Family Tree Glass

Color Changing Glass Bottle Incense Burners

Just sharing a few recent love letters we received for Brian’s handblown glass incense burners. They make a fun and unique gift for that person on your gift list who is just impossible to buy for! Once you get your hands on a color-changing glass bottle burner, you will never want another incense burner again! And you won’t need one either, because these handcrafted glass bottles are blown with very thick-walled glass, and then they are kiln annealed for extra durability. These babies were made to last! But I’ll let some happy customers tell you themselves:

“What a great gift to us and our home! Have been wanting a glass incense burner like this for years and am delighted with it: so organic and the interior patterns add to the pleasure as it will change from the resin inside. Thanks so much!”  -Carla B. of Bronx, NY

“Such a lovely, solid and well made glass incense burner. Fun to see the color changing with each incense burned. Burner was carefully packaged and shipped quickly. Great shop and hope to do business with Family Tree Glass again!” -Monique A. of Gautier, MS

“An incredibly unique and well crafted incense burner! This is the incense burner of my dreams that I didn’t even know existed! Thanks so much, glass blowing extraordinaires!” -Tom S. of Santa Monica, CA

smoking bottle incense burner

This burner, in our “Bubbles” fume design, is just beginning it’s color-changing journey!

These are actual recent reviews from our etsy store, you can find them here. You can also see more 5 star reviews for these smoking bottle burners here. And click here to find out the top 5 reasons why you should ONLY be using a glass bottle incense burner!

With 2 size options, and 3 different designs to choose from, you’re sure to find the right one to enhance your incense burning ritual. Orders placed by Sunday 12/17 are guaranteed to be delivered before Christmas! (if shipping to a US address.)

Thanks for supporting working artists and small family businesses like ours this holiday season, and always!

 

handblown glass icicle ornaments

Icicle Ornaments!

handblown glass demonstarions

Just another one of Santa’s elves, doing my thing in the workshop!

Every year I look forward to making these individually sculpted glass icicle ornaments! They have been one of our most popular holiday gift items for years, whether we are at a handcraft fair, art show, through etsy, or here on our own website. Admittedly, they are not the most technically challenging of our designs. But I think that is why I enjoy making them so much… I can just get into the groove of playing with molten glass, trusting that each one is going to decide exactly what shape it wants to take. They always look more real when I allow the glass to create the design itself… when I think too hard about what I am doing, they tend to look more contrived and perfectly symmetrical. I want each one to have it’s own story, and it’s own personality. Creating glass icicles, for me, is a lesson in not taking myself too seriously… an opportunity to practice letting go and trusting the process… and a chance to have fun, blast some music, laugh at myself, and lighten up! I hope that my light hearted, twinkling, uplifted spirit shines through in each and every one!

glass icicles

This is the original photo, taken shortly after we first started making this design…

This year I decided to update my glass icicle ornament photos. It’s been long overdue… the original ones were taken in the backyard of our old house in NY, while a couple cute little toddlers played around the tree trunk at my feet. Over a decade later, those toddlers are now teenagers, and the pics were taken by the woodstove in our VT cabin. (The kids kindly waited for me to be done with my little photo shoot before decorating our tree!)

These handcrafted little works of art are just $4 each, or a set of 6 for $20. (That’s one free!) So you see, you can make it a handmade holiday on just about any budget!

handblown glass holiday gifts

This is one of the photos that I just took this year. I am so glad I finally got a chance to update my pics!

Thanks for choosing to support art and small family businesses like Family Tree Glass this holiday season, and always. We are blessed, and we are grateful to be able to do what we love, and love what we do!

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

a compilation of glass art pendants

SALE: Black Friday thru Cyber Monday!

This Black Friday, Nov 24, through Cyber Monday, Nov 27, every FTG order over $50 gets FREE shipping to anywhere in the world, plus we will include a FREE handblown glass gift worth at least $10 in your package! Just enter coupon code BUYART at checkout to have the discounts applied to your order. It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting artists this holiday season, and for shopping small family businesses like ours.

Family Tree Glass

A selection of handblown glass goodies, all for $20 or less, fresh out of the Family Tree Glass Studio!

I am not sure if this is technically a SALE, in the sense that I am not offering a huge percentage off the items’ prices, like some of the Black Friday sales I see out there. The truth is, if a store is giving you 50% off, chances are it’s because the item was over-priced to begin with! (Ok, sorry for the short rant. Unless, of course, you like that sort of thing, in which case you can see more on this subject here.)

