How we started and a little about Sam:
Ouray Glassworks was founded in 1991 in the beautiful alpine village of Ouray, Colorado. Equipped with a degree in chemistry and soils, glassblower Sam Rushing built his first commercial studio that year on a small side street in the heart of town, where he spent the first six years crafting and selling his exquisite handblown glass. As his business steadily grew, Sam received recognition for his glass from the Smithsonian Museum, Southern Living Magazine, and in 2006, Rand McNally Atlas Company selected Ouray Glassworks as one of the top 20 places to visit in North America. In 1997, Sam relocated to Main Street, where he personally constructed a new studio, complete with glory hole and annealing ovens, behind his retail shop. Visitors today are enthralled with Sam’s entertaining demonstration of glassblowing, which varies from the ancient history of glassblowing to the complex chemistry behind this fascinating art. A visit to Ouray Glassworks and Pottery Company is a memorable and pleasant part of experiencing the wonders of one of the most enchanting places on earth, Ouray.
Pottery became another component of Ouray Glassworks in the summer of 2002, when Sam's wife Di began her pottery business. With Sam’s considerable guidance in the chemistry of ceramics and glazes, she is now busy crafting cups and plates, rabbits and birds. All of her pieces are fired at Cone 6, which makes them ovenproof, microwaveable, and dishwasher safe. The glaze which Di has chosen creates an interesting matte finish, distinguishing her pottery from the more common high-gloss variety and giving it a softer look. It is Di’s hope that you find as much pleasure in using her pottery as she has found making it.
In addition to the glass and pottery created on the premises, visitors to Ouray Glassworks and Pottery Company can also purchase beautiful handmade glass jewelry crafted by bead artist Sue Fries. At her lamping bench located in the retail area, Sue spends the off-season winter months creating her wonderful polychromatic glass beads. Using an acetylene torch, she slowly winds the melted colored glass around a tempered metal rod, weaving into the beads intricate and varied designs. Sue then assembles these individual beads into jewelry of her own design, ranging from simple, single-bead earrings to intriguing necklaces and bracelets. Like Sam’s glass, each of her pieces are totally unique works of art and are very affordable. Sue’s beadwork jewelry accents the beauty of the place where it was created, the majestic San Juan mountains of Ouray.
In closing, thank you for visiting our site. We invite you to visit our gallery whenever you are in Ouray. We also strongly suggest that if you haven't visited Ouray, that you make plans to do so in the new future. Our chamber's website is www.ouraycolorado.com. It is truly the most beautiful mountain town you will ever visit. Meantime, call us when you are in search of unique handmade art.