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Glass Blowing Houston

Why Glass? Our view from a glass blowing , kilnforming studio

We get lots of questions about glass in the studio, so I thought we might just provide some info to help you understand “Why Glass”!

For us glass is a state of mind, but in reality it a state of matter. It gets created when a molten material cools so rapidly that there is not enough time for a crystalline structure to form. In solids atoms are arranged in ordered lattice-like structures. In liquids atoms and molecules are able to move randomly, they flow. In glass, atoms are held rigidly – they cannot flow and they are not arranged in latices. Glass is called a rigid liquid.

When most people think of glass they think of it as a manmade object. But glass forms in nature:
Volcanoes spew molten rock which cools rapidly and is called obsidian.
Lightning strikes desert or beach sands and forms brittle tubes of melted sand that form fulgurites.
Meteors which fly through the earth’s atmosphere and then impact the earth with intense heat form terrestrial debris which cools quickly and is called tektites.
Silicious skeletons of marine creatures (algae, sea sponges) are shed onto the marine floor and form natural glass…

Glass is all around us. Think about it. What would our world be without glass?
It helps us control the temperature of our surroundings.
It aids our vision.
It facilitates communication through fiber optic cables.
It is used in packaging, tableware…
It helps express our identity in the form of art.

What does glass not do? Its applications are endless.

Most people think of glass as a solid. It’s fun to expose people to glass in its more liquid form. When we work with glass in the hot shop it is kinetic, it flows, it expands, it contracts and it dances with us. Glass is beautiful in its clear state, where you can take advantage of its optical qualities, and it is fascinating when it takes on color. Glass is a fantastic play material. You can make it into one form if you don’t like it you can remelt it and form it into something else.

Glass is paradoxical, it can last for thousands of years or be shattered in an instant.

Glass reflects the personalities of those who work it.
Michael’s joy is exploring his love for color and different forms in glass.
Patrick focuses on patters and the repetition of elements probably due to his strong musical background.
Glass is attractive to me as a scientist because when you work it in a logical manner, it is process oriented. Once you become competent at the steps and how to make the basic forms you can start to recombine them and make glass follow your lead. I look at boundaries as something to go beyond and try to mimic geological concepts with glass like a kid with a chemistry set and no instruction manual.I try to use everything, all my background and knowledge while exploiting all the resources at hand.

Without glass how would we recognize ourselves? Its reflectivity allows us to see ourselves as we truly are… Or maybe not.

Why not come out to the studio and learn more about yourself. See where working with glass may lead you. Believe us, it’s worth it and so are you. With glass the exploration is endless.

Three Dimensional Visions – Glass Blowing Houston
Enriching lives through artistic self-expression.

Summer is over

Hmmm…Summer is over, the Olympics are over, the month of routine maintenance in our glass blowing studio is finished. So what’s next?

Well after a couple of days at the beach it is time to look forward. It is a time to assess our overall experience with our glass making in the hot shop and in the kiln forming studio: What works, what doesn’t and how do we improve. What can we do to provide a fresh, unique and enriching experience for all that come through our doors?

We offer a variety of aesthetic goodies for all tastes. There is a studio showroom filled with warm & hot glass art and there are two other gallery venues for the “armchair enthusiast”. We provide glass blowing demonstrations which are open to the public for individuals and then for groups we can do a demonstration and or a Make a Something event. There are educational experiences in the form of our demo/tour event, glass blowing experiences, glass blowing weekend workshops, kilnforming projects, as well as our six week experiences to learn how to blow glass. The demo, studio tour, and discussion about the history of glass and its place in todays society is great for field trips, social clubs, and large groups. For the smaller group we can do the demo and a Make a Something event where everyone who wants to gets to make some glass in the hot shop. Glass Blowing is a team sport and we offer “team building” opportunities to demonstrate how working together as a group can provide optimal results and that integrating and maximizing diverse potential in a group makes it stronger. And for the all out hardcore glass enthusiast we offer a line of six week sessions for glass blowing that build on one another in a logical progression.

If you can think of other things that we can do please give us your ideas. “Enriching lives through artistic self-expression” is more that just a “catch phrase” for us, it’s what we believe and want to achieve.

And remember, don’t just sit there…go make something!

Twistie Cups

Why not take a mini-vacation with Three Dimensional Visions – Glass Blowing Houston?

There is nothing better than to get together with friends and family to celebrate something special or just the joy of living.  Sometimes we get caught up in the merry go round of life and we forget to take time out to just pause.

You would think that after 35 years in corporate America I would have learned the value of a break! I always took my vacations and loved them.  They always allowed me to come back rejuvenated and eager to go again.  However….

I have always been a type A personality, always eager to get the job done well and early.  I really never thought too much about what would happen when I retired.  I suppose I always thought I would be in the mountains somewhere skiing, communing with nature and doing yoga.  But then came this, “I have a dream.  Let’s build a glass blowing studio!”  I retired on Good Friday of 2013 and until a few days at the beach last week we have been going full steam ahead working on our studio and growing the business.  Yes I did take some time off when we moved Mom to Houston, when she passed and then of course to pack up and settle her estate in Georgia.  But that really wasn’t time off.  We did take a trip to Corning and go to the annual Glass Art Society Conference and to a Cold Construction workshop but that was training, not vacation.  So now we are trying to find a way to schedule some down time while still growing our business.

