To paraphrase a well known bumper sticker, “A bad day on the Vineyard is better than a good day at work.” We would only be exaggerating a little if we were to expand that to say better than a good day almost anywhere else!
Allowing the possibility that there really is such a thing as a bad day on Martha’s Vineyard, what would it look like? Among the things that could diminish one’s enjoyment of the island are low temperatures, driving rain, and lack of sunshine. What to do on those rare days when outside activities are not in the cards?
At home at the Edgartown Residence Club, there is always the option of curling up in front of the fire with a good book, good movie, or good friend. (A glass of wine or mug of hot chocolate wouldn’t hurt that scene either!) Bookstores, movie theaters and restaurants are possible choices as well.
Still, for a different kind of distraction on those days when you want to get out but “out” is not a friendly place to be weather-wise, my family likes to head to the Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks.
Located on State Road in West Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks is a combination art studio, museum, gallery, and craft shop, as well as a unique learning experience. And on a raw day, the heat emanating from the red hot ovens makes the place an oasis of warmth not to be missed.
There are two parts to the Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks experience. First are the pieces themselves. Two floors of unique and creative glass art will give you all the browsing pleasure you could possibly ask for. From jewelry to vases, from bowls to decorative pieces, there are items to suit everyone’s tastes, all beautifully realized.
The real draw of the rustic studio, however, is the opportunity to watch master glassblowers at work. While you look on, a simple lump of glass is transformed into a work of art. Whether a glass, a bowl, or even a Christmas ornament, you will experience a thing of beauty in the process of creation. The skilled and friendly craftsmen (craftspeople?) are also more than happy to explain what they are doing and why at each step of the process.
Kids and adults will all find themselves entranced by the process. Watching these masters at work – tossing the pieces and their working tools around with incredible deftness – is not unlike being in the audience at a magic show. Indeed, they do make things of beauty appear right before your eyes.
Warning to parents of young children: Unless you want to learn first hand the meaning of the phrase “bull in a china shop,” keep your young ones well in hand during your visit. They will be entranced by the glassblowers but may not be careful with the finished products.
If you want to visit Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks, make sure you call ahead to find out when they are blowing glass. Their number is 508-693-6026. Also, visit their web site to see more about the business and the kinds of items they make and sell. Note that they are a seasonal business, generally open from early May to late October.
Image courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Glass Works