The Marcia Ball Band Coming to Wimberley Glassworks!

Join us on June 3rd for an electric evening of live music, cold beer and Grammy nominated Blues pianist Marcia Ball!

Grammy Nominated Blues Pianist Marcia Ball

 

“Rollicking roadhouse rave-ups and soulful Gulf Coast R&B”
--USA Today

Marcia Ball’s brand of blues lifts the spirit -- old-school R&B mixed with Cajun, zydeco, boogie-woogie, swamp pop and just about every other stripe of music from Southeast Texas’ Golden Triangle across the state line toward New Orleans and Baton Rouge. She’s as perfect an artist as could be.

--Houston Chronicle

The title track of Marcia Ball’s latest album, The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man, is an irresistible tale of true love at the traveling carnival. It’s a story that nobody but Ball could spin, filled with vivid details, universal truths, and a rambunctious sense of fun and desire. With raucous horns punctuating Ball’s legendary piano playing and emotional, melodic vocals, the song kicks off a CD of eleven dazzling originals and one stirring cover. The release mixes Ball’s Gulf Coast blues, New Orleans R&B, swampy Louisiana ballads, and jumping, Tex-Mex flavored zydeco into a one-of-a-kind musical gumbo, a sound she has been perfecting over the course of her legendary career. Her love of the road has led to years of countless performances at festivals, concert halls and clubs all over the world. 

Marcia Ball sitting at her piano

The Texas-born, Louisiana-raised musical storyteller’s groove-laden New Orleans boogie, deeply soulful ballads and rollicking blues have won her an enormous, loyal and still-growing fan base. She’s received a total ten Blues Music Awards (and a whopping 44 nominations), seven Living Blues Awards, and five Grammy Award nominations. She has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast Music Hall Of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame.


Eventbrite - Wimberley Glassworks 25th Fest!

25 Years in the Making: The Story of Wimberley Glassworks

 

On June 3, 2017 Wimberley Glassworks will celebrate 25 years of showing guests how the ancient art of glass blowing is done. During that time, the studio has grown from a one man operation to employing 11 people and moved to a larger building, built specifically for the Glassworks.

Wimberley Glassworks Exterior

“You shouldn't think I've made all the right choices,” says Tim De Jong, owner of Wimberley Glassworks. “When I fall, I fall hard, because I take big risks.”

Glassblowing class

One such risk was when he was breaking into commercial work for large scale art installations. He underbid his competitors by a lot. In fact, too much.

Luckily, the company he was doing the work for recognized that. They called him out on it, and suggested he invoice them for the difference. “We want you to stay in business so you can work for us again,” he told de Jong. Not making the same mistake twice, the Glassworks now has installations throughout the nation.


Blowing glass is very difficult, demanding and physically challenging art. It can take years to learn the skills necessary to combine elements, shape and mold the glass to get just the right size and shape. It did not come easily to de Jong.

2017 Limited Edition Paperweight

 

“Glass is a sensual, sexy, seductive material. Everyone wants to touch it, and everyone is afraid to touch it,” de Jong says. “When you make a glass piece, you can't just go in and make a glass piece. I haven't made a piece without putting one hundred percent of my heart into it. You just can't work the material without pouring your soul into it.”


A walk through the showroom is a glimpse into the soul of the artists who work the glass.

“How do we stay exciting, how do we stay cutting edge?” de Jong poses the question and then answers, “The answer is synergy. One plus one equals three. One person's idea you combine with another person's idea and you get a third idea.”


He includes everyone who works there on design discussions. He values everyone's input.

Picture of Tim DeJong and his father shortly after the opening of Wimberley Glassworks in 1992

De Jong credits his father, who was a part of the Dutch underground in World War II, with instilling in him the determination to survive when things got tough. He tells a story of an encounter just after he finished high school. He came to his father and told him he did not want to go to college. His father looked at him and said, “I will have to think about that, and I will get back to you.”

 

A few days later de Jong's father presented him with $300 cash and a one-way ticket to Seattle, Washington (they lived in New Jersey). He told him "work your way home...if you don't want to go to college we'll talk! 


Taking his father's challenge, he worked his way back, at one point sleeping under the Congress Avenue bridge in Austin for a while, which is when he first fell in love with this area of the country and vowed to return. It took him about four and a half months to get all the way back home, working some really miserable jobs. After that summer the choice to attend college was a simple one.

 

It was then he decided to go to art school. He attended Alfred University, in Alfred, New York, a small town in the southwest corner of New York state. He first got the idea for working with glass and lighting from visiting the Niagara Falls in the winter. The build up of ice hanging off the light posts reflecting the setting sun captivated his imagination, which soon developed into art glass lighting designs.


The three lessons he took from the cross country challenge were the knowledge of where absolute bottom is, knowing how far he could push himself until he fell and that if he fell he knew he could get back up and get on with it.


In fact, de Jong says he became a risk taker as a result of this experience. In an odd way, fear became his barometer. If a situation or direction scared him, it was something de Jong had to tackle.

