Marketplace: Red Flower Studios brings glassblowing to Park City
June 12, 2018
Daniel Bell's plan was to spend six months touring Alaska with a friend, but when they arrived in Skagway, they decided to get jobs and stick around for a few more months. Bell found work at a place that made hand-blown glass without any experience in the trade. When he saw someone blow glass for the first time, he said he was "bitten."
"I was immediately infected with it and knew that it was all I ever wanted to do," he said.
Ten years later, he and Micah Goddard, a Park City native, opened the glassblowing and creative workshop Red Flower Studios in Park City.
Bell first moved to Park City 15 years ago after living in Winter Park, Colorado. It was in Park City that he met Goddard, who would later become his business partner. Goddard was working at the restaurant Davanza's when they met, and Bell started working there soon after. Bell left to work in Alaska and go to school in Tennessee, but he always returned to Park City when he could.
He spent the last five years traveling around the country to pursue his passion of glassblowing, working in various shops on different projects.
About four years ago, a project led him back to Park City. He and Goddard helped build a 30-foot Yeti sculpture out of old skis for the ski equipment company Ramp Sports. It was then that Goddard learned to weld.
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He, like Bell, knew right away that it was what he wanted to do with his life.
"The first time I did it I was like, 'Here it is. This is what I want to do,'" Goddard said.
He and Bell started to consider opening a studio for glassblowing and metalworking in Park City.
After the Yeti project, Bell ended up in Mississippi to help a friend open a glassblowing studio. A couple of years passed, and Bell felt like he was spending too much time away from Park City and his dream of opening his own shop.
"I wanted to be home," he said.
Bell and Goddard decided that it was finally time to open a shop.
Bell said it was a challenge to find a location that could fit their needs and was inside city boundaries. Being located in the heart of Park City was important to them because they felt that it was the best way to give back to the community.
"This is the community that we wanted to be involved in," Bell said.
Goddard said when he was a kid growing up in Park City, there were few places to go to be creative. He wanted to make a place where youth could go to release their energy through art.
They found a location and, with the help of a $15,000 grant from the city for tools and materials, opened Red Flower Studios. The name came from the word for fire in "The Jungle Book," which Bell was watching when he got the inspiration. At the studio, he blows glass and Goddard focuses on metalworking.
Bell said that he has enjoyed creating objects with his hands his whole life, but he found something unique in glassblowing. For starters, he works with a furnace that reaches 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, he said the way that the glass moves and contracts is "intense and addictive."
"It's an insane medium, there are endless possibilities," he said. "I love all mediums, but glass is special."
Bell and Goddard spend their time working on their projects, but they also offer classes and events where people can create their own glass objects. Bell said that he has been surprised by how much he enjoys teaching his trade to others.
"The teaching thing caught me off guard," he said. "I didn't realize teaching was a passion of mine until I started doing it."
Bell is happy to finally have his dream be a reality, but he said that there is still more he wants to do. One day, he hopes to turn the studio into a makerspace where creators can design or make art with different mediums. He has already had people come in to weave, edit video and even hold yoga classes.
"We want to make it a space where we are not defined by one thing," he said. "We are not just a gallery, we're not just a hot shop, we are all of that and so much more."
Red Flower Studios
1755 Bonanza Dr. Unit C
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