Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Art · Local glassworks impresses in Jordan...
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Local glassworks impresses in Jordan Valley & Beyond

Kristi Kates - December 1st, 2008
Local glassworks impresses in Jordan Valley & Beyond
Kristi Kates 12/1/08


Jay Bavers first discovered glass-working at the age of six months old. His grandfather, who emigrated to the U.S. from Russia, had opened a glass shop in Brooklyn, New York, and the young Bavers lived above the glass shop with his family; so it’s been something he truly has grown up with.
Back in the day, glassworking was more of a factory effort – “making dozens of the same thing, top quality items in a factory setting,” Bavers says. But for him, glassworking developed into the artistry expressed at Jordan Valley Glassworks in East Jordan.
Today, Jay works with both his family and other Jordan Valley Glassworks team members to craft an impressive range of items that have garnered critical and fan acclaim in Northern Michigan and beyond. Even his son is involved in the business.
“My son, Bill, is attending Bowling Green University, getting his Masters in fine arts with a specialty in glass blowing,” Bavers proudly explains. “Bill is an award-winning glass blower, and has worked for the Glassworks for 15 years with Glenna and myself; Glenna Haney is another award-winning glass blower, and she does most of the designing.”
All three artisans work together from concept to completion, incorporating everyone’s ideas and abilities to make Jordan Valley Glassworks’ one-of-a-kind pieces. Their most popular works are the “White House Globes,” large, densely-colored glass globes named after a recent request from the White House - yes, that White House - which wanted 25 of the globes to use on an outdoor Christmas tree.
THE WHITE HOUSE
“The White House globes started with a desire to show people passing by what we can do,” Bavers says. “But the globes actually aren’t the most impressive items we make. We produce many items that take more than one glass blower to make; for instance our Cross Axis vase, which requires three of us. We also specialize in large installations ranging from large chandeliers to wall installations of rondels (platter-shaped art glass). We work with the customer to determine the look and feel they want, then produce the glass following that design.”
So how affordable is Jordan Valley Glassworks’ art? Turns out there’s something for everyone, from the serious art collector right on down to the beginning fan. “We offer a variety of items that range in price from $18 to $15,000,” Bavers says. “Ornaments, vases, bowls, garden art, and lighting are just a few things. Our lighting is very popular, as we can offer the customer a one-of-a-kind piece.”
To craft all of these creations, the Jordan Valley Glassworks team starts at 6 a.m., when they light their fires, prep the blowing area and empty the kilns of the previous days’ production. “We’re anxious to see the finished products,” Bavers says. “Everything looks different at 2,000 degrees!”
The items are then prepared for the showroom through a variety of processes, including grinding, drilling, polishing and lighting; during the store’s open hours (they open at 10 a.m.), they glass blow the items on that day’s schedule, as well as items for the showroom, taking care of visiting customers at the same time. Many of those customers will be fortunate enough to see the artists at work.

A WORKING STUDIO
“We are a working studio, so people can stop by any time we’re open and see us,” Bavers says. “We are open seven days a week, year-round, and only close four days a year. Our blowing area has actually been expanded to allow more people to watch; we don’t do classes, but we do tours year ’round to give you the history of glass blowing and educate you about the process while you watch a demonstration. All you have to do is call ahead and schedule one.”
It’s remarkable that Bavers and his team have time for tours, considering everything that’s on their schedule. In addition to being in high-demand for the glass art itself, they are also doing more expansion on their store/studio and adding a new furnace. They also hope to add another blowing bench, so that they can showcase two glass blowers at the same time.
“This will allow us to create more detailed and intricate pieces,” Bavers enthuses, “and as for the future? We’ll be celebrating our 100 year anniversary.”

Jordan Valley Glassworks is located at 209 State Street, four blocks from the bridge in East Jordan. They are open Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm, Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter. Telephone 231-536-0539, online www.jordanvalleyglassworks.com.
 
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