Tim DeJong in his early days as a glassblower

Being an artist and a business owner is always a struggle and it can get pretty intense at times. “My left and right side of my brain have arguments, I want to be this really creative guy, but I have got to pay my bills, and my bills are big,” Tim explains. He is extremely conscious of the responsibility he carries as an employer.


“I can't mess up, if I mess up, I have to un-employ a family,” says Tim. He tells about how in his first year he grossed $2000 from June to December. He then closed up shop during the week so he could work on houses in Austin during the week to make enough money to stay open on the weekends.

 A friend came down from Philadelphia to help him, and he was able to stay open during the week, which enabled the shop to grow. Then later, a couple who lived in Wimberley discovered his shop and started buying every gift for everyone they knew, and this kept the shop open.

“I was told, if you are going to rely on the people in Central Texas for your business, you are not going to survive,” de Jong confides. “And if it had not been for the people of Wimberley and surrounding areas I would not have survived.”

Tim DeJong demonstrating his trade at a RenFaire.

He also credits the Texas Country Reporter for noticing him and the Texas Renaissance Festival for helping to put him on the map. And a local metal artist named Jimmy Harwell made oak tree lamp bases for them for twelve years as signature pieces.

Collaboration between Wimberley Glassworks and metal artist Jimmy Harwell

 

It was a huge risk to expand into their current space. He remembers meeting with the banks in 2006 in they actually wanted to loan him more money than he was comfortable with. , He calculated what he could borrow and still pay back if his sales dropped by forty percent.


Two years later their sales dropped by fifty-five percent. For two and a half years he had to pare down to three people, run the business seven days a week, and live on Ramen Noodles. It was exhausting.

 

“That is when I discovered the value of kindness and good will, two very important things for business,” according to de Jong. “Treat your suppliers well, pay them on time or early, and they will cut you a break when things get tough. If not for my suppliers, I would have gone bankrupt.”

 He was interviewed by a student recently who asked him the best question, what is the most difficult thing to do? “To be creative when you are terrified,” was Tim's answer.

There are times when he is still terrified. How does he recharge his batteries? Travel is what does it for him. “I make sure my cell phone data plan doesn't work outside the country. It's the only way I can get a break,” says de Jong. He travels to Holland, where he has family and to China, where he adopted his daughter from.

 

He says his daughter is a constant mirror, both good and bad, of who he is. He's very grateful to be a father. Tim quotes a woman that worked for him, “Being a parent is answering the same question every single day, 'what are the limits?'”

His daughter is sixteen now. Tim says he chose adoption because, just before his passing, his father told him that he needed to change one life for the better. Little did he know at the time that the change would be his own.

His father also told him that he had cried all the way home after taking him to the airport the day he got on the flight to Seattle. He never expected Tim to take the challenge. 

When you put it all together, Wimberley Glassworks is about more than glass and lighting. It is the passion that drives the artists, the people who have contributed to their growth, and the families whose lives are all connected because one man was willing to take some huge risks, so we could experience the beauty of this soulful art of glass blowing.
On June 3rd come help us celebrate an event 25 years in the making: the Wimberley Glassworks 25th Fest!

Eventbrite - Wimberley Glassworks 25th Fest!

"Levitation" the WGW 2017 Paperweight

Introducing the newest of our uniquely designed annual paperweights; "Levitation". Drawing inspiration in part from the blossoming lotus, this beautiful paperweight evokes a sense of rising up, one layer lifting the next. A silvery bubble at its center is delicately enfolded by ribbons of lavender and opaline glass circled in points of shimmering reflection.   

Each of this limited edition of 75 is accompanied by a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. Available for pre-sale now, this work of art will begin hitting our shelves on February 27th.  Make Levitation yours at $169.

purchase online or call the gallery >>

 

Valentine's Day Glassblowing Class

wine, strawberries and glass flowers. Oh my!

 

Wimberley Glassworks is proud to offer our first-ever Valentine's Day glass blowing class! Experience the thrill of coloring, shaping and creating your own hand blown glass flower or elegant paperweight. And after creating your glass masterpiece enjoy a glass of wine, chocolate dipped strawberries and assorted hors d’oeuvres!

Each participant in our new glass blowing class will receive; 

  • Instruction on the 2000 year history and techniques of glass blowing.
  • Blowing a bubble of glass from a glass blowing pipe.
  • Color a glass flower or a paperweight in your choice of available hues.
  • Pictures of your experience emailed to you.
  • A glass flower or paperweight of your own creation, available to be picked up the the Sunday after the class is complete. (*)

Make this Valentine's Day unforgettable!

 

Eventbrite - Glass Blowing Class

Slightly Irregular Clearance is underway!

The 24th Annual Slightly Irregular Clearance began with a bang this morning! For the dozens of customers braving the frigid morning air to join us at 10 AM sharp, the deals came fast and furious.

 

Many of our platters were snatched up within seconds followed closely by a half dozen of our two tone and granite pattern bowls.  Vases, lamp shades, even art glass and sconces were sold at a fraction of their regular price. And amazingly enough our selection of seconds is still vast and varied with literally hundreds of pieces still available.

Come down to the gallery and find your perfect imperfection during the Slightly Irregular Clearance through Saturday!