One of the things that we do which helps us find balance and feel great about ourselves and our studio is hosting events.  The enthusiasm and the excitement that oozes out from our customers when they experience the magic of glass is intoxicating.  Then when you are part of a group experience it is even more exciting.  The smile on people’s faces and the giggly attitude almost takes our breath away.

So help us in our journey to enrich lives through artistic self-expression.  Help us find balance without the cost of an expensive vacation.  Book your next celebration with us!  Whether it is a birthday, anniversary, bachelorette party, social club, school field trip or corporate team building we can bring a smile to your face and hopefully joy to your heart and ours.  Give us a call and schedule your event with us.  A mini-vacation for all of our hearts.

New growth!

imageAh, Spring!  Flowers are beginning to bloom, the birds are singing sweetly and the breeze is blowing. Life is renewing itself as the new green foliage appears. And so are we. I have just completed an intermediate and advanced fusing workshop and my mind is filled with new concepts and things we can make in the warm shop and then renew in the hot shop. Ideas are sprouting and jumping from one row ( or person) to the next. Michael and Patrick look at my new work and say, what if…and of course this adds fuel to my creativity. Everyone should take the time to renew, these last six days for me have been intensely rewarding. I gained skills, concepts and a lot of new glass friends. Our class was held in a great retail shop and the owner is a glass enthusiast herself and that made the class even more successful. Ideas have been flowing just like the glass has been in the kiln work we have done. You could say I am really enjoying my crossover work melding Kilnforming and hot glass techniques together. We see the potential for more and more exploration and new endeavors for the hot shop to boldly move forward. Come on out and join in our fun!

Instant Gratification in Real Life

Today’s culture is all about instant gratification. It’s hard to remember or imagine what lives were like before the mobile phone and Internet. We have lost a lot while gaining much. We have lost patience with the expansion of information technology. We are all part of let’s do it now and get the results immediately. We are all characters in a short attention span play. It is inconceivable that just a few decades ago air mail was a speedy delivery because today we live in a world of texting, emails and 3D printers. We don’t even have the patience to not text or talk on the phone while driving, even though we all know it is dangerous. We are shifting from people living in the real world to existing in cyber space.

So change and strong growth surrounds us. Houston is growing and so is Three Dimensional Visions the Houston areas only open access glass blowing studio. We are literally Houston’s hottest new venue (our furnaces are over 2000 degrees F)! However our growth is a return to a love for art, a pursuit of fine craftsmanship and the patience to work the glass together as a team. What we are trying to do is allow people to reconnect with real life by using their hands, minds and hearts. It is so wonderful to see the glowing smiles of our customers and students in the studio. We have seen individuals, couples and groups after they have been exposed to the magic of glass and that spark is amazing. Young, old or anywhere in between leave the studio with a sparkle in their eye and dreams in their head of what if and what can be. We feel extremely lucky that we have created an environment where dreams are made daily with heat, breath and imagination.

Thanks to Texas for building a fast track to our studio from both the east and west sides of the greater Houston area! The Grand Parkway is now open and you can exit Telge Rd from the east or Cypress-Rosehill from the west and avoid that local traffic and get that instant gratification. So come on out and join in the fun and make your dreams a reality.

Thanks to You our Dream Continues!

What a year we have had! Thank you to all our customers for your participation. We hope that through our efforts with you we have helped to enrich your lives…we know that you have enriched ours. It is such a joy to watch as someone experiences glass, whether it is for the first time or the millionth. Hot glass is such a magical medium it reaches out and grabs you and for some of us becomes an addiction. We love to design, explore and create new forms as we go through this adventure. This year we have been lucky enough to touch so many people with demos to school children and seniors groups, with events for social clubs and corporations, with our one-on-one experiences, six week classes, workshops and our glass camp. We love having you all in the studio.

2015 was another year of great growth and learning for us. We completed our combustion hood and installed a third glory hole. We built out our cold working shop which is now fully functional. We changed our storage room into a design library to work with customers on commission ideas. We started working on our own studio glass line for potential retail sales. And are developing the capabilities to ship from the studio. We had two visiting glass makers with us for multiple visits during the year…And we were lucky enough to double the size of our glass blowing team. We finished up the year by installing a sign in front of our building. We hope that this will help people recognize what we do, who we are, and what we offer.

So, thank you!

We hope that we will continue this amazing growth but the focus will be more towards building skills and competencies than building facilities. In 2016 we will be offering glass blowing experiences every day that we are open. We are trying out a new booking system which will save us time, allowing more art and less administration. If you haven’t come out to see us in a while come take a look. We really have changed in the hot shop. If you’ve never come to the studio, now is the time! Come on out and experience the magic of glass with us.

