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!

Family Tree Glass art and jewelry

Mother’s Day Order Deadline is Monday 5/8!

Attention Mother’s Day gift procrastinators: There’s still time to look like you have been planning this for months!  All orders placed on or before Monday May 8th will be made, fired, and shipped via USPS Priority Mail no later than Wednesday May 10th, to be delivered on or before Saturday May 13th… just in time for Mother’s Day!  (orders shipping within the US only)

Our torches are running overtime and our kiln is fired up to make sure the Matriarch of your family feels like the Goddess that she is on her special day. Even custom handblown glass pendant orders will be filled promptly, so you get to be the hero this Mom’s Day! You can choose the colors and the number of family members on our custom Mother & Chil(ren) pendants and Family necklaces, or just let us know any specifications you have in mind and we will design a one-of-a-kind piece just for her!

Design your own custom multi-generational Grandmother Jewelry!

Design your own custom multi-generational Grandmother Jewelry!

And don’t forget Grandma this Mother’s Day! We also make custom handblown glass Grandmother jewelry, with the option to add up to 12 family members in this multi-generational design!

Know a new mama or mother-to-be that should be honored with some inspirational glass jewelry this Mother’s day? Shop our many Pregnancy and Birth related designs, and give her a keepsake to remember these precious fleeting days by! We also have a large selection of Breastfeeding and Babywearing pendants available, too!

Some women act as mothers and grandmothers to those who are not their offspring. They embody a motherly connection to all of Mother Earth’s children, bringing a sense of warmth and family to our wide world in everything they do. We can honor these women as well with glass art jewelry that honors the Goddess and the Divine Feminine.

Rainbow Bridge paw print heart pendant

We make our Pawprint Pendant design in over a dozen colorful options!

Do you consider any animals to be your babies? Many women see themselves as a mother figure to their pets, and the unconditional care and love that is provided to these lucky dogs, cats, and other critters is definitely worth celebrating! Whether involved in animal rescue, adoption, or just an avid animal lover, honor her love for her fur-babies with a handblown glass Pawprint Heart pendant!

Perhaps you know a woman who deserves to be honored this Mother’s Day, but who prefers not to adorn herself with jewelry. We also create handmade blown glass ornaments in a variety of motherly themes and designs for those who have a more simple, subtle sense of style. Eye-catching jewelry may not be for everyone… but hand crafted glass art inspired by motherhood, and created especially for mothers by a glassblowing mother-of-3… that never goes out of style!

I look forward to hearing from you about what I can make especially for you and your family this Mother’s Day. Thanks for supporting art and small family businesses like Family Tree Glass!

a compilation of glass art pendants

some glass pendants from Family Tree Glass

handblown glass Yoni jewelry

Evolution of the Vulva

I guess with any handmade creation, after making some variation of one particular design hundreds of times, you are bound to get better at it, right? A few of our glass jewelry designs have been around for a while (some for over 10 years now!) and over time they seem to change slowly. I don’t even realize that they are gradually evolving until I see someone wearing a necklace from years ago, and I am always surprised at the difference! It’s not enough of a change that I need to update the item descriptions or anything… usually folks are just pleasantly surprised when their piece is delivered looking much better in person than it did online.

Family Tree Glass

Each one is flame sculpted individually, so it is as unique as the person wearing it!

A perfect example of this are our handblown glass Vulva pendants. I started making these almost a decade ago. Back then, I called them “Yoni” necklaces. (Yoni is a sanskrit term for vagina.) When I first designed them, they tended to be a bit smaller and more reserved. They didn’t have as many angles and curves as my more recent creations. These days, my Vulva pendants are more voluptuous. They are unapologetic in their vaginality. (Yes, I just invented that word, and I am running with it!) Perhaps the evolution of my vulvae is somehow connected to the evolution of my mindset when considering my own femininity. Come to think of it, I am growing increasingly voluptuous and unapologetic with time, as well. But I digress…

I am finally getting around to updating some of the photos of our glass pendants… some of them were so old! My camera skills have definitely gotten better over the years (and not a moment too soon, because some of the pictures I replaced were truly pathetic, as you can see!)

vulva pendants

Here is one of my old photos…

 

yoni necklace

… and a more recent Vulva pendant with a new and improved photo!

