Homegrown Glass Art
Say hello to the Eicher brothers of Homegrown Glas Art. You should definitely recognize them by now. They’ve been bringing their handblown glass necklaces, bottle stoppers and more to the market since 2010. Well known for their glassblowing demos, you can actually watch them make new pieces on the spot! Read more about their love for this art and FSM in this week’s vendor profile.
1. Who are you, where are you from and what do you sell? How are you known at the market?
We’re Ryan and Daniel Eicher, from Silver Spring, MD, with special assistance from Helen Ploussiou, also of Silver Spring. We sell handblown glass- we’re known for our delightful glassblowing demonstrations, wild ukulele improvisations, and altogether semi-charming demeanor.
2. How did you get started in your business and what is your future vision?
We got started when Ryan taught himself glassblowing in college, then taught Daniel. We found the Fenton Street Market pretty early on, when it was still on the old lot, and it was the first reliable outlet for us to sell glass. It was a nice kind of “training ground”- perfect for learning how to sell our work without having to make huge investments or risks. We’ve learned a lot at the market over the past couple years. In the future, we’d like to take advantage of being in DC to get some work into some of the museums- we’ve sold work through the shop at the Phillips Collection and the Smithsonian’s Folklife festival, but we’ve got our eye on getting into the Smithsonian’s shops.
3. Tell us why you do what you do. What is so special about your business?
We’ve got a lot of reasons for doing what we do- being self employed means we make our own hours, so we have time to travel when we want. Also, the nature of the work is really gratifying. Working with our hands satisfies the soul- it’s nice to have something tangible you’ve produced at the end of each day. Then the market makes it that much more fulfilling, because after we spend all week making glass, we get to go out and connect with people who fall in love with it. There’s nothing better than when someone buys something new, made just the day before, and you both share the same enthusiasm for it.
4. What is your favorite thing about FSM?
Aside from getting to connect with our customers, getting to know the community at large has to be one of the more interesting facets of the Market. Especially the crazy people, who seem to be drawn to the flame. Gotta love those crazy people.