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Standing in front of a 2,100-degree furnace, Kit Karbler wipes the beads of sweat off his forehead. It’s a gesture he’s repeated for 33 years as the owner of Denver’s Blake Street Glass Studio, where he and his partner, Dmitri Rudenko, melt, blow, cut, and polish glass into paperweights, end tables, and sculptures. “I thought if I did this for 20 years, I might get good at it,” Karbler, 58, says. Three decades after he started, his works are defined by threads of color—cobalt blue, topaz, emerald green—woven in unexpected combinations. Depending on the size, the pair can spend one to six months on a single piece, which is why they range from $450 to $15,000. Get an up-close look at how glass becomes art—and feel the heat—during a visit to the open studio. blakestreetglass.com
Take It Home: Drop by the studio (3433 Blake St.) on December 8, 9, 15, or 16 and purchase a hand-blown glass ornament ($45–$65). A percentage of the proceeds go to Children’s Hospital Colorado.