By Joan Slowey Dellett ~
As you walk past the storefront window, you are immediately struck by the explosion of color. A closer look to see what is causing this kaleidoscope reveals glass – glass ornaments, glass figurines, glass waves, even glass pumpkins! Certainly, a look inside is warranted to get to the bottom of this particular rainbow……
You have stumbled onto Hot Sand Glass Studio on the Jersey Shore, NJ’s first public access glassblowing studio where you can blow your own glass item or purchase one of a kind handmade items in the gallery.
Originally opened on the Asbury Park boardwalk in 2007 well before the renaissance currently in progress began, co-founders Paul Elyseev and Thomas Stevens started Hot Sand as a home to create their own artistic pieces and share glassmaking with the public during the summer season. Looking to expand with a larger studio and gallery to showcase their own and others work, they relocated to Cookman Avenue in 2011, fortunately just before Superstorm Sandy. This new location would allow for greater foot traffic and a chance to be part of a burgeoning art scene.
Now a year-round business, people from all walks of life can create their own blown glass “masterpiece”. There are twelve fun objects to choose from on their Walk-In Menu including the Blow-A-Drinking Glass, the Paperweight, Blow-A-Ornament, Blow-A-Heart, Blow-An-Egg, Blow-A-Bubble, Blow-An-Apple and, just in time for Halloween, you can even Blow-A-Pumpkin!
Budding artists can walk in off the street or make a reservation for a class. Hot Sand offers demos with a chance to watch expert glass blowers and long form classes to go deeper into the process and get even more involved.
Hot Sand also hosts kids’ parties, corporate team building events, bachelorette parties and all types of groups or clubs for a totally unique and wholly educational experience. Also available are workshops for all levels, from the beginner to the serious glassblower who wish to experience a more immersive, hands-on experience.
One of Hot Sand’s most unique offerings is Hot Paws, a fun, do-it-yourself kit for making a lasting, one-of-a-kind glass impression of your furry friend’s paw from the comfort of your own home. Available on-line and in the store, the Hot Paws kit features easy instructions to make an impression and mail it back to Hot Sand in a pre-labeled, postage paid envelope included with the order. Once Hot Sand receives the kit, they create a mold to be filled with molten glass, wait for it to cool and set, and then mail it back to the customer – the perfect gift for anyone looking to commemorating the life of a special pet.
Hot Sands has their own in-house artists and also occasionally highlights guest artists such as Jim Downey who showcase their own work. The studio’s distinctive pieces are ideal when you are searching for that unique, one-of-kind gift.
As the weather turns cooler and we search for indoor activities, Hot Sand is a fun, interactive and exciting way to explore the artist in each one of us.
Hot Sand is located at 550 Cookman Avenue, #103, Asbury Park, NJ. For more info go to http://www.hotsandap.com/ or call 732-927-5475