the outdoors in is poignantly illustrated in River Timber, one of his newest collections, where lighting fixtures were inspired by fallen flood wood after the devastating 2015 Wimberley/San Marcos flood. Another new collection, Oceanstone, is borne from blending colors of the southern California sky and water at sunset in a swirling effect. De Jong and crew provide high end residential and commercial spaces with everything from large custom installations to a desk lamp. “We have to make sure that whatever we install celebrates the space, and provides what the owner, architect and designer are looking for.” Open Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 12:00-5:00pm. Online store.
Fischer. 512-623-9043. www.lawsonglass.com
Forget everything you think you know about decorating with antlers. Dallas-born artist, designer and glassmaker Jason Lawson changed deer décor forever with a stunning combination of hand sculpted glass antlers, fine metals and lit-from-within technology. Lawson studied glass blowing in 1996 while pursuing a graphic design degree at Texas Tech University. By 2008 he had built his studio LWSN in Fischer with an eye toward exploring the decorative arts. His luxury lighting line caught the attention of an architect friend who wanted Lawson to design a glass antler chandelier for a client. With the help of Texas sculptor friend Michael Hall, Lawson created and installed the first edition of the Crystal Antler Chandelier in 2011. Now, a team of expert craftsmen keep up with the demand — the chandelier graces spaces worldwide — while Lawson seeks the next big thing in lighting design. “With the development of the LED diode, designers can now incorporate the lighting into their design instead of the other way around. There’s much more freedom now.” Studio visits by appointment only.
Garcia Art Glass
San Antonio. 210-354-4681. www.garciaartglass.com
Artist Gini Garcia came late to the glass game but you would never know it. As a 30-year-old graphic designer, “I was looking for a different career where I could be more creative and spontaneous.” She found it in “an instant love affair” with glass blowing. She founded Garcia Art Glass, Inc. in 1998 as the first hot glass studio in downtown San Antonio. Now located on South Alamo, the company has 12 employees featuring three generations of Garcia women (Gini’s mother, sister and niece). As creative director, Garcia designs new gallery works and custom lighting. An eternal student, she was the only American in a 2001 class in Murano, Italy, where learning traditional techniques of Venetian chandelier-making serves her well in commissions for major hotels. The storytelling aspect of glass permeates all of her designs, including custom lighting: “It absolutely tells a story. That it provides light is a bonus.” Monday–Saturday 9:00am-6:00pm. Closed Sunday. Glass blowing hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00-3:00pm. Online store.
Salado. 254-947-0339. www.saladoglassworks.com
Growing up on a Missouri farm, artist Gail Allard is the son of a musician dad and a homemaker/painter mom. Since arriving in Texas in 1998, Allard worked as a welder and draftsman in a machine shop before becoming a full-time glass artist in 2001. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be blowing glass and here I am.” “Here” is Allard’s studio about 53 miles north of Austin. His shop offers the opportunity to watch the art of glassblowing first hand any time the artist team is working and participate in family-friendly “Blow Your Own” events (you must make reservations online for these events first). “The glass art market is very different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. You sometimes have to create experiences to get people here.” You can also shop the gallery or work with the SGW team to create a custom hand blown glass piece within their scope of work. His vibrant Signature Lighting is a new line that celebrates vivid color and movement. It’s based on his hand blown Signature bowls, where Allard “signs” the silver detailing with either his name or someone else’s. Call ahead to verify hours. Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm Gallery only, Closed Monday, Tuesday 12:00-3:00pm Gallery only, Wednesday-Thursday 10:00am-5:30pm, Friday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm. Online store.
Caliente Hot Glass Studio
San Antonio. 210-504-9244. www.calientehotglass.com
Glass artist Glen Andrews II is over the moon about a new furnace that arrived recently — a “fantastic furnace” that he’s been pursuing for about 10 years. “It holds 300 pounds of molten goodness and that’s a whole lot of glass.” Andrews is the resident artist at Caliente Hot Glass Studio, a professional glass blowing studio in San Antonio that serves as an artists’ collective focusing on authentic experiences for artists, participants, collectors and spectators. Housed in the River City Hydraulics building, about a mile east of the Pearl Brewery complex, Caliente holds a range of classes from beginner to advanced, provides teambuilding activities, and offers studio rental for almost any occasion. Andrews runs the studio and has his own brand of spectacular custom lighting (www.glenandrewsartglass.com) including one-of-a-kind chandeliers along with custom installations for luxury homes and businesses. Gallery hours are October-May Monday-Friday 1:00-6:00pm; June-September Monday-Friday 3:00-8:00pm. Weekends and after hours by appointment.