The Art of the Toy: Wild, Whimsical, and Magical, the latest exhibition at Arts Benicia, explores the toy as a work of art, the toy as a vehicle for the imagination. Whether created for play or as a reference to playthings, toys can embody our own personas. They can be filled with nostalgia, fun, scary, ridiculous, or thought provoking.
“You stare mesmerized by the scene before you. A glass blower and his assistant dance with fire and a blowpipe with molten glass stuck on the end of it. You feel the blistering heat of the 2000-degree roaring furnace and see the sweat dripping off of the faces of the glass blowers. All of a sudden the blob on the blowpipe flares into a vase. After 20 minutes of intense labor, the glass artist knocks the piece gently off of the pipe and into the waiting assistant's gloved hands. As he carefully places the vase into the annealing oven, you can't help yourself. You burst into applause! Wow, what an experience! ”
– Ann Lindsay in Inside Benicia, December 2009
Come witness first-hand the astonishing process of turning molten glass into exquisite works of art by masters who practice the old-world art form of glass blowing. The glass artists of Benicia create bowls, stemware, vases, paperweights, coasters, lamps, clock cases and other types of one-of-kind corporate awards, among other stunning collectibles.
You can see the glass art (and often the glass-blowing process) on display at any of Benicia's internationally acclaimed glass studios:
Each art glass studio is recognized for its own distinctive style of hand-blown glass. Nourot's work is famous for its intense red color. Lindsay produces unique paperweights and vessels.
But that's just part of the story. They all create custom lighting designs and will work with you to craft just the right piece. These are items that could easily become your next family heirloom.
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