Tropher Reynolds, chief promoter of Humboldt Marble Weekend, got the marble rolling with his inaugural, off-the-beaten-path event.
46 glassblowers showcased their handcrafted marbles at Humboldt County’s first marble show over the weekend.
Reynolds, owner of Copious Glass in Eureka, is also one of the participants of Humboldt Marble Weekend.
“We’re all independent artists,” Reynolds said, “and there are a lot of collectors [in Humboldt].”
Reynolds, originally from Iowa, says he has travelled around the country for 10 years networking with fellow glassblowers. In due course, he realized Humboldt has a remarkable marble scene that justifies a proper show.
Humboldt Marble Weekend kickstarted its event with a meet-and-greet party at Siren’s Song Tavern in Eureka on Feb. 8. Marble artists, collectors and hunters from all over the country gathered for an evening of celebration.
The main marble exhibition and glassblowing demonstrations were held at Redwood Acres in Eureka on Feb. 9 and 10.
Robin Culbertson, daughter of esteemed glass artist Dinah Hulet, demonstrates her family-taught glassblowing techniques using a bench burner, or glass working torch, outside the event hall. Culbertson prefers making marbles with a bench burner because it offers more precise control over forming her intricate works of art.
On the other hand, Ember Sernovitz of Humboldt Glass School favors the furnace.
“I like it because I get to move than sitting too much,” Sernovitz said.
The furnace is a heat-resistant container called a crucible that is filled with molten glass. Then, a glassblower dips a rod into the furnace, cools the exterior of molten glass by rolling it onto a flat surface and shapes and cuts them into marbles.
Santa Cruz-based glass artist Kaj Beck, who was an unannounced glassblowing demonstrator at Humboldt Marble Weekend, says he got his start in the field in 1996 when he was offered $60 an hour to make glass pipes.
“Making marbles was just another product, another option,” Beck said.
In addition to the marble displays and demonstrations, Humboldt Marble Weekend hosted a marble scavenger hunt on Feb. 11. The interactive event, dubbed “Massive Marble Hunt,” involved four marble hunting Facebook groups that posted clues to the whereabouts of marbles throughout the community. These groups include Humboldt Magical Glass Adventure and Humboldt Heater Hiders & Hunters.
If the evaluation process proves Humboldt Marble Weekend was in fact a hit, hopefully it will become an annual event.