The Force has Awakened!

I know that all of us die hard “Star Wars” fans have been waiting for It and It’s finally here!

Well, so are the long lines, the overpriced popcorn and soft drinks as well as the couple with the young crying baby who are sitting directly behind you.  Sooooo, my young Jedi you have to ask yourself, “What would Master Yoda do?”  Hmmmm, might I suggest using your powers and flying over to Three Dimensional Visions for a glass blowing experience!

It’s as cool as flying the Millenium Falcon! You can Make Something that will be around as long as Master Yoda and it will be as neat as having your own light saber.  Well, maybe not as neat, but at least you won’t set the Christmas tree on fire.

No Jedi mind tricks here, just a lot of fun!

Memories enduring as Master Yoda it will be.

Emergence

Our customers have been amazing since our opening, but the experience has taken its toll on the facility. We have learned (and now understand why) that open access studios must be serviced continually and then annually so that they can maintain their quality level. We have been working hard over the last month or so to be able to provide an even better glass blowing experience to everyone who comes to our studio. It has not been easy and sometimes it really wasn’t that much fun, but the end result is one that will be well worth the effort. There are still a few things to finish tweaking during the next few weeks, but we will meet our self Imposed reopening of September 2nd!

Our goal has always been to make glass art and provide people who come to the studio with a unique and exciting experience. Of course, being artists one of our most enjoyable perks is the art of creating. However, we have found that there is a great deal of gratification in showing others the magic of glass and “enriching their lives through artistic self-expression”.

It is the sincerest hope of the Three Dimensional Visions Team that we get the opportunity to make glass with you. As we have increased the capabilities of the studio we have also added new faces to our studio team. We look forward to introducing them and being able to provide great experiences to new customers and enhanced times for our old friends as they return. Like a caterpillar emerging from its cocoon, we emerge from our break with the ability to provide an even more spectacular glass experience.

Come on out to our destination location, meet our new folks, joy with us in the improved facilities, buy some glass art, set up your next party, Make Some Glass and more importantly have fun!

Intro to Glass Blowing starts Wednesday night, September 2nd
Glass Blowing Experiences & Kilnforming workshops begin Saturday, September 5th
1st Saturday Free Glass Blowing Demo resumes September 5th @ 4 pm.

Glass Blowing News

We have been having a hot time this summer@Three Dimensional Visions. Our Beat the Heat Experiences were a great success during July and interest has increased in our new kilnforming workshops. We finished another wonderful internship program and many thanks go to all the guys who participated – Josh, Ryan, Brandon, Mikey… As a result of this effort we welcome Eric Vargas who is now part of our studio team!

The hot shop is closing for the month of August while we do some upgrades but the showroom and gallery are open by appointment! Call us up and come on over and buy some glass art! I will be posting a table of glass art that is 50% off! So come on by make an offer and a purchase. When we re-open the hot shop in September our glory holes will be hotter and our studio will be cooler as we install more heat panels and exhaust fans.

This Fall we are going to be offering more classes, experiences, and workshops. We are populating the calendar with them now. Make sure you take a look and sign up early so you can get your pick of the available offerings! We love our repeat customers.

We love to host your group events: Team Building, Birthday Parties, Anniversaries, Social Clubs, Receptions! Call us and will develop the right option for your group. 50% deposit required to hold a date/time.

Here are the new offerings/times:

Starting in September we will be open on Wednesday nights till 9:30 pm! One glory hole will be dedicated to our six week glass classes while glory hole #2 (Probably not available till October) will be used for our glass blowing experiences, so you can come on out and Make a Vase or a Jumbo Wavy Bowl. You can also shop in the Studio Showroom!

On the weekends there will be more slots for glass blowing experiences! We will have two glory holes open on each day so there will be more time spaces to make small, medium, and larger pieces.

We now have a full blown Cold Working Shop! Once you take our certification class you can rent studio time there. Check out the details (coming out soon) on our website.

We will be holding some kiln parties! We have built a new raku kiln and will be holding firing parties starting sometime in the Fall. Come on out and see what all this fuss is about!

What’s the same but a little different:

Safety is #1! You must read our policy and sign our waiver to work in our studios!

The next three sessions of our Six Week Intro to Glass Blowing are on the schedule. First session starts September 2nd!

Schedule set up for Make a Something, Make a Vase, and Jumbo Experiences. They are available Wednesday nights and on the weekend!

Private Instruction is available for glass blowing & kilnforming. Combining private instruction with the group 6 week session is a great way to really learn. Call or email to make an appointment.

Kilnforming Workshops are available on Saturdays and Sundays. Just go to the website calendar, pick your project and sign up!

Glass Camp – Explorations in Kilnforming and Glass Blowing will be offered in three sessions this year and are on the calendar: Spring Break and two in June. Check out our website for more info.

Free Demo – 1st Saturday of each month starting at 4 pm. Always check our calendar to make sure! This is for individuals, if you have a large group >5 people please make a reservation for a demo/studio tour priced at $15/person.