My parents, who are celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary this week (*cheers*), just came home from a romantic getaway to Staunton, Virginia – and they brought home a gift for me!

It was reminiscent of times back in middle school when my parents left me with friends so that they could get away. There was always the oddness of staying with friends and knowing their parents were in charge. And upon my parent’s return, the inevitable prize (to make up for the oddness of the days passed), as if to say: we didn’t take you with us, but at least we got you this.

Let’s take a minute and enjoy the surprise that the gift was for me – and not the kid. I’ll take my prizes where and when I can get them. He gets plenty.

In an oversized brown gift bag with many layers of paper and bubble wrap, I found a beautiful piece of glass. It was a…um…ball with a stick at the end?!

Ah, thanks, mom and dad.

Thankfully, it was packaged with some information. As I was reading about the Art Glass Watering Ball, they unfolded their story about visiting Sunspots Studio and watching live glass blowing. And not just seeing the artist at work, but seeing other customers getting the opportunity to blow their own glass pieces.

Side note: Glassblowers can not work during thunderstorms, so you should call ahead to ensure an artist is in the studio if you’re planning to visit. (Who knew?!)

I think it’s an interesting opportunity: watching art as it’s created by the artist. It’s not exactly entertainment. It’s more than that. It’s the opportunity to learn the craft. In Asheville, at the Arts & Crafts Festival, I heard that there’s an area near the river where you can walk through working studios.

I don’t know if I would be pleased to have people walking around or too distracted to actually get anything done. I used to paint and create mixed media art, but I haven’t done it in a really long time. I’ve been focusing on digital arts like writing and photography lately. The idea that somebody would come and watch and potentially ask questions and potentially interrupt the creative flow has me curious. Would I love it? Would their insertion in the process of creation be evident?

I’m intrigued by this idea that you can pop in on an artist and watch them at work. I can’t wait to visit more working studios myself.

And in the meantime I will enjoy my absolutely beautiful glass watering ball and hope that it does a better job maintaining life in the plant I call Ani. An afternoon of re-potting for this straggly plant is on the way!

Ani, the plant, Needs Water

Disclaimer: This post was in no way sponsored. And even if it was, the opinion would still still be all mine.