We take pride in creating hand-made, heirloom quality art that is accessible to all people. Art should never be a luxury afforded exclusively to the rich. We price our handcrafted, hand blown glass gifts and jewelry to be as affordable as possible, while still earning a living wage and keeping the studio up and running. However, I am happy to take on your shipping and handling fees for a few days, and to offer a little surprise in each package that I think you will enjoy, or to pass along to someone who will. It is the least we can do to show how grateful we are for people who keep us afloat in this culture of consumption. You folks who shop with a conscience, and take responsibility for helping to create the world we all want to live in, we salute you!

Will shopping at Family Tree Glass this holiday season help save the world? Probably not. Will it help save the industry of small mom and pop shops and independently working studio artists? Absolutely.

family tree glass studio

 

Family Tree Glass custom holiday decorations

Handblown Glass Ornaments are here!

handblown glass ornaments

These Colorful Spiral Twist ornaments start at just $9 each, or 5 for $40!

The FTG glass studio is fired up, and we’ve been busily filling up the kiln with colorful glass Spiral Twist ornaments, glass Icicles, and all our most popular holiday designs, in anticipation of helping our customers stuff their stockings, trim their trees, adorn their altars, and celebrate the season with handmade heirlooms!

We have lots of simple yet elegant designs that can fit any budget, but still let you take pride in knowing that your glass ornament was hand crafted individually by a family of artisans, using ancient techniques and traditions that hold true to this day. (check out this post featuring 10 handmade gift ideas from FTG for under $20!)

handblown glass holiday ornament

A recent custom Family-of-6 ornament. You get to choose the size and colors that best represent your unique family, and we’ll do the rest!

We also love getting the opportunity to create the more intricate, detail oriented pieces that you have come to know and love… like our custom-made Family ornaments, Mother and Grandmother ornaments, and Babywearing themed decorations. After making these special pieces for over a decade, we have started hearing stories of them being passed down from parent to child, being cherished heirlooms after a family member has passed, and also had the fun of getting to “update” pieces for ever-growing families.

We feel so blessed to be a part of your family’s holiday tradition… whether it be adding a new glass ornament to the collection each year, or pulling out that cherished piece from the box of holiday decorations, full of memories of holidays past, and hanging it up again for another season of celebration!

Please let us know what we can dream up for you this year as the holiday season approaches… the glassblowing elves are huddles around their flaming torches and warm kiln, just waiting for you to say the word!

glassblowers

This holiday season, support art and small family businesses like Family Tree Glass!

glass pendants

Autumn Leaves

Autumn in Vermont is like living in an artist’s palette of vivid color. Inspiration abounds! The torches are lit, the creative juices are flowing… and the fact that it is not so hot in the glass studio doesn’t hurt either!

Family Tree Glass leaf necklace

Handblown glass leaf jewelry with turquoise beaded necklace

I have been having fun down there making some colorful fall leaf pendants and necklaces, so I decided to use one as the prize in this week’s glass giveaway contest. Enter on the FTG Facebook page, and next week we will randomly select a winner!

Of course, you don’t have to win a contest to have one of these fall inspired necklaces. I would be happy to make you a handblown autumn leaf pendant in any color you would like! At just $20 each, these glass leaves are a great way to treat yourself to a little something in celebration of the season, or they make a unique handmade gift for someone special. Or both… the amber colored leaves in the photo above were a custom set made for a mother and daughter!

handblown glass leaf pendant

Earthy Swirl Leaf Pendant by Family Tree Glass

Hand crafted jewelry has a way of making connections. Sometimes between ourselves and other people, or between people and nature, or between yourself and your own spirit. And sometimes all three. Enjoy the simple pleasures… let’s take Mother Nature’s lead and adorn ourselves with bright, happy colors this autumn!

handblown glass jewelry

Exotic Red Autumn Leaf Pendant by Family Tree Glass

family tree glass jewelry

Contact us for other custom ideas, like this triple leaf pendant necklace!

 

 

handblown glass babywearing pendant

International Babywearing Week 2017

Every October, International Babywearing Week rolls around, and I want to donate all of my babywearing inspired glass jewelry and handblown ornaments to every single BWI chapter in the world… oh how I wish I could! Some of our customers are BWI members, and seek donations this time of year so they can use them as prizes and in auctions to raise money for this super important cause. Because what could be more important than happy, healthy babies? (and parents, too!)

