In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kokomo Op Shop Tour

So...about the bees and keeping them warm in the winter.  It is the opinion of some, that insulating the hive only makes you feel like you are doing something to help them, but that it doesn't make a difference one way or the other.  The bees have survived our winters for years.  It's true.  And I do feel better for trying.  What kills them are the mites.  Tracheal and varroa mites.  That is also true.  I do know that wrapping the hive is a very delicate situation because if you get the hive too warm, the bees will come out, thinking it's warm when it isn't.  In the winter months, the bees cluster together and vibrate their bodies to keep the area that they are in warm.  I put a piece of insulation in the top of the hive because I put an empty super on the hive, so I would have room for sugar cakes.  Because I do know the bees can starve to death in the winter without enough food.  So there you have one more lesson on bees.  Now on to my blog post.

It's been a few weeks ago that I had a couple of young ladies spend a couple of nights here during their fall break.  My sister had a groupon to take a tour through our local Opalescent glass shop (KOG) and she gave it to me to take them.   Although the regular price of the tour is well worth the cost.  
The glass shop has been here since 1888, and it's one amazing place.  I used to live a few blocks from it and I took the boys I watched on a tour way back when.  I highly recommend taking a tour of it as it is very interesting and the tours have changed quite a bit.
Had I posted on it immediately, I would have remembered more but you can go to their website for more details.  The picture above is a furnace that the guys use to heat glass in.  The furnace is over 2000 degrees.

Once the glass in their ladle is ready, they bring it over here and plop it down on this counter top.
Where it is kneaded like bread, only not with your hands!
After he rolls it around a few times, he puts it in this box where it goes through a conveyor and gets flattened out.

I thought you might like a look at some of the inside architecture from one of their older buildings.

There are three people there that blow glass and this lady is one of them.  She went to college to learn to blow glass, but if I understood them correctly, you can also learn the trade by being an apprentice.  And you can take classes on glass blowing through KOG.
She is making a shot glass.
Glass rods
Some blown glass by "John" (can't remember last name)  Some of his blown glass is in the Smithsonian.

There are sheets and sheets of stained glass.

A high percentage (I think 40%) of the glass is exported.  Which is great because most everything in our country is imported.
And every piece that leaves the country has a Made in the USA sticker on it!

When we built my potting shed, back in 2000 (at the house we moved from) we used two of these thick pieces of glass and put them up high on the back wall to let light in.
Lots of color....
And this is a piece of counter top.  This size is about $700.00
They also make special order sinks...
I thought this was an interesting fact....everyone that works at the "Op Shop" signs their name in the factory somewhere.  This is the oldest name they have found so far.  In the 1890s.

This lady is making glass beads.  And guess what!   You can take a bead making class for $50.00  Neat Christmas idea!

Embossed glass

This lady made this sign for a new restaurant opening in our town.

Lots of gift ideas...

At the end of the tour the CEO of the company comes out and talks to the group.  He let the girls look through a kaleidoscope.  They even have classes on making kaleidoscopes.
I'm thinking I'd like a light fixture somewhere in our new house made from here.
More hand blown glass for sale in their gift shop.

That's it for my tour.  I highly recommend you take a tour in person, and also visit their website.  They have online shopping, a Facebook page, and great Christmas ideas.

Cindy Bee


  1. Glad you enjoyed it! I loved it in person.

  2. Cindy, I love this post. I sure did not know the glass shop was that old. It is amazing how they export the glass. Blessings , xoxo,Susie

  3. Thank you Susie. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  4. Oh, it is so wonderful to watch a glass blower at work. Just mesmerizing. My last visit was to Orbix Glassworks near Ft. Payne, AL

  5. Oh my, that had to be so fun and fascinating Cindy, thanks for sharing it!

  6. Thank you so much for the tour Cindy and I hope you have a terrific Tuesday :)

  7. How fun! I want to go . . . if I'm ever back in Indiana will you take me? I love those first vases the ones that went from dark blue to turquoise. Great post, thanks:)

  8. I'll be glad to take you there, Connie!


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