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Making recycling an art

Different colors and shapes Fire and Light hand crafts. Photo credit: Juan Herrera

By Juan Herrera

2500 degrees fahrenheit. That’s the heat it takes to perfectly mold glass into the shape your heart desires.

Fire and Light is a local company in Arcata that hand crafts an array of colored glass tableware. This local company puts on Hot Glass Tours that allows you to be up close to watch the process it takes to make these fascinating pieces.

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An employee of Fire and Light getting melted glass from their furnace. Photo credit: Juan Herrera

John McClurg, the president of Fire and Light, discusses the tour and some about his product.

“These tours give people a small sense of how long and hard the process is to making hand crafted objects,” McClurg said. “It also brings light to how much we actually do recycle when making our products.”

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Some of the many finished products that Fire and Light hand crafts. Photo credit: Juan Herrera

The tours take place Monday through Friday, at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and at 2 p.m.. According to McClurg the tours have been great for his company as well as to the community members.

Fire and Light purchase their used glass from the Arcata Community Recycling Center to make everything made out of the community’s glass. According to McClurg they are the first glass company to use all recycle objects to make their product in the United States.

Kelli Welch, an employee of Fire and Light, discussed her role in the business and about some of her favorite hand made pieces.

“I pretty much help wherever needs to be helped, but mostly I set up the display store and help costumers here,” Welch said. “Helping here in the store makes it hard to narrow down a favorite, but I have a special liking to the foot bowls we make.”

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An employee of Fire and Light getting ready to mold a cup with melted glass Photo credit: Juan Herrera

According to Welch the ideas of what to make come from the community and shows they attend out of the state. Welch mentioned how she came up with a heart shaped design glass that they now create. Fire and Light’s showroom is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., located at 100 Ericson Ct, Suite 100A in Arcata.

During the tour Humboldt State graduate, Lorea Euskadi, said how this was not her first time on the tour and describes her top three favorite pieces.

“I’ve been living here for about 5 years now. This is my fourth time touring this place, and the products just keep getting better and better,” Euskadi said. “It’s so hard to pin point favorites here but if I had to only keep three they would be my dogs custom bowl, my favorite soup bowl and lastly my crazy multi-colored vase.”

According to Euskadi, if you haven’t been to the Fire and Light tour or store, you are severely missing out on an awesome art form.

“I honestly look forward to it every year and encourage more people to come on down and join in on the action,” Euskadi said.

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