Here is our interview with Etsy artist Beth Hess of Wunder Around. She will be demo’ing how to make terrariums using her handblown glass vases at our Small Business Saturday event, which takes place Saturday, November 29 from noon to 4pm at our Merrifield Store.
…………………………………………………………………………………………… When did you start your line and why?
I enjoy making colorful, functional pieces of blown glass that can be used (and enjoyed) everyday. I’m well into year two of my Threads Collections. These are highly touchable pieces with lots of texture. I started making white vases with various colors of “thread” on the outside and the collection has grown from there. I started my Duos Collection last year after returning from a trip to Iceland. The colors I saw there just begged to be recreated in glass. I started the Duos Collection to capture the intensity and juxtaposition of colors that I saw, and continue to find new color combinations around me everyday.
What were you doing previously?
I’ve always been a crafter and I love to experiment with new mediums and techniques. I took my first glassblowing class five years ago in June and fell in love with it. My professional background is in communications and I spent more than a decade helping nonprofits and businesses tell their story.
What do you love about owning your own business?
Doing it all. I enjoy things like making signage and updating my website in addition to the actual making.
What is the most challenging thing about owning your own business?
Doing it all. There’s always more that I could be doing, so prioritizing and making the best use of my time is a constant battle; along with keeping up with things like bookkeeping.
What inspires your work?
Color and the challenge of transforming 2,080 degree clear glass into something else entirely. Each color behaves differently as you’re working with it. I love the challenge of making an idea a reality in glass, the process of working with the glass itself and seeing what happens when light passes through the results.
Where do you see your line going from here?
I’ve been working for a while now with two-colors in each piece and recently started adding a third, and working on some new shapes to highlight them. I don’t know yet where it all will go, but am enjoying the process.
I love making colorful, beautiful pieces of blown glass that help make your everyday feel special. Handmade by Beth Hess, each piece of Wunder Around glass is built layer by layer with heat & air, starting with a gather of clear glass from a 2,080° furnace in Hyattsville, Maryland.
I think the stuff of everyday life can be special—from the glass you drink your morning juice in, to the bowl that collects your junk mail. And that having a fabulous vase to put flowers in is a great excuse to bring some home, to surprise your coworker or say thank you to your mom.
My seasonal offerings include blown glass pumpkins, which make a great addition to your mantel or table, and colorful blown glass ornaments add handmade sparkle to your tree year after year. New for Fall 2014, I have created handmade terrariums feature clear glass and clean lines. They are great for air plants, small plants and the tiniest of fairy gardens.
Five years! Time definitely flies when you enjoy what you’re doing! As a heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped us reach this milestone, we invite you to join us in celebrating Herban Lifestyle’s Birthday! The evening will consist of food, drink, cake and great company. We will also be hosting a silent auction, with all proceeds benefitting Miriam’s Kitchen, and featuring great products and services from our generous business partners. The event will be held at the very cool Hillyer Art Space in DuPont Circle.
Here are photos of some of the items donated by DC artisans:
Miriam the Owl, made from repurposed wool, by Tigerflight (voted Best Local Crafter 2013 by CityPaper readers!)
Upcycled tea cup gift wrapped soap set by Wildflower WrapUps (available soon in the DC area)
Lady wallet and passport case made from reclaimed leather by Catherinette Leather Works
Handblown glass vase by Wunderaround
Miriam’s Kitchen (which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month!) is committed to ending chronic homelessness in DC by creating meaningful connections with chronically homeless individuals, placing them in permanent supportive housing, and ensuring they have the necessary support to remain in housing.