Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘marbles’

Rob Hill’s RedHill Glass Creations

Rob demonstrated glass blowing at ARTSNCT’s artist reception.

Making beautiful glass pieces takes special skill, patience, and artistic ability. Rob Hill has developed these traits and today makes a variety of glass items, which can be found at several festivals and online at RedHill Glass Creations.

Putting a flower inside a marble makes for extra special beauty.

Rob grew up in Newcomerstown and graduated from NHS. His mother was an antique dealer and loved beautiful glassware. From the age of five, Rob went along with her on her hunts and developed a love of glass treasures. The young boy was especially fascinated with glass marbles.

Flintknapping and hunting for arrowheads was something Rob also enjoyed. In his travels, he met a man from Texas who wanted to trade Texas flint for Ohio flint. When Rob received the shipment from Texas not only were there flint arrowheads but also glass ones.

Turtles have always been one of his favorites to design.

Upon asking about the glass arrowheads, he discovered they had been made by a method of glass blowing called “Lampworking”, which was something he decided to explore.

In 2012, Rob decided to make some of his own glass creations as a hobby. He bought some glass-making equipment and began watching YouTubes about “Lampworking”. He became self-taught by watching others demonstrate their skill at blowing glass either through videos or watching in person at area glass companies.

Beautiful pendants are popular in many shapes and colors.

It took Rob a while to learn the art of glassblowing but as he became more confident, he began sharing his creations on Facebook and Instagram. They were a hit! Next step was to upgrade his equipment to keep up with the demand for his products.

His tools consist of a blow torch, glass rods of various sizes, and molds for shaping.

Rob uses a torch to melt the glass instead of the traditional blast furnace found in factories. He purchases his glass in rods made of silica glass in various lengths, diameters, and colors.

Once it is in a molten state, he then proceeds to shape it by blowing and using various tools he has acquired. He wants his pieces to last a lifetime and even be handed down to the next generation so is very careful to use glass that won’t crack under extreme temperature changes.

Many of his creations are on display in this setting.

His creations include glass pendants, vintage glass décor, jewelry, suncatchers, animals, mushrooms, and the list goes on. He makes just about anything you would like out of glass. At Christmas, he couldn’t keep up with the orders for glass icicles.

Rob makes one of his popular marbles for cremains.

Memorial marbles and pendants have become a popular item for people and pets. This began in 2013 when he wanted to use his dad’s cremains in a memorial marble, which is golf ball size. It takes about 45 minutes to make one marble. Now he ships these glass memorials all over the U.S. and even to Japan, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

Marbles and hearts are the perfect containers for the cremains of that someone special.

Cremation art has become a very popular item. Some put the cremains in a necklace so the loved one can rest close to their heart. Others prefer to display them in a lovely glass piece in their home. Rob pretty much can control how the design turns out, but often a hidden surprise appears.

This notice was used for his annual show at ARTSNCT last year.

You can find his beautiful glass creations at various craft shows. It has also been on display at Flint Ridge, Salt Fork Festival, and there was a special showing in Newcomerstown at ARTSNCT called “The Amazing Works of Rob Hill” where he even gave a live demonstration of glassblowing. Many of the items on display are for purchase.

Since Rob also sells online, you can visit his Facebook or Instagram postings anytime and order a special treasure for yourself.

This beautiful pendant of many colors seems extra attractive.

He also offers lessons if someone would like to learn the trade of glassblowing. If you would like to develop this special art, contact him at robert.hill8141@gmail.com or call him at 330-440-8141.

Right now Rob is busy with a full-time job and has many special orders to fill. In the future, he would like to devote more time to his special interest in marbles. He’s also exploring the area of painting on canvas. His artistic skills are numerous. However, he also wants to take time to enjoy his two children and three grandchildren.

Turtles and icicles have been very popular items.

Perhaps sometime in the future, he will be able to turn his hobby into an even busier business. Watch for RedHill Glass Creations online or at a nearby festival. Glass treasures last a lifetime!

