Community involvement, green awareness and fair trade have finally become business concerns in the recent years, but Annieglass has consistently practiced these philosophies since its foundation in 1983.
Staying small was never really a choice since Annieglass began in Annie’s guest room in 1981 but the increasing pressure every year to move the production offshore has been relentless. So has the pressure to make items in other media, but glass is what we are passionate about. It is what we as a group work on every day perfecting, experimenting and frequently failing at. It keeps us humble, just when we think we have a great idea that works we often find that we have pushed the envelope too far. Through our artist in residence program we are enlightened by the creativity of outsiders who challenge what and how we make things.
Invigorating an Ancient Craft
Glass beads were one of the earliest forms of money and a glassmaker’s skill was very valuable. During the Arts and Crafts era that started in 1880 in Europe and North America and again in the 60’s in the United States the value of handmade objects rose to new heights of appreciation. Annie received her training at a school that originated from that time. Close proximity to Silicon Valley and curiosity have led her to implement technological improvements to glassmaking with waterjet cutting equipment vastly improving the range of design possibilities.
The current studio near Monterey, California, was in an economic enterprise zone surrounded by agricultural land when Annie bought the building to house Annieglass in 1996. One fourth of the current staff hired then is still here having transitioned from field work into highly skilled artisans and glass makers. Watsonville was deeply affected by the flight of many large agricultural companies leaving the area at that time. Employee programs that teach English or pay for college tuition have improved skill level and helped their families. A second generation of staff family is being led by Annie’s daughter Ava.
We have raised over $100,000 for children’s cancer services (Jacob’s Heart). Annie has helped to raise over a million dollars for Second Harvest Food Bank (Feed America) serving as co- chair for holiday food drives. By funding Digital Nest programs, local underserved youth have access to comprehensive technological training and career mentoring
“Giving away Annieglass for fundraising or donating money to worthwhile causes has been one of the best parts of running my own business. Offering others the opportunities I had is its own reward”. Every day we donate to a charity for education, the arts or a charity that benefits children.
View The List
- Clean Oceans Project
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Girls Inc
- Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
- Save our Shores
- Sierra Club
- Scouts of America
- Planned Parenthood
- Big Brother/ Big Sister
- American Cancer Society
- American Heart Association
- Feed America
- Toys for Tots
- Cystic Fibrosis Association
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Homeless Shelters
- American Lung Society
- National Organization for Women
- University of California
- California College of the Arts
- California State University
- Girls Middle School
- Public and private elementary, middle and high schools
- Public and private child care, womens shelters and elderly facilities
- Little League
- Youth Now
- Mariposa’s Art
- Police Athletic League
- Fallen Officer Foundation
- Fire, Search and Rescue
- Little Guards
- Loaves and Fishes
- Farm Bureau
- Chamber of Commerce
- Elks Club
- Rotary International
- Soroptimist International
- Dignity Health
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation
- Omega Nu and various sororities
Ava Reinhold, daughter of Annie on the far right, giving a donation to Jacob Martinez and youth from Digital NEST.
Annieglass Elements Collection made from recycled glass.
Endlessly inspired by nature, Annie Morhauser became dedicated to environmental responsibility long before “green” became a trend. She participated in the first Earth Day as a teenager in 1970, and eco-sourcing, recycling, reusing and zero-waste goals have been standards for this atelier-turned-production-studio since opening in 1983.
Annieglass is produced by a talented team of artisans and master craftspeople along the National Marine Sanctuary of the Monterey Bay in Northern California. The spectacular natural beauty of the area serves as a daily reminder to keep it this way for generations to come through thoughtful stewardship of our production studio and its processes.
A novel compilation of thoughtful sustainability measures are taken throughout the handcrafted, glassmaking process at Annieglass. The warehouse uses an abundant amount of skylights and low wattage energy-efficient lighting, and a special reflective roof keeps the space well insulated. The glass-cleaning machine circulates and reuses water and glass is cleaned with non-toxic vinegar. Creative kiln-firing times ensure energy efficiency during the trademark “slumping” of glass. Earth-friendly, biodegradable packing materials made of sorghum and potato starch deliver the final luxury product to customers.
All scrap glass is remelted into the Elements collection of trivets and trays. The watery green color and ghostlike effect of the many melted pieces of glass fusing together has made this collection a favorite of all generations. Annie’s creative approach to reuse is so unique that it is awaiting a design patent. By reusing scrap glass, the studio is able to maintain near zero waste goals by avoiding using landfills and consciously utilizes green practices in every step of production.
Annie and her team of artisans have re-invigorated the ancient art of glassmaking utilizing the latest in technology and materials. Waterjet cutting permits formerly impossible shapes to be cut out of thick blocks of glass. Old world painting skills and the fingerprints of the artisans personalize each mold.
Annieglass offers scholarships to employees pursuing higher education. We are proud of our employees who completed MBA and BSA degrees through this program and encourage the ongoing quest for knowledge we support in all our staff.
We offer two local high schools scholarships every year as well as two scholarships to the California College of the Arts, Annie’s alma mater. Recipients are chosen by the schools based on ability to succeed and need. “I see no point in offering scholarships to “A” students. I want the “B” or “C” students, the ones who get overlooked when passing out scholarships, the ones with passion and the ability to take risks. I believe you have to fail a few times to get good at succeeding and light a fire of ambition” offers Annie, who also received scholarships and food stamps while pursuing her education.
"Words can not explain how grateful I am for receiving this scholarship. I very much appreciate it. This will knock off a burden in my college experience that I look forward too. It feels good for someone to see your hard work in accomplishing your goals. And for that, supporting me with the Annieglass Scholarship, it really means a lot to me and my family."
- 2017 Annieglass High School Scholarship Recipient