SANFORD, Maine – A prestigious award is seen within the hallway of the Sanford Mill, proper by the doorway of a brand new artwork studio there.
It’s a Phoenix Award, a nationwide recognition introduced to Northland Enterprises in 2013 for its profitable redevelopment of the mill at 61 Washington Street. It’s becoming that the award nonetheless sits there, lengthy after it was introduced and even years after the final enterprise to occupy that house – the Mill 67 Restaurant – had closed.
It’s manufactured from glass, you see, and the brand new enterprise positioned there may be stuffed with glass. It is certainly a celebration of glass, and the numerous types it may take, in addition to the creative expression it may present. Galaxy Glass 207, owned and operated by Mathew Clarrage, is stuffed with glass objects – pendants, smoking equipment, shot glasses and extra – and in due time is anticipated to incorporate a glass-blowing studio.
“The whole lot’s accessible,” Clarrage stated, referring to what’s on the market as he led a tour, alongside his buddy and enterprise companion, Frank Fortin, on Monday.
Clarrage means all of the glass merchandise, sure, but additionally the gadgets that you just would possibly mistake as merely ornamental at first look. The 1979 CR125 Honda grime bike parked in opposition to the wall by the doorway, for instance. The framed images on the wall, too. Even the quaint bottle-cappers that sit atop a partition. There are additionally paperweights, kitchenware, ash trays, marbles and extra.
Additionally on the market: Puffs Pendy Melts, soy candles providing such scents as Blazin’ Berry, Ocean Escape, and Peach Dream. In line with Clarrage, every candle has an American-made glass pendant submerged in its scented wax. The pendant reveals itself because the candles burn.
“You decide the candle, and the pendant picks you,” Clarrage stated.
Massive, creatively constructed empty racks presently line one facet of the enterprise. Clarrage stated he quickly will fill them with tee-shirts, clothes, backpacks and extra.
Glass torch studio deliberate
Galaxy Glass 207 opened in November and had its official ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Sanford-Springvale Chamber of Commerce in February, based on Clarrage. When Clarrage installs a glass torch studio – in Mill 67’s former kitchen – it is going to be the primary of its type in Sanford. Clarrage stated he hopes to have the studio up and operating in a month or so, as soon as he purchases a kiln and torches and secures a state allow.
Glass-blowing, as outlined by the DMG Faculty Undertaking of St. Petersburg, Florida, is a forming approach that individuals have used to form glass because the first century.
“The approach consists of inflating molten glass with a blowpipe to type a form of glass bubble that may be molded into glassware for sensible or creative functions,” the varsity says on its website.
Clarrage stated glass-blowing is an inventive ability he hopes to study and is a craft he respects in others.
“The method is mesmerizing,” he stated. “It’s simply mind-capturing.”
It’s additionally time-consuming – artists put in hours creating even the smallest objects.
“It’s a really concerned course of. You don’t notice how a lot time you’re spending there,” he stated.
Clarrage’s plans for his new enterprise don’t cease on the glass torch studio: he stated he hopes to make use of his appreciable house to supply work areas for photographers and graphic designers, as effectively. He already has in place quarters for painters and different creators – assorted artwork provides could be seen resting on one finish of a protracted desk lining the home windows that supply a view of the Mousam River speeding beneath. Anybody who wish to maintain artwork classes is welcome to order the house, Clarrage stated.
“The whole lot is artwork to me,” Clarrage stated.
Many of the merchandise is created by Maine and New Hampshire artists, based on Clarrage. Among the gadgets are on the studio on consignment, whereas others are a part of a set Clarrage has personally amassed.
Clarrage stated enterprise since November has been going effectively.
“Actually first rate,” he stated. “We’re paying the payments.”
Clarrage stated he has a five-year lease on the house.
“We’re going to proceed to construct for the following couple of years,” he stated.
For extra details about Galaxy Glass 207, name (207) 636-6697 or observe Clarrage at galaxy_glass207 on Instagram.