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“Blowing your own glass ornament - a huge bust”

Sunspots Studios & Glassblowing
Ranked #1 of 1 Tours in Staunton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Watch Art Happen at Sunspots Studios! See live glass blowing demonstrations daily until 4pm. Open 7 days a week. Our gallery/gift shop is filled with colorful hand-blown glass made in our studios. Vases, bird feeders, oil candles, drinking glasses, ornaments and more glitter in our gallery. Blow your own ornament with the assistance of one of our glass blowers. We also carry local and American artisan-made jewelry and accessories, including Alex and Ani jewelry. Don't miss Virginia's most unique shopping experience.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Stroller parking, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Reviewed November 29, 2012

$40 dollar to blow your own ornaments is an absolute waste of money. For $40 you get to blow on the end of a rubber tube for 15 seconds and observe, over the course of 10 minutes, your ornament being created.

My family was in for Thanksgiving and I wanted to expose them and my early teenage daughter to the art/beauty of glass blowing. I thought we would try to excited my daughter through active participation - of course, the rest of the family also wanted to participate so this really cost $200 for the 5 of us. This was not the activity for doing that - in fact it did almost the opposite as she (all did of us) thought she would be really doing something.

The expectation was set that we would be there an hour and we needed a reservation. Little did we know that the whole process only took 10 minutes and there was very little "hands on" experience. For that matter, there was little explanation of 'why' things were done - it was we do this, then that - now blow, then we put it here to cool - thank you, come back in a day and pick-up.

We had told many of our Charlottesville friends about what we were doing - they seemed excited and expressed that they wanted to do it with their kids also. Needless to say, I will be letting them know what really happens.

I did not rate the experience terrible - even though I thought my money was wasted - since the studio/shop is nice and there are some neat pieces.

2  Thank Steve F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SunspotsStudios, Owner at Sunspots Studios & Glassblowing, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2012

Dear Steve F,
We are so sorry that your session in the glass studio was a disappointment. We wish you would have told us during your visit so we could have come to some resolution.

When you called to reserve your times, you were told it would take about an hour for 5 ornaments. Were you thinking that you were going to be there for 5 hours? If so, we are sorry about the confusion. These blow your own sessions are meant to accommodate everyone from 5 to 95 years of age, and to do that, there are major safety concerns due to the 2000 degree glass used to make the ornaments. It would take several hours just to teach a student how to safely take a gather of hot glass from our furnaces, and many more to create their own ornament all by themselves.

To be clear, you paid $10 for the chance to safely blow an ornament with the help of a glass artist and then receive that ornament, a $30 value. Total, $40.

Your ornaments are beautiful and await being picked up. As compensation for your disappointment, can we ship them to you free of charge? If so we will need a shipping address.

Again, we regret that you didn't enjoy your experience at Sunspots Studios. We hope that when you see you finished ornaments, you will feel better about your time with us.

Doug Sheridan
Sunspots Studios

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (222)
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190 - 194 of 222 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2012

Our family was on a trip this past weekend down along the Rt. 81 corridor...we had planned to stop at Virginia Safari and Natural Bridge for Saturday and Sunday then play it by ear on the way back up Monday. We saw Sunspots billboard on the way south then picked up a brochure and were hooked! We called Monday morning when they opened and they put us on the schedule as we were en route to make our own glass blown ornaments (one glow in the dark the other a pumpkin). The studio is beautiful, staff is friendly and artwork amazing and fun! The artisan that worked with my son was great and he talked with us as we asked a ton of questions and we watched him while he worked. I would say Sunspots is a great stop for anyone in the Staunton VA area! If you a driving through or need a gift for someone, it is worth the few minute drive off of Rt. 81! visit them and shop online too!

1  Thank Carolynn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We love this place! We've been building our "legacy pieces" over the years and have found Sunspots to be a place that contributes to our collection. While we have some smaller pieces (ring holders, ornaments, etc) they have many beautiful and larger vases that come in many different shapes and colors.

Watching the glass blowers in action is amazing and very cool to be able to be present to see how things are made.

We'll be back for more in the future!

1  Thank milehighwolves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Come to charming Staunton and see glass blowing that is more interesting than the touristy places on the Island of Murano off of the shore of Venice, Italy. The designs are lovely, some quite affordable, and the show is fascinating. They actually blow glass for real and not to please tourists.

1  Thank professoressadarte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Another fun activity to do in Staunton. Kids and adults enjoy watching up close as a glass blower makes several different glass items. You can even get a lesson on how to blow your own.
They have a very nice gift store to buy glass items.

1  Thank dadl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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