Business Spotlight: Hooked on Glass

Inventive Escape Glass LLC is a small business, of system, but it’s also a passion.

For Rebekah Santiago and her spouse, Rafael, performing with glass turned a shocking obsession in the course of the quick interval when they lived in New Mexico – and when they moved again home to the Ozarks, they brought their appreciate of glass with them and opened their store.

Artistic Escape Glass is wholly centered on fused glass, and crafters of all talent ranges are welcome.

In fusing, two or more pieces of glass are joined to each and every other by the warmth of a kiln.

A standard undertaking may entail artfully arranging lower glass parts on a glass surface. Wall artwork, jewelry, dishes, crosses and ornaments are common pieces that can result.

Rebekah says she and Rafael initially experimented with their hand at the art form at a studio in Durango, Colorado, about an hour from their New Mexico home, and they relished it immensely. When they went to pick up their pieces just after kiln firing, they resolved to attempt just one particular a lot more piece – and this went on just about every time they returned.

“Since Durango was about an hour from the place we were being residing at the time, heading to the studio a few of moments a week was ingesting up a good deal of our no cost time, so we created our have studio in our backyard,” Rebekah suggests. “We aren’t really sure which one of us is far more addicted to glass fusion – we are both equally rather addicted.”

Possessing their individual glass studio authorized the Santiagos to embark on greater assignments and more creative experimentation. When they moved to Springfield in 2015, they have been keen to open a more substantial studio in a area on Industrial Road, but then, a yr and a 50 {dea5cd636a66006a995d2ee66a169fa3263944642df71bca08b0883f5943a7f3} later on in 2017, they relocated to their present-day area, an even bigger studio on Campbell Avenue, just driving Rib Crib. Their hire was $700 on C-Avenue, with an regular utilities value of $80 for each thirty day period. In their recent digs, they shell out $850 rent, with month to month utilities averaging $300.

Two positive aspects of the recent place are a parking good deal and a great deal of area for significant teams.

The coronavirus pandemic took a toll on the enterprise. Rebekah notes a steep fall in gross earnings to $30,000 in 2020 from $47,000 in 2019. The store also reduced to just one personnel from three.

Pricing at the studio is by project, and a little undertaking making use of confined supplies could price tag as minor as $12 to make. Unique events are provided, together with night classes wherever a $30 price is used toward project fees and day evenings priced at $80 per few.

Rebekah claims a whole lot of people cannot feel to get sufficient of glass.

“We like to contact them glass addicts,” Rebekah says. “You get hooked.”

One particular of these is Valorie Ockert of Joplin.

“This is the greatest studio in the country,” Ockert says. “It’s cleaner, extra organized and far more of a innovative ambiance. There’s assist if you want it, and if not, she backs off.”

The way a concluded piece catches the gentle is just component of the appeal of glass, according to Rebekah.

“Glass is such a one of a kind content,” she claims.

Rebekah enjoys fused glass in unique.

Of stained or blown glass, she notes, “They can do things we simply cannot do. We like to celebrate what we can do.”

Rebekah was operating on an octopus structure lately in the shop, and it experienced been developed up from a photograph by working with several diverse therapies of glass, just one of which accomplished a filigree-like effect by way of the firing of particles referred to as frit.

She still marvels at the effects that occur from taking many pieces of glass and assembling them into a new entire.

“I adore performing mosaics – taking some thing other folks would believe is ineffective and making some thing wonderful,” she claims. “It’s such a enjoyable experience.”

Ahead of doing work in the studio, the Santiagos involve crafters to observe two movies, one on basic safety and one on glass-cutting strategy. As stunning as glass is to Rebekah, she acknowledges that it can be harmful, and harmless practices guard not only the crafter, but others in the studio.

Rebekah has a list of rules posted on her internet site, with the admonition, “My studio – my procedures. I reserve the ideal to make up new policies whenever I experience the have to have.”

Rule No. 1 is a shock: “Happy vibes only.” And “Blood takes place, retain it clean” is rule No. 6.

“Most times in the studio are cold times having said that, even those of us who have been undertaking this for years nevertheless get insignificant cuts at the time in a even though,” she suggests.

It is not a craft for the weak of coronary heart, seemingly, even though Rebekah insists it’s for absolutely everyone.

“People will come in and say, ‘Well, I’m not artistic,’” she says. “Just locate a little something you like and make it. An act of creativity stimulates the imaginative aspect of the mind, so the much more you try it, the more creative you turn out to be.”

Rebekah notes that the studio is not a big-finances procedure.

“We really don’t operate via tons of cash,” she states. “Until August 2020, we invested in the studio frequently to make ends meet.”

She describes Imaginative Escape Glass as a compact company supplying a services to the local community whilst they consider to figure out how to be worthwhile.

“I bought my very first paycheck ever from the small business in August 2021,” she suggests.