Creating glass holiday ornaments

Storytelling through the art of glass blowing.

SAN ANTONIO – Vases, colorful glass dishes and ornaments; Do you ever wonder how these memorizing pieces of art are made? Glass blowing would be the simple answer, but as a local family shows KSAT, it’s a complicated and extensive process turning a ball of liquid glass into sophisticated designs.

“All of the objects that we create have a story behind them and we really take care and understanding colors and shapes and sizes to make sure each piece is a unique work of art,” said Claudia Berteaux, director of operations at Garcia Art Glass.

Garcia Art Glass started about 21 years ago when Dora Garcia’s sister went to art school and came back with a dream and, within a few years, recruited her family to join in.

“I was a music teacher. And so all my summers off, I would come into the gallery to help. It only took one summer for me to fall in love with the glass - or get the illness, as we like to say. I started working with the glass 15 years ago,” said Dora Garcia, director of production.

Along the way, they have found some unbelievably talented artists.

“We are originally from Mexico, from Monterrey, Mexico, and through some cousins and family members knew that we were looking for a talent to come join our team and so we were able to connect with him,” Garcia said. “He’s going to do a dance. With that color on the exterior of that piece, you saw how liquid like that glasses. But it cools very quickly,”

“It’s rare that you see these types of skill, highly skilled artisans creating things with their hands. And so we want to educate the public and inspire others to continue this art form,” Berteaux said.

Whether it’s an intricately designed vase or a paper weight, these pieces take time and creativity and individuality.

“Every single year, we create new designs and new colors. So each one is unique for that year,” Berteaux said. If you’re interested in getting a first hand look, the hot shop is open to the public anytime they are blowing glass.

Guests are welcome to watch Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. until Noon, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m..

And if you’re interested in making a custom ornament, the Garcia’s invite people to come and choose their own design on December 21, but you have to call and reserve a spot.

The number to call is (210) 354-4681 or check out their website at garciartglass.com.

On days where there are no “make your own ornament workshop,” where are special narrated experiences where they create something really interesting to watch. This experience can be booked through the website on Fridays and Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. for $12.50 per person.

Friday, December 13th and Saturday December 14th, the organization will have its big sale of the year. It’s called a “Seconds Sale” which means that pieces with minor imperfections will be available for 30%-70% off. They only do it once a year.

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