Stone Glassblowing back from the ashes

James Stone is ready to turn one talented kid's concept into world class, ocean-saving glass art/Grapevine

WHO: Stone & Glass

WHAT: GRAND RE-OPENING

WHERE: 629 W. Grand Ave., Escondido 92029

WHEN:  1 P.M. TO 7 P.M. SATURDAY, NOV. 11

WHY: Long story, see below

Stone & Glass owner James Stone carefully spins and manipulates heavy objects into gorgeous pieces of art/Grapevine

Welcome to the world of unintended consequences, and just plain bad luck. Or maybe making lemonade out of messed-up lemons department.

Internationally recognized hot glass and mixed media artist, James Stone, had a great studio in a quiet industrial area just northwest of downtown, otherwise known as Simpson Way, just west of Interstate 15.

Oops, the Escondido Mattress Factory, next door, burst into flames just before 2 a.m. on, good one,  April Fools Day — cause still under investigation — taking more than 40 firefighters an hour to contain the blaze.

According to Escondido fire Battalion Chief Mike Bertrand: Firefighters forced their way into the warehouse-type building and found it full of flames. They requested additional fire crews. Firefighters from San Marcos, Vista and Rancho Santa Fe assisted, with a total of 20 fire trucks and engines to battle the blaze.

2-alarm fire April 1 at Escondido Mattress Factory. next to former home of Stone & Glass/Escondido Fire

No estimate on the extent of damage was given. Two adjacent businesses sustained some smoke and fire damage. One of those was Stone’s glassblowing studio.

Out of the ashes, Stone and studio will re-open with a grand opening at its new facility in an interesting industrial- housing mix just off downtown, at 629 W. Grand Ave. 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11.

“My wife, Carol, and I have owned and ran our successful glassblowing and mixed studio since 2001,” Stone said. “Over the years we have been privileged to give the glassblowing experience to people of all ages. It has been heartbreaking to not be creating, and we are thrilled to be opening again soon,”

Stone added: “We are resilient, despite adversity, and look forward to inspiring San Diego through art expression for years to come.”

The new studio provides space for a gallery, which will also house work of other local artists. The studio will serve as a classroom as well as working studio. Three, or more, classes will be taught each week to kids and adults, starting at age 9 and up.

In addition to popular classes, Stone also creates commissioned work – custom glass pieces, architectural metal and glass designs, and handmade glass gifts.

At the Grand Opening, guests will gather together to celebrate Stone’s work, as well as the work of other artists in the community, on what’s known in the community as Second Saturday. They can also make pre-orders for holiday gifts. There will be live demonstrations, raffles, holiday gift options and light refreshments.

The new Stone and Glass gallery is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays through Wednesdays by appointment. All classes are by reservation. And, tours and demonstrations are by appointment. For more information, visit www.stoneandglass.com.

For more information or to RSVP, please visit the Facebook event at www.facebook.com/stoneandglassSanDiego.

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James Stone is an Ocean Conservation Mixed Media Sculpture Artist, working full-time out of his environmentally conscious, hot glass studio, in Escondido, Calif. James creates sea creatures and marine-themed sculptures that portray the beauty of the ocean’s diverse flora and fauna. His message of eco-awareness leaps from the forged aluminum and sculpted glass pieces, serving as a warning that fish and other sea life are disappearing at historically unprecedented rates due to over-fishing and environmental change. James hopes his work creates a dialogue.

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