Tuesday November 19, 2013 | by Paulina Switniewska

Pier Glass Hosts Annual Holiday Sale, Celebrates Rebirth of Studio

FILED UNDER: Art Market, Events, News

Red Hook, Brooklyn-based Pier Glass, reopened in April of this year after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, but some essentials such as the furnace and glory holes are still in need of replacing, and the cold shop is still in partial commission. To help raise funds to resume full operations, owners Mary Ellen and Kevin Buxton-Kutch as well as resident artists Alison Ruzsa and Kevin Scanlan of Scanlan Glass, will be holding an Annual Holiday Sale this weekend, on Saturday, November 23rd and Sunday, November 24th. A Pre-Holiday Soiree celebrating the kick-off of the sale will take place on Friday, November 22nd.

Since its doors opened in 1994, Pier Glass has created glass works for architects, designers, and museums, which includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The studio is one of the businesses to reinvent the Red Hook area as a tourist destination, and over the years has been an essential stop among other artisan craft shops of the area, where visitors could take part in demonstrations and view the gallery.

In the fall of 2012, Pier Glass suffered the effects of Hurricane Sandy to a crippling degree. The studio, located on the waterfront, suffered extensive damage to artwork, equipment, and the building in which it is situated. Flood waters covered the entire Red Hook waterfront (anywhere from three to six feet in certain areas), bringing in an array of problems such as salt damage, loss of essential electricity, water damage, and major loss of goods. As chronicled in a past article on the incident, many of the other nearby studios were also partially destroyed and had to carry out their work elsewhere as damage was assessed and recovery efforts began. 

Today, Pier Glass has come a long way, but is still in the process of recovery. While many pieces of equipment were able to be salvaged, much remains to be done. Efforts have thus far been made easier by the help offered by fellow artists, friends, and denizens of the community, themselves also having been affected by the storm. 

The Holiday Sale at Pier Glass has been an annual tradition since 1997. “Our studio opened in 1994, and our friends and collectors were always asking for an opportunity to visit,” says resident artist Alison Ruzsa. “We felt like doing a holiday sale when the weather was turning colder, and people were needing gifts. It would be a perfect way to celebrate the season.” The Annual Sale has been largely successful over the years, attracting crowds of people eager to see new Pier Glass creations. This year hopes to see many returning collectors, artists, and buyers from previous sales. The sale hosts a number of demonstrations and commissions are also available upon request. Some popular items include jewelry, drinking glasses, bowls, vases, sculptures, and even glass swizzle sticks at an array of prices. 

“In the past [the Sale] has always been a joyous occasion and a fun time to do demonstrations and share the love of glass,” says Ruzsa. “ This year we hope to see old friends and new. More than that, we would like especially to celebrate the rebirth of the studio after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. It has been a difficult year, and it feels good to have come as far as we have in recovering.” 



Pier Glass Annual Holiday Sale
Pier Glass Studio
Friday, November 22nd, from 4-7 PM
Saturday, November 23rd, from 11 AM-5PM
Sunday, November 24th, from 11 AM-5 PM
499 Van Brunt Street, #2A  Brookly, NY 11231

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.