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Father’s Day Gift Guide


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AGNES OF GLASS, DENVER

This Father’s Day—or really any other day of the year—try something new. Like what, you ask? Try playing with 1,100 degrees of molten glass.

Got a Mrs.? Create your own vase to put those lovely flowers in. Glass blowing is as much a knowledge of science, the weather, and physics as it is an art form.

“You learn to dance with the glass,” said Agnes Sanchez, owner and operator since 1999. “I think for people, it’s the hardest thing to learn; using their right brain and their left brain and to think on your feet two or three minutes before the glass does something.”

You could take your woman (or man, honestly glass blowing knows to gender) out for a new 2,000-degree dating experience. For a small fee—think of it as a fire relocation donation—you can make a shot glass, a vase, or a paperweight if it doesn’t go according to plan. You can make a real paperweight, since the pure beauty of glass is as much a part of the process as the shape.

“I still have inspiration, and I want to let the students play with the glass,” Agnes said. “We are playing with four elements of the earth; sand, fire, water, and air and to create this piece of glass, even if it’s a glob.”

As with any new experience, it’s all about your attitude. Especially when the experience involves molten glass and kilns. Sometimes the attitude goes deeper than just a piece of art: “We teach and I do a lot of stuff on my own time. I do one of a kind art glass. Sometimes people want me to make an urn, use the ashes in the glass, and it becomes on with the art,” Agnes said.

If you do decide to make the trek to Denver, plan on going back. The more time you spend catering your creative side, the more you want to cater it. You could move from a shot glass to a vase, to something more intermediate; who knows what you might want to create.

“When it’s 2000 degrees, because it’s moving all over the place and it’s on fire, it’s like you are playing with a hot alligator.”

Agnes of Glass, Denver
agnesofglass@gmail.com, 303-399-4066 Sweetheart Special; $69

GROWING GARDENS

I met Alyson Duffey at Growing Gardens’ Boulder location just as their BEE-Earth Day celebration was winding down. Kids had been there all morning frolicking around in beekeeping suits, getting their faces painted (probably not at the same time) and presumably learning a thing or two about sustainability to boot.

As much as I was sorry to miss the festivities, I was there to find out about what Growing Gardens can offer for the next generation—specifically, unique Father’s Day gifts. Duffey walked me through their wide range of gift options.

Their Garden To Table cooking classes begin in July, if you need a little bit of extra planning time to get out of the house. Located right on their community garden plot in Boulder, the class lets you learn the ins and outs of veggies, their culinary applications, knife skills, and eat the resulting meal—all aided by chef Michael Montgomery.

Growing Gardens’ community plant sales began May 3d and continues through the Saturdays in May. A plant too small for you? Then make a donation in Dad’s name to for a tree in their new orchard—it’s like naming a star after someone, except you can go visit the actual tree and see things growing on it.

Finally, give the best gift of all: send the kids to one of Growing Gardens’ summer camps, and give mom and dad the mid-day date they’ve been dreaming of.

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