Couple moves to Temple to open glassworks studio

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Gary Grebus of Temple makes a glass ornament in the New Temple Glassworks studio, owned and operated by himself and his wife, Colleen Grebus. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/9/2019 12:43:34 PM

Colleen and Gary Grebus moved to Temple a year ago, with a dream – to give space for their passion for glass blowing to grow.

A month ago, they realized that dream, by opening the New Temple Glassworks studio, where they are able to explore their own fascination with the art, as well as teach curious amateurs the basics.

Colleen has been fascinated with glass as an artistic medium for a long time, she said Wednesday, starting with stained glass and jewelry making with glass beads, years ago.

Glass blowing seemed the logical next step, and from her very first class 15 years ago, she was hooked.

“You can do almost anything with glass. It just might take you awhile to figure out the method, but once you figure it out, you can do whatever you want,” she said.

As Colleen became increasingly interested in glass blowing, she convinced her husband, Gary, to give it a try. Mostly so he would stop giving her grief about buying glass for projects, she said.

“I tried it, and it was incredibly frustrating, but incredibly interesting at the same time,” Gary said.

He found he liked the challenge, and the fact that there is always some new technique to learn and perfect.

For example, despite now having more than a decade of working with hot glass, just a few months ago the couple took a class to learn how to cast raised images on glass.

They both like different aspects of glasswork, Gary said. Colleen likes to make sculptural objects, such as the little glass penguins they sell, and Gary focuses on functional objects such as cups, vases and bowls.

“Which is good, because we cover the range,” Gary said.

Working with glass had become more than a hobby to the couple, who a few years ago began to talk about the possibility of opening their own studio. However, they didn’t have the space on their property in Brookline to build a studio, so when Gary was ready to retire from his full-time job, they began to search the area for a new house – one with space to accommodate their art – and they began accumulating the equipment they would need to outfit it.

They found a home in Temple with a detached garage that needed some renovation but was the perfect size for a small studio.

Colleen said the name of the studio was settled once they knew their home would be in Temple – they called it New Temple Glassworks, in honor of one of the first glassworks in the United States, New England Glassworks, which was located in Temple. That venture, which only lasted three years, from 1780 to 1783, has become a historic site.

Though they hope to leave a more lasting legacy, Colleen said they liked the symmetry of starting a glassworks shop in the same town as one of the earliest established in the country.

“Everything just seemed to align,” she said. “We loved the house, it had the garage, and it happened to be in Temple, which has this history.”

While Colleen still works as a nurse at the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Gary is now retired, and with their studio officially open as of March 23, the two hope to be able to put more time into their glasswork and offer classes where beginners can learn the basics and walk away with a functional object they made themselves.

“I love teaching,” Colleen said. “I love it when a student has that moment where they just get it. When they make a successful piece, it makes you feel like you made a successful piece, too.”

And the studio gives them time to experiment on their own, something they were never able to do when sporadically taking classes or renting studio space on their own, Gary said.

“I still struggle with getting pieces to turn out exactly the way we want,” he said. “Glassmakers go through periods where they make the same thing over and over, for days and days, and we’ve never been able to do that. You build that muscle memory over the years, and I’m never going to have that. But now we have more time.”

The New Temple Glassworks is open by appointment, for those interested in purchasing their products.

Their glassware is also available at Creative Ventures Gallery in Milford or Modern Antique in Milford.

For more information about classes or to contact the studio, visit newtempleglassworks.com or visit their Instagram @newtempleglassworks.


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