Heart of Glass

After two weeks of work, and last weekend spent taking care of errands near home, it was time for another Voyage of DH. I had plans for a longer trip, but one thing was working enormously against me: it is mid-July in New Jersey, and it is very hot and humid. The heat, by itself, is manageable, but the humidity makes the outdoors… uncomfortable. Given the heat, I postponed my longer trip for another weekend, and decided to head back to a favorite spot, only forty miles from my home.

First, though, was a trip to my local Honda dealer, Burns Honda in Marlton, NJ, for an oil change and tire rotation. The service area waiting room was unusually busy for a Saturday morning, so I made good use of the dealership’s wifi to catch up on some missed TV shows while my car was serviced. A little over an hour later, the service manager told me my car was ready, and good to go for another 7500 miles.

The inspection report. DH checked out, with all green boxes. Healthy and ready for more adventure!

Saturday night, I drove over to Philadelphia to stop by one of my favorite restaurants: Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House. According to the history on the restaurant’s website, pulled noodles were originally a dish that nomads in northwest China would serve. Later in China’s history, the first recorded noodle house, Sun and Moon Inn, would only serve this dish to the wealthy and to government officials. Fortunately, hand drawn noodles are much easier to come by in 2016… just go to Nan Zhou!

Probably the last trip to Philly for a few weeks. The Democratic National Convention is being held in the city, and it will be overrun by visitors and tourists until the convention is over.
Nan Zhou, 1022 Race Street.
Beef brisket soup with hand drawn noodles.
Hand drawn noodles with pork soy sauce (right), and u toy with oyster sauce (left).

Sunday afternoon I drove down to WheatonArts and Cultural Center. WheatonArts is a museum and glass studio located  in Millville, New Jersey, which was the location of the earliest glass industry in the pre-independence colonies. The museum’s collections span from the earliest glass production in America to the present day. In addition, there are glass-working and ceramics studios on site, where artisans come to practice their trade. There are even glass blowing classes offered; you can show up and create your own glass objects, under guidance of WheatonArts staff. It is a very fun place to visit, located a few miles off Route 55 in southern New Jersey.

Arriving at Wheaton Arts. One of the more unusual features is its parking lot, which is one giant circle. You park on either side of the circle. Parallel parking on a curved road is tricky.
A series of shops line the main strip of WheatonArts. All of the items for sale are made from glass, and almost all of them are made by local artisans. Very cool place to grab Christmas presents for family and friends.
A small lake sits beside WheatonArts, and the pavilion makes for a quiet place to sit and enjoy the beautiful view.
Inside the glass museum. These pieces were from the first American glass factory, which was located in New Jersey. Glass production was banned by the British, as Americans were expected to import their glass products from the British isles. The Wistar factory in nearby Alloway defied the order and began making its own glass.
“Old Cabin” whiskey bottle. The original, from 1860, is on the left. It was apparently very hard to produce. A later reproduction is in the center of the frame.
Beautifully intricate glass paperweight.
The World’s Largest Bottle, made at WheatonArts, and holds 188 gallons. How do we know it’s truly the “world’s largest?” Because the certifying letter from Guinness World Records is beside it.
A Tiffany lamp. Fun fact: the most valuable designs were not by Louis Comfort Tiffany, but by a woman working for him: Clara Driscoll. Her recognition only came relatively recently, in 2007, over 60 years after she died (via Wikipedia).
You need a very large tree for these Christmas ornaments.
It has a working ceramics studio. This gentleman was making a bowl.
Bowls, pitchers, plates, and cups awaiting hand-painting.
Flame working. These artisans use a small flame jet to create tiny works of art with glass.
If you look closely, you can see a flower coming into shape within the glass.
The glass working studio. The furnace inside the studio reaches temperatures easily exceeding 2000 degrees F.
Heating and shaping glass. The furnace opening is in the background.
Using special tools to shape the glass.
Heated glass allows you to trim it as you shape it. The long pole the glass is attached to allows you to blow into it, shaping and cooling the glass.
Another small milestone passed on the way home. I was listening to the radio and completely missed the 65,000 marker.

WheatonArts is a great attraction that is geared for learners of all ages, from little children to grown adults. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm from April to December (only the stores are open from January through March). Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students, and children 5 and under can get in for free. It is also conveniently located near Route 55, and makes a great place to stop on the way to the Jersey shore. Thanks for coming along on another Voyage of DH!

‘Til next time.

2 thoughts on “Heart of Glass

  1. Congrats on the milestone! My mom would go crazy for a Tiffany lamp like that one pictured. Any idea how much those go for? Also, glad to see the inspection report come back with all those positive remarks!

    Liked by 1 person

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