Handmade items hold special appeal, partially for the obvious reason of being handmade and therefore one of a kind. While you are visiting the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast area, create a special handmade souvenir or gift loaded with extra “uniqueness factor” by making your own hand-blown ornament, paperweight or flower.
It’s not as difficult or scary as you may think, since you’ll be working directly with a professional who loves to teach the art form. Make it a family affair—children aged 8 and up, parents and grandparents alike will enjoy the learning process, making the masterpiece, and then admiring each others’ creations. (Children younger than 8 will be allowed to assist.)
This opportunity is not common or ordinary. In fact, The Hot Shop at the Orange Beach Arts Center is the only public-access glass studio in the state of Alabama, and one of only a handful in the Southeast. At only $20 per ornament (discount on 3 or more), $25 for a flower or $35 for a paperweight—and only about 20 minutes to make one—this is an experience and a bargain that just cannot be missed. (Hint: It’s not too early to think about holiday gift-giving!)
Contact the Orange Beach Arts Center for details and to make your appointment. Call 251-981-2787 or stop by 26389 Canal Rd. in Orange Beach (just a few moments east of Hwy. 161), Tuesday through Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Even if you choose not to make your own, don’t pass up the opportunity to watch artist Sam Cornman at work. Be sure to allow time to wander through the Arts Center and the gift shop while there. You will find numerous artists represented and a great variety of media and subjects.
Share your hand-blown ornament as a gift, or place it on proud display in your own home. Either way, you will have a fun, distinctive memory to hold onto always. Who knows—it may open you to a new interest and the discovery of a hidden talent!
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