Glass Ducks Available at Lake Superior Art Glass

DULUTH, Minn.–“Working with glass is very immediate. You can’t set it down and walk away or come back,” said the Studio Manager at Lake Superior Art Glass Jakob Spiech. “You got to finish it when you start, and you’re not really thinking of much else because you have to focus on the 2,000 degree liquid at the end of the stick.”

Until the end of April, Lake Superior Art Glass is allowing people to design their own duck. Ducks can range from a variety of colors and accessories like hats or ears. 

“You’ll be able to design the duck that you want,” said General Manager Amber Nichols. “You can pick different sizes, you can add some accessories, and different colors. But you’ll watch our glassblowers make it and you’ll be able to take it home the next day.”

First the glassblower grabs glass out of a furnace at 2,100 degrees. Then the glassblower dabs the glass into a yellow powdery dye to be melted together to give the duck that solid base color. 

“We do a design your own snowman in the fall and they’re very similar to the duck with their set up. So we figured why not do a design your own duck,” said Spiech

Next the glassblower forms the head and the body, making sure to keep it round. Once satisfied, the glassblower pulls the tail from the still liquidy glass. More glass is needed to make the eyes, bill, and hat.

“People do come in with custom requests,” said Spiech “We have four to five different hat styles that we offer, but every once in a while somebody has something a little more unique. For example yesterday I did a shark fin as a hat.”

The glassblower will then drop water onto the hot glass and care chip off the almost finished duck. Next the glassblower torches the break off point to ensure a smooth underneath. Finally, the duck will cool down in a heat oven for the next 24 hours.

“Glass can be a fairly expensive thing to get into but at the same time we can produce some very affordable items too,” said Nichols. “In the store we have a wide range of things from $10 all the way up to a couple thousand.”

At the end of the month, 5% of duck profits will be donated towards Wildwoods, a nonprofit organization that educates people about the well-being of nature and wildlife appreciation.

“So we wanted to partner with Wildwoods because we think they’re a great organization. They help a lot of wildlife when they’re injured and hurt and this is our way of being able to give back to them,” said Nichols.

Wildwoods helps sick, orphaned, and injured animals in our area to humanely care for them and eventually rehabilitate the animals back into the wild. Wildwoods is also looking for a limited number of volunteers, for more information visit their website.

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