Looking Back on 35 Years of Annieglass

That’s impossible-35 years! I spend too much time looking ahead to look back too often but here it goes with some highlights.

I do look back with a lot of gratitude for the people who helped me get there and continue too * I will save that list for the end of this story. I feel pretty fortunate to stay in business this long working with people that support and inspire me. My proudest work accomplishment is the length of time they have worked at Annieglass. My proudest accomplishment personally is, of course, my children, Taylor and Ava Reinhold. Just like with Annieglass, I had help making them too.

Annie learning her craft in 1978.

When I started sharing an art studio with the painter and draftsmen Dick Oppenchain in the Old Sash Mill in 1980 I was a recent art school graduate working for a glass gallery in Capitola by day and slumping glass in my 2 kilns at night. I had way more passion than sense! Certainly more passion than money because I remember quitting one job for another because I could not get a raise from $4.50 an hour.

Company photo at the Old Sash Mill.

My first employee was Joe Morehead. I offered him a job when he walked by my studio and stopped to look at a map of NYC I was throwing away. I was desperate for help with my first big order, frantic I would miss the shipping date. He was working next door and was on his way to the bathroom. He came back with a new job working for me. When he showed up the next day I had no idea what to do at lunchtime….do I make him lunch? Buy it for him? Take him out for it? He taught me how to drink coffee and we powered through many orders in no time; making plates, loading kilns and packing them still hot while UPS waited at the door to take them away.

My milestones of success were very simple- I was so thrilled to have a phone with 2 phone lines. What joy that gave me, even though I didn’t have all that much reason to need 2 lines- I didn’t have all that many customers yet to be honest. But I delighted in knowing that I could use the HOLD button and put anyone I wanted on HOLD, especially when my mother called from New Jersey.

One of the other milestones was realizing the company was getting large enough that I could no longer keep using the drive up window at my local bank to make deposits. I needed to use the merchant window and act a little more like a business owner and less like an artist. The only other times I went inside was when I rode my bike there….this was before ATM machines.

Watching my first case of glass go through the Old Sash Mill boardwalk was quite a different kind of thrill- all 4500 pounds of it. My thought was “Do I still have to pay for it if its all broken?” To be honest, the first check bounced and the owner liked to remind me of it when “I got too fancy.” They were very proud I used their glass to make my plates that are in the Smithsonian permanent collection.

Now that’s a good story. I threw away the letter that informed me. I assumed it was a practical joke from one of my 3 older brothers. Luckily my manager fished it out of the trash and made me open it. He had to do that again when an invitation to the White House arrived. In my defense, all I can say is that I receive a lot of junk mail, and now spam.

Being referred to by the Smithsonian curators as “a living Smithsonian artist” was rather unnerving- no it was very unnerving. One of these days I will have a t-shirt made up with the accession numbers for Coquina #1996.87.3 and Tiburon #1996.87.1 on permanent display in the Luce Collection of American Art inside the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

Coquina & Tiburon

I am looking forward to continued experimentation with technology, especially water jet. I have a list: improving working with recycled glass, re-starting and expanding the artists in residence program, freedom to make mistakes and lots of them, discovering more ways to make glass and applying for more patents and using jewels in my new designs are some of the thoughts at this writing. Thank you for the many years of encouragement and support.

*Sherlyn Torres

Michael Reinhold

Edna Sorensen, Ignacio Moran, Ivy Chew, Lloyd Lambert, Bill Ker, Paul Lerner, Isabelle Brightman, Teresa Zolar, Irene Higa, Heather Turlock

 

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Comments

Ann Morhauser

Such a lovely story of talent, passion and grit. I have been the recipient of many pieces over the last thirty years and enjoy the beauty they bring to every occasion.
The accolades you have received are so well deserved!

Ann Morhauser

You’re a great story teller Annie. It’s sweet to see the acknowledgement of those who helped you along the way.

