It’s tucked away on Union, a half block east of Madrona’s main drag on 34th, so you may not have noticed it unless you spotted it from a booth at the pub or happened to walk by on the way down to the lake. The main room behind the white facade of the old commercial space contains a row of big ovens where a small army of artists work seven days a week to create colorful glassware that is sold internationally.
They’re called glassybabies, and people are such fans of them that they’re willing to plunk down $40 for each one to use as candle holders or flower vases. Each week the artists create more than 1,000 of them by hand in a seasonal range of more than 50 different colors. The idea was born out of owner Lee Rhodes’ battle with cancer, and 10 percent of sales from select colors are donated to cancer related causes and other charities.
It’s fun to stop by and watch the process in action. The Glassybaby studio and attached store in Madrona is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 10-6pm and 10-3pm on Sundays.
Here’s some snapshots from my stop by the studio last Friday: