Even though we were “Southwested” in December, we found the silver lining in hatching a plan for two visits to the Enchanted Fredericksburg Ranch (EFR) and Glassblowing Studio for the first quarter of 2023. As such, Holly and Paul Simonette have been extraordinary hosts and it’s been a pleasure to warm up their hot shop with them.
In January, I was thrilled to work in Paul’s new studio for a week. We did a “soft opening” where I was more than impressed with the equipment and space he has. Since that visit, he has been blowing up a storm of glass for the Spring Break and Wildflower season and the Grand Opening for which I return as a Visiting-Artist-In-Residence.
Holly and Paul Simonette, owners opened their Purple Shack Makers Gallery in 2022. It features glass art blown in the studio and artisan work from local makers and beyond. Much of the work I blow in their hot shop will be sold in the gallery
Grand Opening March 23-29, 2023
The grand opening celebration is a week-long event starting with a ribbon cutting on March 23rd with Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce officials. We will spend the week doing lots of demonstrations for the public (see dates and times below) and include food from local vendors, music, and more at various times.
Since my visit in January, I have been cooking up some new ideas to bring to Fredericksburg. Paul has a PA system so visitors can ask questions and hear the answers over the roar of reheating furnace and equipment we use. Plus, it’s wildflower season. That means we’ll be sculpting flowers and blowing pieces in the colors of this area’s native plants. If you’re in the area, come on at one of our working times between March 23 to March 29.
Official Grand Opening Details & Press Release
Fredericksburg, TX – Enchanted Fredericksburg Glassblowing has rescheduled its Grand Opening Celebration with Visiting Glassblowing Artist-In-Residence Kevin Baker from March 23-29, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. on March 23, and special events continuing all weekend.
Paul Simonette, resident glassblower and co-owner of Enchanted Fredericksburg Ranch, is excited to share this craft at the only studio/hot shop in Fredericksburg where the public can watch glassblowing up close. Glassblower Kevin Baker, from KB Art Glass in San Diego, Calif. will be the Visiting Artist-In-Residence during the week-long celebration. Baker and Simonette will demonstrate glassblowing daily. No reservations are required to watch the free glassblowing demonstrations.
“I am thrilled to welcome Kevin to Fredericksburg,” said Paul Simonette. “We blew glass together in Spanish Village Art Center in San Diego and we’re excited to join forces again to create functional glass art, like vases and glasses, and other decorative pieces.”
“Glassblowing is like dancing with a partner who is too hot to touch,” Baker said. “The process is difficult and uncertain, but the reward is the birth of a luminescent offspring of fire which serves as a beautiful record of its creation. I can’t wait to entertain Fredericksburg families and visitors with the amazing art of glassblowing and to help launch the new hot shop.”
The Purple Shack Makers Gallery at Enchanted Fredericksburg Ranch will also be selling Baker’s work.
Grand Opening Celebration Schedule for March 23 – 29
Thursday, March 23 – Visiting Artist-In-Residence & Glassblowing demos (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
- Glassblowers will be making items in Texas Wildflower colors all day.
- 1 p.m. – Ribbon Cutting with the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce. (Glassblowers will take a lunch break right before the ribbon cutting.)
Friday, March 24 – Visiting Artist-In-Residence & Glassblowing demos (12 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
- Bring your own picnic lunch and beverage. We have chairs and picnic tables.
- 4 – 5 p.m. – Book Reading & Signing with author Keith Ruffner, “Making Friends with Feelings” – With beautiful illustrations of bunny friends, this book inspires children and adults to be brave enough to talk about their feelings and to listen with compassion and kindness. First time in Fredericksburg! (Glassblowers will take a meal break during the book reading. Visitors are invited to bring a picnic lunch, dinner and/or beverages to enjoy.)
- 4 – 7 pm Dumpling Diva serving up delicious dumplings
- 5 – 7 p.m. – Him & Her Band – Currently promoting their third album, “Him & Her Do Texas Women” features local singer-songwriter Brenda Freed on vocals and guitar, and Michael D’Eath on diatonic or chromatic harmonica. Couple Michael’s tasty harmonica playing with Brenda’s soulful and versatile voice and you get a powerful sound that delights house concert, theater and festival audiences. The duo becomes a band with the addition of local musicians Jonathan Lee on lead guitar and Andy Pepper on drums. (Glassblowing demos continue while the band plays.)
Saturday, March 25 – Visiting Artist-In-Residence & Glassblowing demos (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
- Taco plates from La Chaparrita’s Antojitos (4 tacos plate – choice of carne, shredded chicken, or veggie, rice & churro beans) for $14/plate, all day until gone.
- 1-2 pm Book reading & signing with author Keith Ruffner, “Making Friends With Feelings”
- Glassblowers will take a lunch break from 1-2 pm. Visitors are invited to listen to the book and enjoy lunch during this time.
Sunday, March. 26 – Visiting Artist-In-Residence & Glassblowing demos (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Monday & Tuesday, March 27 & 28 – Closed
Wednesday, March 29 – Visiting Artist-In-Residence & Free Glassblowing demos (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) (Glassblowers will take an unscheduled lunch break mid-day.)
Thurs., Mar. 30 – closed
Regular hours , 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., will resume Friday, March 31.
- Free glassblowing demos and the Purple Shack Makers Gallery are open
- Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., with an unscheduled lunch break mid-day.
Enchanted Fredericksburg Glassblowing and the Purple Shack Makers Gallery are located at Enchanted Fredericksburg Ranch, 7991 Ranch Road 965, about 10 minutes north of Main Street on the road to Enchanted Rock SNA (N. Milam at Main St.).
More information and updated hours are available on the website at www.EnchantedFredericksburgRanch.com.
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For more information:
Holly Simonette, (830) 321-7991