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Not All Thumbs

glass-blown creations showcased at Black Thumb

Allison Puestow, photos by Andrea Paulseth

SOME LIKE IT HOT. Mike Roe demonstrates his artistic prowess at his new glass blowing shop, Black Thumb Glass at 2612 London Road.
SOME LIKE IT HOT. Mike Roe demonstrates his artistic prowess at his new glass blowing shop, Black Thumb Glass at 2612 London Road.

Black Thumb Glass is leaving its print on Eau Claire. Yeah, I know, it’s a terrible pun. But Eau Claire’s newest glass blowing shop is anything but a joke. Black Thumb is an in-house glass studio on London Road that features much more than just pipes and hemp jewelry, although, to be quite honest, their pipes are beautiful works of art in themselves.

“We’re not a head shop. We’re not out to push all the little trinkets into the community. We’re here specifically because of the art behind the glass.” – Mike Roe of Black Thumb Glass on his store

Owner and artist Mike Roe has been making glass for over 15 years. Now with his own store, he can create the art he wants to showcase. While free to make what he wants, Roe specifically wants his store to focus on creating and fulfilling custom orders for his customers. “You can come down here and give us your ideas, map out colors, styles,” Roe said. “We can work with you on it and come up with that one-of-a-kind piece that’s just for you.” They will also feature a wide range of finished glass products, jewelry, T-shirts, and other gift/novelties that appeal to the local community, as well as custom orders, which are his specialty. And because they do wholesale, their products are constantly changing and freshening up, so you never know what you’re going to find when you come in.

You won’t find any mass-produced, factory made, cheap pieces of glass shipped from overseas in this store. Over 90 percent of their products are handmade on site in their studio located in the back of the shop. Every single piece is unique. They also do live glass blowing demonstrations every day. With a window into their shop, patrons can see how the magic behind the glass is created. “I think what sets us apart from the competition is the fact that we’re an in-house glass shop,” Roe stated. “We’re not a head shop. We’re not out to push all the little trinkets into the community. We’re here specifically because of the art behind the glass.”

If you have a taste for the fiery artwork yourself, then you’re in luck. Black Thumb will also feature one-on-one glass blowing classes. If you really want to become part of the glass blowing community, they will also teach entrepreneurs. “We want to teach people how to work with the product in a safe manner, and get involved in the craft without having to spend thousands (of dollars) on the necessary equipment,” Roe said.

Black Thumb’s grand opening is scheduled for April 20. It will feature raffles, door prizes, free T-shirts, and other activities. Once they really get up and going, Black Thumb hopes to host more events later on and really become a part of the community.

Itching to check out the store? Black Thumb Glass is at 2612 London Road, Eau Claire, right next door to Feed My Addiction Tattoo. They are open from 11am –8pm, Monday through Sunday. You can also call the store at 514-4161 or check out their Facebook page: facebook.com/blackthumbglassllc.

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