From Our Editors
Most popular offering: Fused glass art and dish ware
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Browse our website for ideas and inspiration. We recommend reservations for groups of 5 or more.
Q&A with Cara, Owner
What sets your business apart from your competition?
We are the only make-it-yourself glass studio in the Charlottesville area, and we offer a wider variety of projects and classes than any other in our vicinity. The glass art experience offers a hands-on exploration of glass art and allows complete creativity of design.
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
Mother-daughter team Maria and Cara started The Glass Palette nearly ten years ago. Maria has over 25 years in various glass art mediums, and Cara earned her BFA in Fine arts. The two discussed starting an art-related business for years until finally the inspiration for the Glass Palette hit them. With this studio, they could provide people of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to walk in and create something beautiful. They also offer classes for those wanting to learn advanced techniques and group parties and events for children and adults.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
My favorite moment happened a couple of years ago, and I can still picture the little girl's face. Her mother brought her in for her first visit and they each decided to make a fused glass sun-catcher. As she was finishing her project she looked up and exclaimed, "Mommy, Thank you. This is the most fun I have had in my whole life. This is way better than painting pottery." She and her mom became regular customers.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
I am constantly inspired by the creativity I see in each individual project. So many of our customers walk in and say that they are not creative, or immediately put themselves down about their level of "talent." I love encouraging them to play and reassuring them that with the glass, one cannot go wrong. Some of the projects that get produced are really wonderful, and most importantly the customers had a great time making them. Almost every person is very pleasantly surprised to see how their project has come out once it has been fired in the kiln.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Everyone that comes in to make a glass project has access to a rainbow of colors to use when creating their designs, and the color and design choices are completely their own. We do not work from patterns or predetermined designs. Everyone at least 8 years old can use glass cutting tools to manipulate the glass pieces. We show each person the tools and techniques they need to create something wonderful.