EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Glass blowing may not be very familiar to many El Pasoans, but for some, it’s an escape that leads them to explore their creative outlets.
One local artist shared with KTSM 9 News how he delved into glass blowing, and what goals he wants to reach to help others in our community.
“I can get lost for 8 hours at a time without even knowing it. It’s just a very, very personal expression of yourself to be able to turn one shape into a completely different thing,” shared Alex Arriaga, a local artist with Goldenhill Glassworks.
The ability to make something from nothing — that’s one of the main reasons Arriaga continues to express himself. How? By glass blowing. Something he’s been doing for three years now in El Paso.
“It just became from an interest to a passion,” Arriaga said. “So it’s just one of those things that really grew on me and as I got into it, the heavier I got into it, the more I loved it. So now it’s just something that’s cross-platformed me into one artistic aspect to another.”
Goldenhill Glassworks is the first and only public lampworking studio in El Paso. Some of the creations you can find are glass pipes, shot glasses, custom marbles and, soon, many other usable glass items such as wine glasses and neon lights.
“It’ll just be a full conglomerate of everything having to do with glass here,” said Arriaga.
The goal for this local artist is to have the studio open for glass blowing classes to the community.
“No one is really doing that here as far as being able to teach others. Right now there’s other artists in the city, maybe like eight of us that blow glass, but everybody does it on their own individual time at home,” Arriaga explained. “I’m trying to give the community an aspect or an outlet to come and be creative to work with something that normally isn’t offered here or anywhere around here.”
Goldenhill Glassworks is located at “Bodega Shared Workspace” in south-central El Paso near the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The space includes other local entrepreneurs in the area, with all aimuing to support one another and attract more people.
“We want to diversify everything that we possibly can to bring in more crowds from different cities you know?” he said. “Or even just locally. Right now we don’t really have that and, lately, the art community in El Paso has been growing significantly.”
Arriaga said glass blowing has taught him many things, while advancing his artistic skills on another level.
“It’s put me into that space of being able to be passionate but patient. So when I was doing regular artwork, I don’t want to say I got tired of it, but it didn’t give me new challenges in the sense of excitement,” said Arriaga. “With glass blowing, it gives me that whole world of opportunity to where no two pieces will ever be alike.”
To this local artist, each piece he creates resembles a part of him. “No matter who makes them, no matter who touches them, what colors you use, it’s just something that can never be replicated no matter how close you want it to be. It’s just as unique as a fingerprint.”
For a look at Arriaga’s artistic glass pieces, you can check out the Instagram page @goldenhillglassworks.
Looking ahead, Arriaga hopes to open the door for glass blowing classes in El Paso for anyone that’s interested.