Creating a New Family Tradition

From left Brianna, Benjamin and Jamie Hussey making their first float under the tutelage of glass artist Kelly Howard; photo by Jan Jackson

From left Brianna, Benjamin and Jamie Hussey making their first float under the tutelage of glass artist Kelly Howard; photo by Jan Jackson

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. – Members of the Alexander/Hussey/Gage family have gathered in my kitchen on Easter weekend for 50-plus years. We died eggs and ate together in the dining room. We broke that tradition last Easter weekend when everyone drove to Lincoln City and blew glass floats and paperweights at the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio. We ate together at Mo’s Restaurant. With the oldest pushing 80 and the youngest pushing three, four generations blew new life into their family get-together.

Gail Alexander Gage, who came up with the new tradition idea, has been participating more than 35-years in another family tradition that sent everybody hiking up Cascade Head to whale-watch on New Year’s Day .

Alex Hussey shows off glass floats and paper weights from the Easter weekend family get-together at the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio in Lincoln City; photo by Jan Jackson

Alex Hussey shows off glass floats and paper weights from the Easter weekend family get-together at the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio in Lincoln City; photo by Jan Jackson

“We pack our lunch (which includes lucky black- eyed peas) and head for the ocean,” Gail said. “Sometimes it’s just family and sometimes friends come along. Some years it is quite pleasant and some years we nearly freeze to death, but it is always an adventure and we always see whales. I thought it might be fun this time to break away from the old Easter weekend get-together and come up with a new one. My late sister Jennifer Alexander Sears was the one that started the glass blowing studio in Lincoln City and we decided we could all go there and honor her at the same time. We were all there except my daughter Laura who was teaching in China and my brother David and his family who live in Maryland. We did it, we had a blast and no one had to clean house or do any dishes.”

The Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio was opened in 2005, to give the any interested visitor the experience and thrill of creating his/her own hand-blown glass float. Its success lies in the one-to-one ratio of professional glass blower teacher to novice glass blower student. You only need to know what colors you want and what you want it to look like when it is finished. Then the fun begins. It takes you and your pro one-half hour to create your piece of art though the art must stay in the kiln over night (you can pick up the next morning or have it shipped).

The new family tradition during Easter weekend, found the Alexander/Hussey/Gage family blowing floats at the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio and dining at Mo's Restaurant; photo by Jan Jackson

The new family tradition during Easter weekend, found the Alexander/Hussey/Gage family blowing floats at the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio and dining at Mo’s Restaurant; photo by Jan Jackson

“This wasn’t my first time blowing glass but it was for some members of the family. My nephew and his finance blew one they plan using (along with some of ours) in their on-the-beach wedding ceremony in July. Because I’ve blown several glass floats, this time I blew the most beautiful glass paperweight in the world.”

Float Fairies from the Lincoln City Visitor and Information Bureau hide floats on the beach every week between Labor Day and Memorial Day and it is always fun to try and find one of those. However, you will take one home for sure, if you blow your own.

To learn more about the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio, visit www.jenifersearsglassart.com To learn the story behind the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio visit Country Traveler Online

-Jan Jackson ©

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