What, why and where to get one
By Mary Anderson
Courtney Boyd and Nate Steinbrink understand better than anyone that Coloradans are obsessed with two things: fourteeners and the cold ones we enjoy after hiking them.
Combining these obsessions, the two artists have developed and produced glassware with a three-dimensional rendering of Longs Peak rising from the bottom.
“It came out of our love for design. We really believe in the power of design, and having great design items in your life can be really fun and rewarding,” Steinbrink said.
So they started brainstorming for something that would be connected to Colorado, interesting to create, and fun for people to use.
Their idea: Longs Peak in a glass.
But bringing this idea to life was not easy. Steinbrink and Boyd have spent years finalizing the prototype for their glasses.
“A little bit of it was dependent on the technology catching up. When we first thought of this, there was some 3D printing going on at the level we needed, but it was really expensive,” Steinbrink said. “It took a lot of research and working with different programs to find the right one that we knew could take the USGS topographical data and convert it to 3D form on the computer.”
Even when the technology caught up, the process took refining. They would go through eight or nine steps to create a prototype. When the prototype didn’t turn out right, they would start the process again. Finally, they got it.
With a passion for glass from the beginning, Steinbrink earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in glassmaking. He built a studio in Nebraska and later worked at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale museum as a curator and exhibition designer. But nine years later, he found himself yearning for his own studio again.
Boyd, with deep roots in the Front Range, fell in love with art at an early age. Her great grandparents owned and operated an art studio in Empire. After earning her undergraduate degree in education and printmaking and her master’s in glassmaking, and after teaching for several years, Boyd also found herself wanting more.
So they moved home, discovered an old station in northeast Denver and founded Flux Studio. With classes, hands on experiences, and special community projects, the studio will be open to the public as early as next month.
How to get your hands on one
The first edition of the glasses is limited and available only through their Kickstarter page. They will also be sold in the studio, once it gets up and running and all Kickstarter orders are fulfilled. Prototypes of more peaks are also in the works.
The peak extruding into the glass, as many whiskey lovers know, enhances the spirit’s notes and aromas. So, distribution to distillers and brewers is also a possibility.
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