25th Fest Recap!

[SMTX video and interviews from the Wimberley Glassworks 25th Fest.]

The furnaces are cooling and the music is slowly fading, but the memory of the 25th Fest is still burning bright! With a classic Texas Hill Country thunderstorm brewing overhead, Marcia Ball and the Marcia Ball Band blew the walls off of every festival tent! 

Marcia Ball performing at 25th Fest

[Marcia Ball brings her soulful Gulf Coast R&B sound to the Texas Hill Country! Photos by Mike Farquhar.]

Thank you to the estimated 800 attendees of our 25th anniversary celebration for helping make it such an unforgettable night! A special shout out to Middleton Brewery, Patio Dolcetto and Wimberley HEB for providing beer and wine tastings enjoyed by literally hundreds of our guests.


 Members of the Marcia Ball Band

[Members of the Marcia Ball Band performing for the crowd.]


Tim and Vanessa Dancing

[WGW Founder Tim DeJong and his wife Vanessa dancing the night away! ]


Tim DeJong demonstrating the creation of a river timber vase

[Tim demonstrating how a River Timber vase is made.]


Couple dancing at the WGW 25th Fest

[When Marcia Ball is playing, the dance floor is always full!]


Dancing at the 25th Fest


The Story of River Timber

River Timber Vases

"The 2015 floods of Wimberley and San Marcos were a devastating and impactful experience for all of us. It's hard to look at the river the same as we once did. In living through our area's difficulties and reconstruction, my mind almost immediately had shifted to a thought process of... "How can we make something positive from our collective experience?" While thinking this over, I could not get the image of the majestic trees, snapped from their roots and washed downstream out of my mind. For me, the trees became a symbol of a paradise lost, and ignited a lust to regain it! But how can we make something positive from an experience that was so devastating?"


River Timber vases 02

"At this point I discovered the Swift River Pecans sawmill in Fentress, Texas. Here they were making table tops and mantles from the great trees that fell during the floods. The idea of using only flood water wood to create works of beauty was a perfect fit. Together we transformed trees felled in the floods into wooden molds used to shape molten glass."


River Timber 03


"The River Timber series was born. What Nature has taken down, we are bringing back up in the form of light shades, vases, and beautiful art."


- Tim de Jong

Wimberley Glassworks Founder and Head Gaffer


River Timber Orange and Clear


For more information about WGW's newest creation or to order, please call 512-213-4148. 

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 >>