Cal and Christy Breed have what some would call “unique” interests. With a love for hand-blown glass, and free-spirited rock climbing, the couple has combined their talents and fascinations to create Orbix Hot Glass, which is being dubbed one of the most fascinating and experiential studios and galleries in Alabama.
Cal discovered glass blowing when he started attending Auburn University. Originally, he was taking classes in order to become a marine biologist, but that all changed quickly. “I switched to art and discovered glass blowing,” he told Alabama News Center.
Soon after, Cal met Christy while living on the Plains. “We both love rock climbing and met doing that,” said Christy, a Birmingham native.
After the couple married, Cal continued to hone his glass-blowing skills. He studied the art at Ohio State University, and continued on to work with various glass artists in Seattle.
In 2002, Cal opened a studio of his own in Fort Payne.
“We came to Fort Payne because the area is so scenic – and it’s a great place for rock climbing,” said Christy. And luckily, their penchant for the great outdoors lends to the aesthetic of their unique, sun-filled studio atop the humble Lookout Mountain.
Working with three other glass-blowing artists, Cal creates one-of a kind blown glass objects, such as pitchers, tumblers, cases, bottles, wine carafes, and so much more. While blown glass is made with two different methods, free-blowing or mold-blowing, Cal chooses to do it free-form and by hand.
The Orbix glass studio is a unique institution in Alabama. “Because of the heat, it’s unusual to see glass blowing in Alabama,” Cal told Alabama News Center. “We’re one of the few places in the state where you can see glass artists at work.”
This unique status makes Orbix Hot Glass Studio a popular tourist destination, with visitors flocking from all over the country to scope out Cal’s breathtaking work.