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Lincoln City Heats Up for Glass-Art Lovers
Published: 06/27/2011
 
Kelly Howard offers instruction in glass blowing at the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio  and operates Volta Gallery in Lincoln City, Oregon.
Kelly Howard offers instruction in glass blowing at the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio and operates Volta Gallery in Lincoln City, Oregon.
Photo by Gary Hayes

You can find a glass treasure or create your own in this city by the sea.

Lincoln City has long earned a reputation as a favorite destination for art lovers. People flock to this town that hugs a long stretch of scenic beach to check out what's new, especially in the glass art scene. Not only is Lincoln City peppered with galleries that feature creative and graceful works of glass, but a few studios are geared up to let you don goggles, apron and gloves, and create your own take-home glass treasure.

At the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio, you can blow your own glass float, vase or paperweight under the watchful instruction of an experienced glass artist. This is a great hands-on experience for adults, teens and kids over eight. According to glass artist and instructor Andrew Kogel, "Even making something as simple as a glass float has several steps, from choosing the colors to blowing and shaping the piece. We help you every step of the way."

Across the street from the Jennifer Sears Studio, you can browse Volta Gallery. "Here we exhibit and sell glass art made by the professional artists who teach at the Jennifer Sears Studio," says owner and artist Kelly Howard, whose own distinctive work at Volta ranges from sea floats to decorative fish to lamp shapes and vases. A glass artist since 1997 and a National Merit Scholar at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Howard is a driving force in the Lincoln City glass art scene. Largely because of Jennifer Sears, a city employee who had a vision of transforming Lincoln City into a glass art destination, as well as Howard and other local glass artists, this medium has taken on a life of its own here.

Down the street at Mor Art, glass artists teach classes that last from a few hours to four weeks. Techniques range from painting on glass to glass fusing and glass mosaics. "We don't blow glass here," says owner and artist Dan Watts, "but we work with other techniques, such as fusing-placing glass on top of glass and heating them until they become one piece." In a few hours time, Mor Art students come away with a variety of pieces from decorative paperweights to trays, plates and wall hangings.

At Glass Confusion, fused glass artist Marcia Glenn, doesn't offer instruction, but if you're shopping for that professionally made fused glass plate or wine stopper, you won't want to miss this studio. Glass Confusion's gallery offers a wide selection of glass pieces in many different styles-something for every glass-lover. Other nearby galleries include glass art in their mix. A few not to miss are Lawrence Gallery in Gleneden Beach and Freed Gallery in Lincoln City.

If you're feeling lucky, walk the beach and keep an eye out for a little sparkle of color. You could spot a glass float, one of hundreds created by local glass artists and left on the beach from mid-October through Memorial Day for you to take home as your Lincoln City memento. -- Allen Cox

Allen Cox is a travel and lifestyle journalist living in Tacoma, Washington. Check out his blog at localroads.wordpress.com

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