Fans of Netflix’s “Blown Away” can experience the magic of glass blowing right outside of Keystone. Pete Hopkins and Gail Damin own and operate Black Hills Glass Blowers, located just five minutes from downtown on Old Hill City Road.
While the shop may be off the beaten path of downtown, the short drive is well worth the effort to escape the crowds and experience live artistic talent -- especially a form that most rarely have the chance to see in action. The art of glass blowing is over three thousands years old, and both Pete and Gail are masters at the craft.
Using blowpipes -- which are exactly what they sound like, akin to a large metal straw -- they work molten glass into vases, bowls, goblets, or paperweights. For smaller, more ornate creations, they use a torch technique called lampworking to melt glass rods and tubes into delicate figurines. The result is a colorful, one-of-a-kind piece every time, crafted with care and expertise. They enjoy sharing with any who are interested, answering questions and offering demonstrations to visitors of their shop throughout the week.
After visiting the workshop and seeing artisans in action, visit the on-site gift shop for items beyond the typical souvenir. For those with a specific piece in mind, the couple are happy to accommodate custom requests. Otherwise, peruse the offering of constantly changing art they have on hand at prices for any budget. Keep an eye out for customers’ favorite Christmas ornaments for a piece to take home and enjoy year after year.
Black Hills Glass Blowers is open daily from mid-May until mid-September for tourist season. In the offseason they kindly request visitors call ahead for hours at 605-666-4542.