1. Artisan Series Honey & Lexington Glassworks
    By Allyson Ansusinha News 28 comment
    16/November Artisan Series Honey & Lexington Glassworks

    Last year for the very first Artisan Series Honey Project, we worked with John Almaguer, a local glassblower out of Asheville, NC. This year for the second edition we had the privilege of working with Billy and Geoff of Lexington Glassworks, also of Asheville, NC. I recently visited Lexington Glassworks and watched as they crafted the beautiful jars that would hold our Wildflower Honey. Read more about my visit below. 

    Lexington glass works is a sight to behold. On a sunny fall day in Asheville, I arrived to a gleaming used-to-be warehouse on the south slope of Downtown Asheville. Filled with natural light glinting off the colorful glass, the space is inspiring and cheerful. Visitors are greeted by a colorful installation of glass platters hung on the wall, their waves and streaks of color coming together to form a cascade of hues that cast shadow and catch the light. Pedestals form islands throughout the retail space, each boasting a beautiful object or collection of objects—all hand-blown glass. The variety of shape, form and colorful pattern is an impressive display. I could spend an entire morning in wonderment of the way solid stripes swirled into crystal clear glass cast undulating shadows and fawning over beautiful combinations of translucent color that reveal shadows in the same spectrum.  



    Billy and Geoff of Lexington GlassworksIn the heart of the building is literally where the magic happens. Benches surround the workspace, home to various tools of the trade, the Glory hole, and furnace. The furnace is full of molten glass, which is kept at 2000 degrees 24/7, 365 days a year. Tongs, calipers and paddles are kept neatly arranged according to what is being made at the moment. Founders Jeff and Billy invite visitors to watch them work, a true spectacle. The act of transforming molten glass into a one-of-a-kind object is mesmerizing. To watch is to appreciate two kinds of art form: fine craftsmanship and performance. They say blowing glass is truly a team effort, and they make it look like a choreographed dance. It is hard not to be enchanted by the grace and intuition apparent in their work. 

    I watched as they quickly made Honey Jar after Honey Jar for Echoview’s Artisan Series. Blobs of hot yellow and orange glass were pulled from the furnace and begin to be formed on a metal table. The maker blows a burst of air into the long metal pipe which introduces pressure into the glass blob, which slowly starts to form a vessel. From there, the hot glass is blown into a wooden mold for consistent size and shape. Then, it is expertly handled between glory hole and work stand, being spun, cut and formed into shape. It takes two to make the Artisan Honey Jars, and perhaps just as amazing as watching the transformation of material into jar is the finesse and confidence with which Jeff and Billy handle their work. They explain to their transfixed audience what they are doing in each step, but one gets the feeling that if there wasn’t an audience they would not need to communicate verbally at all. 

    I talked with Jeff and Billy about the Asheville community and what inspired them to open up shop, the inspiration behind the design of the Artisan Honey Jar, and how important community is to what they do.

    Read the full interview here.

    To order your Artisan Series Honey 2017, visit here.

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