Sparkling creations emerge from this celebrated art studio.

Wonders in Glass
Credit: Mary Margaret Chambliss

Talk about the find of the year. Look no further than Orbix Hot Glass. This unlikely craftsman's studio perches atop Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne, Alabama, a few miles off I-65.

A Dream on the Mountain

Orbix is the creation of master glassblower Cal Breed, a rangy, soft-spoken artist who moved his family and hopes here eight years ago. Cal built the equipment and set out to hone the skills he had learned at such celebrated programs as Maine's Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

The fruits of his effort and creativity populate the small, light-filled gallery adjacent to his compact studio. Sturdy wooden shelves hold rainbow-hued groupings of exquisite pitchers, vases, bowls, ornaments, and more. The shapes are elegant, and the patterns reflect intriguing explorations into bands, strings, and strokes of color.

"We're definitely not a factory," explains Cal. "Working with glass is unique. It's like a real intense personal conversation every time. We're painting with light and color. You're dealing with the beauty of light." That fact is evident in every piece you see, from the bright candy-cane ornaments to the sleek, multitoned bowls. Each is a result of Cal's particular vision and his drive to express a singular conversation with the medium of glass.

Orbix Hot Glass: or (256) 523-3188.