Artist carefully crafts design out of glass at Sundance Resort.

The Art of Recycled Glass at Sundance

Crafting Beauty with Upcycled Materials

In the heart of Sundance Mountain Resort lies a hidden gem that not only showcases artistic brilliance, but also embodies the resort’s commitment to conservation. For over two decades, the Sundance Art Studio and Gallery have been home to a unique recycled glass program, where skilled glass blowers from Guadalajara, Mexico, transform discarded glass into exquisite works of art. This remarkable initiative aligns seamlessly with our core values of art, community, and nature, making it a shining example of the intersection of environmental responsibility and creativity.

The Art of Glass Blowing in Utah

Artist in the process of blowing recycled glass to create a masterpiece.

At the core of this captivating program is the ancient art of glass blowing, elevated to new heights through innovation and a commitment to sustainability. Most glass blowers specialize in working with traditional new glass, but Sundance’s artisans are masters in the intricate process of recycled glass. This sets Master Glassblower Gustavo Calderon and his team apart, making their creations not just beautiful but also environmentally conscious.

The journey begins with the collection of glass from around the resort—old wine bottles, beer bottles, soda bottles, and more. Once gathered at the Sundance Art Studio, the glass is meticulously sorted by color, setting the stage for the magical transformation to come.

From Discard to Masterpiece

Recycled glass Christmas ornaments made by Guadalajara artisans.

The recycled glass undergoes a metamorphosis within the confines of a 2,000-degree kiln. The glass is broken down into small, malleable pieces and then melted. This unique process allows the glass blowers to rebind the material into a pliable form, ready to be sculpted into new creations.

Emerging from the kiln in a malleable state, the glass is skillfully shaped into a variety of objects using specialized tools. Tumblers, spirit glasses, vases, bowls, and even Christmas ornaments come to life under the expert hands of the Guadalajara artisans. The recycled glass, now transformed into exquisite pieces of blown glass art, carries a story of rebirth and beauty.

A Symphony of Heat and Craftsmanship

The recycled glass, having been exposed to high temperatures during the shaping process, is then transferred to a cooler kiln for tempering. This crucial step ensures the durability and strength of each hand-blown creation. Over the course of approximately 24 hours, the glass pieces undergo a tempering process, enhancing their resilience.

Guests visiting the Sundance Art Studio can not only witness the craftsmanship, but also take home a piece of blown glass art as a cherished souvenir. The gallery offers an array of hand-blown recycled glass pieces, each showcasing creativity and environmental consciousness.

Beyond the Studio: Glass Art Across the Resort

Colorful shelf of cups made from recycled glass.

The beauty of these recycled glass creations extends well beyond the studio walls. Sundance proudly incorporates these Guadalajaran masterpieces throughout the property. From the Owl Bar to the Tree Room as well as in lodging units, guests can enjoy unique glass pieces, further immersing themselves in the artistic spirit of Sundance.

With environmental care and a commitment to art at its core, our recycled glass program demonstrates that repurposing can be a transformative and beautiful process. Each recycled blown glass piece not only tells a tale of renewal, but also contributes to Sundance’s ongoing commitment to responsible living.

The collaboration with skilled glass blowers from Guadalajara brings a touch of authenticity and mastery to every creation. As guests explore the resort, they not only witness the beauty of blown glass art but also become a part of Sundance’s journey towards a more artful future.