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Philabaum Contemporary Art Glass

711 S. Sixth Ave.

STAFF PICK: Few sights are as mesmerizing as watching the creation of glass. Immersed in a magical world of intricate fragile glass creations--some radiating intense vivid colors, others pale, delicate and translucent--we sit spellbound for hours, as we watch liquid globs of molten glass being transformed into breathtakingly beautiful works of art before our very eyes. As we fan ourselves frantically, we find it ironic that this former home of a Tastee-Freeze now houses a wall full of furnaces heated to 2,000 degrees year-round. Renowned for his paperweights and perfume bottles, Tom Philabaum is now approaching his 30th year as a master of glass blowing. We always want to add one more of his "Reptilian" patterned pieces, shimmering with a rainbow of iridescent colors, to our collection. Whether our budget is $5 or $8,000, we can always count on finding one-of a-kind hand-blown stemware, candlesticks, magnets, vessels and sculptures. Out-of-towners always appreciate those awesome holiday ornaments and translucent red chile peppers. We never leave without taking a peek in the back room, hoping to snag a deal on "seconds." Eyeing the surprisingly affordable glass earrings makes us want to pierce a few more body parts, so we wouldn't have to limit ourselves to just one pair at a time.