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Archive for Sunday, March 7, 2010

Artists sculpt masterpieces of marbles in Bonner Springs

Greg Chase, a glass artist from Louisiana, shows off his technique Saturday at the Marble Crazy event.

Greg Chase, a glass artist from Louisiana, shows off his technique Saturday at the Marble Crazy event.

March 7, 2010

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A visitor shops for finished marbles put on display by the 23 marble artists at the Moon Marble Company’s 10th annual Marble Crazy event at the store in Bonner Springs.

A visitor shops for finished marbles put on display by the 23 marble artists at the Moon Marble Company’s 10th annual Marble Crazy event at the store in Bonner Springs.

— Marble artists from across the country were at the top of their game Saturday, showing off their art for hundreds of people to see.

As the 10th annual Marble Crazy event at Moon Marble Company, 600 E. Front St. in Bonner Springs, kicked off its second day Saturday, a line quickly formed outside of people waiting to see renowned glass artists at work.

Standing by as glass artist Jes Durfee, from Duluth, Minn., took the spotlight was Lawrence resident Kara Holcomb. She looked on, wide-eyed, as Durfee sculpted a small marble using two glass rods.

“I think it’s really neat,” Holcomb said. “I had no idea how (marble making) was done. I had never thought about it much, but it’s very cool.”

Holcomb, who has never been to Marble Crazy before, found out about the event from her friend and said she didn’t even know Moon Marble Company existed.

“I’ve lived in Kansas for years and never knew,” she said. “I think it’s really awesome. All the old toys are neat, and I didn’t know how many different kinds of marbles there were.”

Marble Crazy opened to the public Friday and continued Saturday with about 23 artists showing off their talent.

Another first-timer Saturday was Debra Hisle, of Leawood, and her children. She said she found out about the event through her parents.

“I thought it would be awesome for the kids,” she said.

Her first year wasn’t a disappointment, either. Hisle said she’s never been to Moon Marble Company but was impressed with what she saw.

“It’s amazing. The marbles are absolutely gorgeous works of art,” she said.

As several artists took the spotlight throughout the day, guests of Marble Crazy were able to stand by and ask questions while the marbles were being created.

Different artists used various techniques for their creations, ranging from glass sticks and a torch to glass blowing and even a marble-making machine.

Father-and-son duo Geoffrey and Nick Beetem, of Athens, Ohio, were showing off for a large crowd that sat, watching in awe above them, in stadium-like seats.

Geoffrey, who is a master glass artist in the use of dichroic glass, was showing his glass-blowing technique of marble making.

At another demonstration station earlier in the day, Drew Fritts, of Springfield, Mo., showed how he makes his signature brightly colored marbles covered with swirling designs.

As he quietly concentrated, head bent over his forming creation, the skill it took to create such a piece of art was clear to see.

“That’s how a marble is made. Now you can go home and try it yourself,” Fritz joked at the end of his demonstration.

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