Glassblowers to compete at Flame Off in Richland

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerApril 19, 2013 

Watching a glob of molten glass being molded into a dazzling piece of art is an awesome sight.

On April 26, the Tri-Cities' first Flame Off event will pit about 10 Northwest glassblowers against each other to see who can produce the coolest glass art piece at the M Hotel in Richland.

But besides the competition, the event also will feature a selection of musicians who play everything from reggae to blues to hip-hop to rock, as well as a belly-dancing exhibition, said organizer Chris Barwick.

"What makes Flame Off a unique event, besides being the area's first glassblowing competition, is the 10 glassblowers who are coming," Barwick said. "Each has their own style, and being able to watch them work with the molten glass is a different experience."

Flame Off is open to all ages. Admission is $12 in advance or $15 day of show. Tickets can be purchased at the hotel, 1515 George Washington Way.

Northwest artists competing include Alex Garvie, CJ Freestone, Gemini, Smolder Holder, J Dub, Brando, Halley Martin, J-Red, Filla John and Badger.

Also featured at the Flame Off will be an art exhibition by Tri-City artist Consuelo Soto Murphy, who will do a live painting during the event.

The ovens will start heating things up in the M Hotel's ballroom starting at noon and continuing until 10 p.m., then the bands will play from 10 until midnight.

"We have looked into everything that comes with running the kilns," Barwick said. "We'll also have a local contracted electrician on site and inspection prior to the start time for the competition.

"The hotel has a perfect area with 240-watt plug-ins, ventilation and brick floors. And the Richland fire marshal has approved the area."

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;; Twitter: @dorioneal

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