Check out our Vulva jewelry page for all new photographs, some new colors, and even a new “clear glass” pendant option. The beauty of hand crafting each of these glass pieces individually is that I can tailor it to your preference. Just let me know if you have any specifications you would like me to consider while I am creating your unique, one-of-a-kind glass pendant!

I am so glad that this particular necklace design has grown in popularity over the years, after once being more of an obscure design for a fringe audience. Because now more than ever we need to celebrate our femininity. We need to embrace positive imagery, and let go of any fear or shame we may be subconsciously holding on to. We need to share this wisdom with our mothers, sisters, and daughters. Your body is your temple. Love it, honor it, and adorn it!

glass vulva pendant

This Vulva pendant in Amber-swirl is shown with a custom beaded necklace. This option is available in our “Necklace Options” category!

 

LLLI 60th Anniversary commemorative necklace by Family Tree Glass

Supporting Breastfeeding – One Droplet at a Time

And now, ladies and lactivists, we are excited to announce the next tier of the ongoing celebration of La Leche League’s 60th Anniversary:

Beginning on April 1, 2017,  instead of giving 25% of the proceeds from each Mother’s Milk Droplet pendant sale to LLLI, we will be offering 25% off to LLL groups, to help in raising money for important local breastfeeding support efforts.  If you are a member or Leader of an LLL group, and you purchase 10 or more necklaces, we will take 25% off your total, in the hopes that this discount will allow you to offer them to your peers and supporters at the already affordable retail prices, and use the extra 25% to put toward your local group’s fundraising efforts. Just enter coupon code LLLI60 to apply the 25% off to your total of 10 or more Mother’s Milk necklaces any time on or after Saturday April 1, 2017.

Mother's Milk necklace

Shown on an 18″ sterling silver box chain

Our commemorative “LLLI60″ Mother’s Milk necklaces have been sold to breastfeeding supporters all over the world since we launched this campaign in the spring of 2016, with 25% of the proceeds going to LLLI to help them continue their Mother-to-Mother support system. Thank you to those who have contributed to this effort thus far! I am very honored that my glass art has played a role in this important event. There is still time to participate, if you would prefer that your contribution goes directly to LLLI. All orders placed between now and April 1 will still have 25% of proceeds donated to LLLI. After that, we will start giving the 25% discount directly to all groups ordering 10 or more necklaces for distribution. (Just remember to enter coupon code LLLI60 upon checkout!)

This handblown glass Mother’s Milk pendant is a symbol of love and sacrifice. Breast milk is a sacred river of purity and life, a physical manifestation of your spirit, flowing into and nourishing your newborn child. Whether you nursed well into toddlerhood, or struggled to get through those first few weeks… maybe you had to depend on the generosity of other mothers to nourish your baby… or perhaps you were a milk donor yourself… some women choose to nurse openly in public, while others pump and bottle feed their breastmilk to their children. Each mother’s breastfeeding story is unique, and each one deserves to be celebrated.

The LLLI Mother's Milk Droplet on the adjustable length necklace cord.

The LLLI Mother’s Milk Droplet on the adjustable length necklace cord.

Each “Mother’s Milk” droplet is made of flame sculpted glass. The pendant comes strung on an 18″ (appx.46 cm) sterling silver box chain. Every necklace also comes with a sterling silver tag at the clasp, engraved with the words “LLLI 60.” The glass droplet pendants are made of strong, crack resistant glass that has been individually hand crafted and kiln annealed. Each one measures appx. 1.25 in/3 cm long and appx. 0.5 in/1.25 cm wide and comes lovingly wrapped in a gift box.

Read more about the project, the pendant, and the passion behind it here.

Thanks for supporting families through your donation to La Leche League, and also through buying handmade art from small family businesses like Family Tree Glass!

LLLI in Family Tree Glass breastfeeding bling

La Leche League International’s founders and Board of Directors, 2016, all wearing their LLLI 60th Anniversary commemorative necklaces!