The heart of Babywearing International is a network of local chapters which provide free educational meetings and support within their own communities. All BWI chapters are led by volunteers with extensive knowledge of different types of baby carriers and babywearing safety, and most chapters maintain lending libraries so that members and attendees can try a variety of carriers to determine what meets their individual needs. International Babywearing Week, held each October, has been an outreach event since 2008, during which BWI chapters, educators, and enthusiasts work together to build community and to increase media and public awareness of babywearing. Wearing our babies when they were little was an incredible fulfilling experience for our family, and one that helped shape our parenting philosophy and ideals over the years.

brookevelyn glass

Wearing my youngest in our favorite wrap… I wish he was still this small! Cherish those babywearing days while they last!

This year I held a contest on our Facebook page to see which BWI could rally the most support over just a few days, and gave our annual donation to the chapter that had the most votes. This year’s winner was Babywearing International of the Twin Cities, Minnesota! Hopefully they can make good use of our humble contribution. Keep an eye out for local events and celebrations in your area from October 2-8! And if you haven’t yet, go follow the FTG facebook page to get in on all these contests and giveaways!

Menstrual Vulva necklace

An Intriguing Custom Request…

I love a good challenge!  Here is an interesting custom request I recently received:

Hi Brooke,
Would it be possible for you to create a borosilicate Vulva pendant in violet with a menstrual red drop seemingly falling from the bottom area of the lips? I share your thought about the need for more positive imagery and less shame associated with female anatomy. In case you are concerned about my custom order, please know that I practice Classical Tantra Yoga in which menstrual fluid is considered sacred. I’m telling you this in case you are concerned less your artistic work will not be treated in accordance with your intentions. This will be very special for me. I thank you so much.
Michael.

I really like how this particular piece turned out. It is simply a combination of our Vulva design and our Moon-blood droplet pendants. Since these are existing designs already, there was no need to create a prototype or explore new techniques. So I even had time to get some cute pics of the final result before shipping it out!

Family Tree Glass

Always feel free to contact us with custom requests! Just email your ideas to support@familytreeglass.com

When someone comes to me with an idea they have for a custom glass pendant, I try my best to make something they will feel connected to and cherish as their own creation. Sometimes the final piece comes out looking a bit different than what that person had in mind originally. Yet the intersection of their vision and my artistry manages to manifest an object of unique, collaborative beauty.  It helps that we have customers who understand the unpredictability of glassblowing, and the need to allow for some fluidity in the process… both literally and figuratively!

And then there are times when I just can’t seem to come up with a design that both captures the essence of the customer’s idea, and that also looks aesthetically pleasing to me. Those unborn ideas will forever reside in the back of my mind until I can finally come up with a way to express them in glass form. For example, I have been working on a line of glass Cesarean Birth Jewelry for years!

custom glass family pendants

Some custom family pendants… the largest ever next to the smallest ever!

I have good reason to accept these challenges, and attempt all of these unique ideas. Some of our most popular designs were inspired by custom requests, like our top-selling Placenta jewelry, the ever popular Rainbow Babywearing design, the Waterbirth necklace… and lots more! In fact, I never would have considered making a Family pendant with so many kids represented if I hadn’t been asked by so many mamas of big families!

So thank you to everyone who has ever trusted your ideas with me. Even if I haven’t yet been able to manifest your vision, I appreciate the opportunity to try. So please keep those custom requests coming!

 

 

 

Family Tree Glass

Incense Burners: Customer Feedback

I want to share some of the feedback we have gotten recently from Brian’s handblown glass Incense Burners.  Here is what a few of our incense burning customers have to say about these color-changing smoking bottle burners:

“Very Nice. Nice thick glass, very well made. Well worth it! Thanks!”   -Eric R., Sutton MA

“Sooooo beautiful! Excellent quality..so worth the price. I am very happy with my incense burner, and I highly recommend this shop!”   -Doris B., Huntington Station NY

“Gorgeous. It is beautifully made and not too thick, not too thin, I’m not worried about it breaking which is a huge relief. The incense that comes with it smells amazingly. Thanks so much!”   -Tasha F., Blaine MN

“This is just absolutely beautiful! Very solidly made. The glass is thick and substantial. Functions like dream and the incense is contained, so no more worries over stray embers. Loving it!! Many thanks!”  -Tammy T., Westport ON, Canada

All of these reviews are from customers from our Etsy shop in the past few months. We have over 350 reviews there, and are very proud of maintaining a 5-star rating over the years! Customers are also now able to upload product reviews here on the FTG website, and we hope that in time we will have more customer feedback right on the product pages. But for now, feel free to check out the reviews we have gathered over years of being in this business by paying a visit to our Etsy shop!

