Small Towns: Popelka Trenchard Glass creates unique pieces in Door County

STURGEON BAY, Wis. - In downtown Sturgeon Bay, a husband and wife team have kept the heat running for 20 years at Popelka Trenchard Glass.

"The furnace stays on continuously, it's been on since March and it usually doesn't go off for years at a time," explained Jeremy Popelka.

Trained as fine artists, Jeremy and his wife Stephanie Trenchard continue to create works of glass the old-fashioned way with a couple of new twists.

"I think people are kind of attracted to something that is made like our ancestors," Jeremy said.

Heating up, cooling down and shape-shifting glass on a nearly daily basis, the team will produce hundreds of pieces of art a year.

"It's about being able to master a skill, to make something you decide to make in a very clear way," said Jeremy.

Sometimes, finding that clear vision will include incorporating some colors that will be melted down, stretched, fused together and then blown into that vision.

"So everything we're doing is not specifically unique, but depending on the colors I use, the shapes I make, the ways I put those tiles together, all that makes it more about me being an artist or designer," said Jeremy.

The process of turning, blowing and over-communicating can take hours for each piece to be completed.

Whether the sculptures a soon-to-be family heirloom, or something more functional than that, the goal is to have their beautiful glass showcased.

"They're bowls and vases, not too many of my clients are going to use that way," Jeremy explained. "They're not going to put flowers in them as much, but some people do and I'm OK with that."

In October, Popelka Trenchard Fine Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a,m.-4 p.m. on Sundays.

Come November, the hours will change to 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and closed Sundays.

For more information, visit their website here.

 

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