Glass inspires Grand art |

Glass inspires Grand art

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Grand Lake CO Colorado

GRAND LAKE – Toni Marie Rowan manipulated two glass rods, and within minutes – almost effortlessly – a hummingbird emerged out of the torch flame.

She then started on a slender red rose.

“The artistry in it is unlimited,” she said as she formed petals out of molten glass.

“The challenges, the new techniques that come out on the market combined with other artists’ works – potters and jewelers – it’s limitless.”

Toni Marie and husband Zachary Rowan are Grand Lake’s newest business owners on Grand Avenue, having recently opened Mtn-Arts on the northern end of town.

After years of working at art shows and renaissance festivals, the artists from Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. have chosen Grand Lake to call home.

“We had a dream of having a door and a key, a place to set up our equipment,” Toni Marie said.

Originally silversmiths, the Rowans found a passion for hand-blown glass art 30 years ago. Their store reflects how they have evolved through the years, from simple, delicate pieces and elaborate glass sculptures of ships, to Dichroic glass as part of sterling silver necklaces and rings.

“When this type of glass came out, it changed our artistic identity,” Toni Marie said. Dichroic glass contains marble-swirls of color and is treated like gem stones as centerpieces in jewelry.

Their store showcases glass beads, macrame necklaces and sterling silver necklaces with Dichroic glass and items such as glass zipper pulls, glass drinking straws, tiny message-in-a-bottles, cake toppers, even moose wine charms.

With his ability to create detailed customized work, Zachary was once asked to design wine charms that looked like sushi, Toni Marie said. The end result was miniature glass Nigiri-sake, salmon lying on beds of rice.

“If someone comes up and says, ‘I want a monkey holding a banana,’ he’s the one who can make it,” Toni Marie said of her husband.

The craft is called lamp working, which evolved from glass blowing. Through a window in the back of the store, visitors often can see the Rowans sculpting glass on the spot.

Their store also features work by their son Harley, a glass artist; and their son Adam is the website designer for the business. Work by other artists is welcomed into the store as well, such as jewelry and their friends’ folk-music CDs.

“We have a lot of talented friends,” Toni Marie said.

The Rowans chose Grand Lake for their store because of its reputation for “keeping art alive,” she said. “When looking around, we noticed Grand Lake paid more attention to handmade Colorado arts and that appealed to us.”

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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