You can find out more about what’s behind the design idea for these unique, handmade incense burners here, and you’ll know why everyone who burns incense sticks should have one. We promise you’ll never want to go back to those messy, cheaply made wooden boats ever again!

Thanks, as always, for choosing to support art and small family businesses like family Tree Glass!

smoking bottle incense burner

Yes, they really do change colors with use! This one had only been used a few times when it was photographed. Soon it will be all colored in with swirls of different shades of blues!

handmade Pregnant Mother jewelry

Birth of The Birth Belly Pendant

Family Tree Glass I had only been blowing glass for about 3 years when I became pregnant. Between running our little glass gallery in Sugar Loaf NY, and building my twin daughters, I was too tired and distracted to work on the torch. And once the girls were born… well, let’s just say I didn’t have much creative energy left after my mothering duties were fulfilled to spend in the studio. I didn’t get back to working glass until they were almost 2 years old, and by then I was very out of practice!

glass art display

Ah, the old Enchanted Glass days in Sugar Loaf NY… this was right after we were Homeblown Glass in Middletown NY, but before we became Family Tree Glass of Vermont!

Before my hiatus from blowing glass, I had been mostly making glass Goddess ornaments for our store, Enchanted Glassworks. So, I figured that would be a safe place to start getting reacquainted with my craft. Progress was frustratingly slow, though, and it felt like I was starting all over again. At one point, after spending way too much time and precious colors on a piece, it all went wrong. I scrapped it, left the remains on my desk, and went in to nurse my hungry babes. The next day when I went back out to the glass studio, I realized that I actually liked the result of my mistake, and decided to wear it as a pendant!

Brooke Holzhammer

Here I am, wearing the very first, original Birth Belly pendant ever, and holding the first sweet babe I was ever blessed with the honor of attending her birth! (2007)

It was around this time that I started looking into becoming a birth doula or midwife. I wore that “mistake” pendant to every appointment, every conference, and every birth that I attended… and I got a lot of compliments on it too! This was a surprise, because up until that point, I had no idea that so many other women would feel a connection to this symbolic piece of jewelry. It inspired me to design and create The Birth Belly pendant… the first of many designs in our line of handblown glass birth jewelry!

Creating this design helped me process my own birth experience, and was a good lesson in parenting as well: as much as I think I know how things should be, and as hard as I may work to make that happen… sometimes you have to just let go of all your expectations, and let the universe unfold at it’s own pace, in it’s own way, and on it’s own terms. That piece of molten glass knew exactly what it was destined to be. I tried to convince it otherwise, but in the end, it was right all along. I am so glad I listened.miniaqua2s

blessingway birth beads

mini birth belly beads!

family tree glass studio

Weekly GIVEAWAYS!

Would you like the chance to win some FREE handblown glass goodies? We have recently started running contests on FTG’s facebook page, giving our friends and followers a chance to win a different glass pendant design each and every week! In the past month or so since starting this game, we have awarded handmade glass jewelry to 7 randomly chosen lucky winners. So far, the prizes have been a voluptuous Vulva pendant, a custom Babywearing Mama necklace, one of our Rainbow Babywearing glass ornaments, a Mother & Child(ren) piece of any size or color combination, and 3 Mother’s Milk glass droplet pendants! What will be be offering up for our next weekly giveaway? Well, you’ll just have to follow us to find out!

When I first decided to try doing a giveaway, I was unsure if it would continue beyond one. I was getting frustrated by the amount I needed to pay just to reach a handful of the thousands of people who had already chosen to like our page, and was having trouble finding the best way to get the word out about upcoming sales and events. It really started taking time and energy away from my creative process… not okay.

What started out as a practical idea for our business has quickly become a wonderful way to connect with people, and hear their stories! My page now hosts thousands of heartfelt comments about motherhood, birth, breastfeeding, and a common love of uncommon art, unique people, and uplifting messages from the heart. All in exchange for simply offering one little handcrafted creation of mine to go out into the world and make someone smile.

No matter how many of my creations I decide to ultimately give away, I am the clear winner in this game! I am so grateful for all the kind words that have inspired me in the studio, and beyond, these past few weeks. It seems we are on to something here… the FTG Weekly Giveaway is here to stay!