Bringing something beautiful into your home is a wonderful way to brighten up a dreary day, and giving someone else a beautiful object shows you are thinking of them and want them to have loveliness, too.
If you want to really appreciate the objects of beauty, though, you have to be willing to let go of some things in your home, and create space for the new. Unlike many retailers, Shannon Felix of Avalon Glassworks in West Seattle is acutely aware of this, and as much as she encourages her customers to take home her pieces of glittering, luminous art, she also likes to remind people to evaluate what they already have in their home and to make some room before adding, instead of just piling up clutter. She stresses that having old, broken, or meaningless things in your home that you are keeping out of guilt or a 10-year 'plan' to finally fix that lamp take an emotional and physical toll on you and on the house.
Rarely do we hear a retailer encouraging people to evaluate their homes in this way. It makes it all the more refreshing to visit her studio and appreciate the glass objects knowing that she creates things with intention and meaning, and that she'd be unlikely to sell, or keep, anything that didn't hold value for her.
Her store and studio, Avalon Glassworks, is a glass blowing studio, art glass gallery and gift store producing unique vases, bowls, paperweights, gifts, floats, glass pumpkins and art glass for the home. They have a bold, bright, contemporary style influenced by the Northwest landscape. That means, of course, that their creations not only look at home in any Northwest house, but that they also make great gifts for friends that have (sadly) had to move away from the area and are craving a little piece of home.
It's also a great place to visit when you have friends in town. Not only can they take something home to remind them of their visit to the Northwest, but it can be great fun to watch their live glass-blowing. Watching the artists work on the featured item is fascinating, and sometimes it even gets rather interactive, like the time they took on in-the-moment custom requests for the hanging glass terrariums they were featuring.
If you like bringing unique things into your home, like supporting local artists, like supporting retailers who support local charities, and wouldn't mind an excuse to get over to the so-pretty Alki Beach area in West Seattle, check out Avalon Glassworks.
Need some help getting clearing out your space to make it ready for some new objects of art? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy decorating, and happy shopping!