Monday, January 11, 2016

Lincoln City, Oregon: A destination for art glass lovers

If only I had room for an art glass collection!
The Oregon Coast is filled with beautiful sights. With rugged cliffs, beaches for walking and wildlife like sea lions and shore birds, the Oregon Coast is a big draw for visitors year round.  One doesn't think of sparkling, hand-blown glass as a coastal asset but places like Lincoln City are a destination for artists, collectors and admirers of glass art.

Glass Floats on the Beach
One of the most fun and rewarding Lincoln City events begins in October each year when hundreds of glass floats are hidden on Lincoln City beaches. The event runs through Memorial Day.

Finders Keepers takes place with local hand-crafted glass floats being placed along the 7-1/2 miles (12 km) of public beach in Lincoln City, from the Roads End area to the Cutler City area. It’s “finders keepers” for those who walk the beach and find a beautiful float. The floats are hidden above the tide line and below the beach embankment, with "float drops," happening throughout the Finders Keepers season.

Check out the special drop dates for the 2015-2016 season.

Glass Art Studios
When I visited the Taft Historic District of Lincoln City I was treated to a feast for the eyes. The Jennifer Sears studio  was actually making glass floats for the Finders Keepers event. At the studio you can watch glass being blown or sign up for a lesson and learn the art of glass blowing.
A sunny day is the best time to
admire the art glass at Lincoln City galleries

Throughout the extensive gallery were works of glass art by artists in residence. I was taken with the beauty of the vases, glass fish, floats and even glass jewelry. In one case I found a wine stopper with a miniature jellyfish design blown into the glass. Wouldn't that make a great gift!

You can also shop for glass art across the street at Volta Gallery.  Here you will find the glass creations of Kelly Howard, Daniel Millen, Jonathan Myers, and others. They represent the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio and the emerging glass blowing movement on the Oregon Coast.

These galleries and studios are located on SW Hwy 101 at the south end of Lincoln City.

Another glass studio, Alder House III,  can be found by driving farther south and turning east (away from Siletz Bay) onto Immonen Road and traveling about 3/4 mile. Alder House III is an open studio welcoming visitors to watch as crafts-people ply the 2000-year-old art of turning molten glass into beautiful objects. I did not have the opportunity to visit Alder House but found that it is the oldest glass blowing studio in Oregon.

Visitors to the Alder House are offered the unique experience of watching art in its creation. Anne and Buzz Williams and Mike Smith are happy to share information about their art and the techniques used to create their magnificent works. Alder House III is open from 10 until 5 daily from May 1st until the end of November.

Lincoln City
Lincoln City is one of the larger towns on the Oregon Coast. Located west of Salem, the Capital, Lincoln City is easily accessible from Portland, Oregon as well as the central Willamette Valley. Lincoln City has larger hotels and a Casino/entertainment venue, Chinook Winds. There is always something to do in Lincoln City. There is a kite festival, culinary classes as well as opportunities for crabbing and fishing. There are beaches to walk and trails to hike.

Photography copyright: Elizabeth Rose Photography
Glass art is from the Jennifer Sears Studio