Ann Morhauser

Congratulations Annie 🌸 Time to enjoy & celebrate your work accomplishments, with family, friends & work mates. I remember
fondly helping out at Annie glass many moons ago.🌷 You deserve the BEST for your continued dedication to your employees, yourself & Art . Aloha, Amber 🌺

Ann Morhauser

Hi Annie! I’m already in your system, but want to congratulate you on 35 years of inspiration and joy for all who have and see your work. Our daughter registered with you for her wedding in 2015. Loved reading your story; it gives artistic people hope, who sometimes need help with executive skills. Thanks for sharing the truth! With admiration, Carol Berman

Ann Morhauser

Congratulations to you and your staff! I have been a customer since the very start and still have (I belive) the only set of pink glass with gold trim dishware (a set of 8) that you ever produced as it was fugitive for some reason and caused you and Michael fits….
Proud to have you here, creating in our midst!

Ann Morhauser

Congrats, Annie. Wonderful story.
Best wishes for continued success.

Dorothy Saxe

Ann Morhauser

I’ll never forget the opportunity to work /play creatively w/ Jane Gregarious in your studio/art factory. the pieces we made together are on permanent display in my home where they generate happy memories . Many, many thanks for a rare experience of a lifetime.

Ann Morhauser

Love your story and I have many of your works of art. It brings beauty in my Oregon home.

Ann Morhauser

So love your designs and the lines of the glass! Colors too! Hope to be able to buy a piece some time! Bonnie😀

Ann Morhauser

Annie,
You have brought light into our families life…my Mum and I would wait in those crazy lines for my bro/sis in law, who went to school with your kids, wedding presents; I have all the bright colored hearts and shaped plates. But most of all my Mum who passed almost 2 years ago it was our girls day so thank you for your fab art and the many memories that our Annie Glass brings us. Our appreciation and love

Ann Morhauser

I forgot to add: Christopher, one of Eric’s brothers, lives on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. I’m sure he will be visiting your new 41 Madison Avenue store.
Best wishes,
Patty Ventry

Ann Morhauser

Dear Annie:
Our Eric sent this to me.
My comments: you were SO good (and pretty wise) to “hire” Eric after he was a part of your “volunteer” leadership to gifted students (he was at DeLaveaga at that time. We still have the wonderful triangle clock you created. Eric remembers putting all the triangle-shaped “decals” on your first round glass tabletops.
Big memory for me: when Eric returned from his first day working/helping for you at the Sash Mill, I asked what he did. He said his job was sweeping. I told him to be the best sweeper you ever met.
Annie, I just truly appreciate your influence on our Eric.
Hugs,
Patty Ventry

Ann Morhauser

Thank you for the wonderful autilobiography. You are also so fortunate that you found what you loved and after excelling at it, you still are passionate about it. And I am grateful that I can be a collector of your work.

Ann Morhauser
Very inspiring story! I remember you at the sash mail and I have always loved collecting your work. Can’t wait to see your continued inspirations coming to life. I especially am looking forward to something with the jewels in it. That is right up my alley…
Ann Morhauser

I have numerous pieces and enjoy each one..They are very versatile and go with any occasion. I love them all!!

Ann Morhauser

Many, many years of beautiful pieces which have served as wedding gifts, shower gifts, anniversary celebrations, hostess thank yous for holiday get- togethers etc. The recipients have always been excited to receive such unusual gifts. You are to be congratulated for making the world a more beautiful place with your creativity.

Ann Morhauser

Lovely reading a little history about your beginnings. I love my pieces that I have. Such talent and look forward to seeing your new artistry develop.

Ann Morhauser

Annie, I was blessed to meet you some 18 years ago through TEC. You were an inspiration then and have continued to amaze, inspire and reinforce in me a fabulous sense of humility and gratitude. You are a one-in-a-million jewel among us—on SO many levels!!! Here’s to 35 more successful years, my friend.

Ann Morhauser

I loved reading this and will always love and appreciate your sense of humor! So excited for you, 35 years! Wowza! It’s a big deal! Love you tons, Patti

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