Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

Blow Your Own Glass Ornament

This holiday season you can create your own super fantastic one of a kind gift. Artist Rachel Sims will teach you how to BLOW YOUR OWN GLASS ORNAMENT at her studio in West Des Moines.

fuzzishuRachel Sims may be a familiar face. For many years she demonstrated glass bead making at the Iowa State Fair. Her experience with glass combined with a love of teaching and seeing people discover new abilities led her to offer something new in her studio.

It begins with a WHOOSH! and a rather large flame. Rachel talks each individual through the process of heating their glass form over a torch all the way til it’s blown and completed. A typical ornament takes about 5 – 10 minutes to make and 20 – 30 minutes to cool. While students are waiting for their piece to cool Sims offers a secondary workshop. For $6 students can take a handmade glass bead created by the artist and learn how to create a beaded wire ornament hanger to finish off their piece. Each ornament is $14/pc. if students want to make multiples there is a price break at 3 and 5 ornaments per person.

This is the fourth season she has offered blown glass ornament workshops to the public and each year it gains more popularity. People are welcome to come in by themselves and make several as gifts (or for themselves) or bring in a large group (4Hers, boy and girl scouts, family get togethers, office parties, etc.) and party. Workshops are by appointment (day, evening, weekends). If you are interested in making your own ornament please contact her soon as dates begin to fill up as the holidays approach.

Rachel Sims had been mired in the art world since 1994, when her family first moved to Iowa. Throughout school she tried many different media, from printmaking and darkroom photography to wheel thrown pottery to large scale welding and woodworking. She stumbled across glass and metalsmithing and fell in love. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island to develop and hone her abilities before moving on to Italy to study design. After an internship with a prominent watch company in Geneva, Switzerland she was offered a full time design position with the company and stayed for two and a half years.

In 2007, she returned to the US and became an artist in residence at the Corning Center for the Fine Arts in Corning, Iowa. During this time she launched Studio Fuzzishu and began teaching, travelling around the country for art shows, and displaying her work at a variety of shops. In 2009, Studio Fuzzishu was relocated to the Fitch Studios in downtown DesMoines. Just recently the studio moved again, this time to a larger, more accessible, space in West Des Moines (1808 Fuller Rd).