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Blown away with color

image Tim de Jong standing by one of the many colorful pieces of art in the studio.

AUSTIN - They cannot be late. They cannot be a problem. They are usually the last thing that goes into the buildings. They work with the architect, the builders, and the general contractors as seamlessly as possible. Wimberley Glassworks are creators that compliment.





    For 25 years the company has produced complimentary pieces for clients by following a 2000-year-old method. The history of Glassworks starts with the CEO, Tim de Jong. He became addicted to glassblowing while attending art school. “It was addicting to work with a material that you’ve been told your whole life not to touch. Then all of a sudden it’s moving around like a blob of honey,” he describes. De Jong says history is a big deal, along with mathematics, balance, and nature.
    Nature inspired many of Glassworks commercial projects. The Granite Park Three job is a canopy of oak trees growing out of the ceiling. They also created a nature inspired piece for Briar Park Green. “They basically said we want a 110-ft long river of glass that flows across the ceiling as a light fixture, “de Jong says. His inspiration was the Blanco River. “It carries you through the office building to the elevators and out to the parking garage in a subtle gentle kind of way.”
    De Jong has an extraordinary team of 12 that works with him. He says it’s allowed him to get back into the creative end of things. “We custom make absolutely every single thing that comes out of here. We try to make sure that every project that we do in a commercial building compliments the space, instead of screaming out at the space.” The Glassworks philosophy is simply to help make your space flow. Glassworks goes into a space and asks their clients, “What is your vision, how do you want the place to feel?” De Jong says his lead designer; Ashley Main is “our translator.” She is the one who takes all their wacky crazy artistic ideas and makes them work. Then she communicates with the architect in a way that doesn’t frustrate them. “Everyone has their integral part,” de Jong adds.
    He acknowledges the fact that everyone has a bad day. So, if an employee breaks the glass they don’t have to worry about following the “you break it, you buy it” standard. It’s also not best to reuse the glass. De Jong gives us an example. “You know how you do your colored wash at home and you pull the lint out and it’s gray brown. Okay, if you put all your colored glass in the furnace you’ll end up with the same color.”
        Wimberley Glassworks is a hand blown glass lighting and art glass studio in Wimberley, TX. –lv

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Lexie Velasquez lexie@constructionnews.net