“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! ”
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. Smyers is known for its designs of functional glassware. 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.
Twice a year - the first weekend in May and the first week in December – the glass studios host open houses, where the public is invited to view the glass blowers at work on their special creations. But you can often just drop by the studios and catch the masters at work.
Spend an afternoon enjoying vintage games at 1:30 PM, followed by Fratello Marionettes' presentation of Carnival of Animals, then enjoy hand-churned ice cream, all on the lawn at the Capitol.
All ages are invited-admission is free! (Donations welcome.) Adults must accompany children - no child care provided. Sponsored by Benicia State Parks Association, City of Benicia and Benicia State Parks.
1 Aug 2016 (All day) - 31 Aug 2016 (All day)
There's Something About the Depot
The twelve artist at the Benicia Plein Air Gallery will showcase their interpretations of the Benicia SP Depot at the foot of First Street. Group reception will be on Friday, August 12 from 4-6PM. At that reception, Benicia poets will read their poems on the same subject. Food and beverages will be served and the reception is open to the public.
6 Aug 2016 - 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Arts Benicia's Order + Chaos Paradox
Chaos is the unformed void. Order is its antithesis. In Order + Chaos, twenty artists display work chosen by San Francisco gallerist Catharine Clark in an eclectic exhibition that investigates the inherent paradox between order and chaos and the creativity that is part of, and issues from, that struggle. Exhibition runs August 6 - September 11, 2016. Member Preview: Thursday, August 4, 6:00 – 7:00 PM. Opening Reception: Saturday, August 6, 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Free and open to the public.