The Cambridge Glass Museum Sparkles with Memories

Picture of the original Cambridge Glass Company in 1909

Picture of the original Cambridge Glass Company in 1909

Stepping inside the National Museum of Cambridge Glass in Cambridge, Ohio makes former employees and their families feel a great sense of pride in the fine work displayed within its walls. Visitor after visitor marvels at the fine workmanship that has stood the test of time. Over 6,000 pieces of the finest glass in the world are on display.

Original finishing bench from Cambridge Glass. Dad could have sat here.

Volunteers Cindy, Gary, and Sandi demonstrate making glass around an original finishing bench from Cambridge Glass. Dad might have sat on that bench.

My thoughts always turn to Dad and Mom when I enter its doors. Working at Cambridge Glass Co. for over thirty years, my dad, Rudy Wencek, learned to do many different jobs: carrying-in boy, presser, finisher, and blower. Mom, known as Kate to her friends, only worked there a few years in the packing department.

Two of Dad's turncards show he was finisher, the item being made, and amount paid.

Two of Dad’s turncards show he was finisher, the item being made, and amount paid.

All of the employees remember it being a great place to work. Since times were tough during many of those years, the company provided a factory restaurant, where employees could get an economical meal and have it deducted from their pay.  They also were able to get coal to heat their homes at a reduced rate from Cambridge Glass’s Near Cut Coal Mine. Insurance was even provided for their employees.

Our long driveway was covered, not with gravel, but with ashes from the furnaces of Cambridge Glass. Many recall employees’ sidewalks and driveways having a coating of Cambridge Glass ash.

These popular Georgian tumblers were used daily at my parents'home.

These popular Georgian tumblers were used daily at my parents’ home.

When the plant closed in 1958, glass enthusiasts wanted to preserve its history, so in 1983 they opened the first National Museum of Cambridge Glass. Today their museum is on 9th Street just off Wheeling Avenue in downtown Cambridge.

These marbles from Christensen Agate Co. were made from Cambridge cullet glass.

These marbles from Christensen Agate Co. were made from Cambridge cullet.

This past year they have created two new displays that are fascinating. One involves marbles. The Christensen Agate Co. made “the world’s most perfectly formed marbles.” They were located right behind the Cambridge Glass Company. To make the beautiful colors in their marbles, they used Cambridge Glass Company’s broken or waste glass called cullet, which they remelted to form the marbles..

This display shows some of the Cambridge Glass used in movies or television shows.

This display shows some of the Cambridge Glass used in movies or television shows.

A larger display is called Hollywood Glass. Here you can spot Cambridge Glass pieces that have actually been used in movies and television shows. It’s quite impressive to realize that the things made in this small town are considered fine enough quality to be used in such manner as: a wine glass in White Christmas, an etched pitcher in Gunsmoke, a funnel on Hawaii Five-O, plus many more.

School and bus groups frequently tour the museum. Beginning with a short video actually filmed at the Cambridge Glass Company in the 1940s, visitors are then given a quiz regarding the video. Those with the correct answers are dressed in working gear as the process is reviewed.

Students enjoy using the etching plates.

Students enjoy using the etching plates.

Another aspect that greatly interests adults and students happens in the etching department. Here they are given actual Cambridge Glass etching plates, for such patterns as Rose Point, Dragon, or Chantilly, and can see the patterns emerge on a paper trail rather than glass. Of course, beautiful, etched glass creations are visible throughout the museum.

Hopefully, someday you will take the time to see these pieces of glass artwork made by friends and family right here in Guernsey County. Dad and his co-workers should feel great pride in the beautiful gems they have created. Part of them lives on in their handiwork.

The National Museum of Cambridge Glass is located in Cambridge, Ohio at 136 S 9th Street, just a half block off its main street, Wheeling Avenue – also called old Route 40. Admission is a reasonable $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and children under 12 are admitted free.

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