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Orbix Hot Glass, Fort Payne

#5 of 9 in Things to do in Fort Payne
Gift & Specialty Shop · Hidden Gem · Shopping
In 1972, Cal Breed was born to an artist and an engineer. This combination of the expressive and the critical laid the framework for a life coursed by grasping to bridge the seemingly dichotomous. After years of studying the beauty of the ocean and its life and almost finishing a degree in Marine Biology at Auburn University, Cal’s heart was burdened with the need to be expressive with his hands. Bowing to that burden, he began to study the arts. Having such a quiet demeanor, he sought for a material that inherently spoke boldly and clearly. In 1994 Cal found glass – first in assembling stained glass windows and finally to glassblowing.

After years of study, Cal opened a private studio and gallery, Orbix Hot Glass, atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. Today, Cal leads a team of glassblowers who hand-craft each piece with great attention to form, balance and color. The goal—to make honest, excellent work that someone would invite into their life.

People always ask “Where did you get the name Orbix Hot Glass?” In glassblowing, the gaffer must always keep his pipe turning, or orbiting, otherwise the piece won’t get made the way it was intended. In a similar way, Orbix exists because of Cal’s personal orbits and their intersection with many other personal paths along the way: engineering and artist parents who instilled a great love for how to make things well and beautiful; world-class glass artists who taught skills to make ideas real; and three kids who inspire hard work. Like the name, Orbix strives for distinction in glass.

Glass art is what we were intended to do, and it would not be possible without those of you who appreciate it as well. We are so glad our paths crossed.
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Orbix Hot Glass reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
49 reviews
  • We visited for the first time this year and what a blast we had! Not only fun but educational for the kiddos and to parents as well. Definitely worth every penny !!!  more »
  • Three friends enjoyed blowing an ornament and visiting the gift shop. There are some talented artisans there.  more »
  • Really neat place to go check out! The people were nice and they make some really cool pieces! Being able to go back and watch them while they were making their pieces was also a really cool experience! The workers take pride in what they are making and love what they do! Cool place to check out
  • Watch art come together before your eyes. It reminded me of watching shows take you inside art glass studios in Europe (except those don't allow visitors, but Orbix does allow and welcome us.) It is fascinating, and they really know both the art and the craft. If you have very young children who would worry you in a shop full of breakables or a workshop with molten glass, you can grab a porch rocker and just take in the beauty and breezes of their property while others from your group enjoy the glassworks.

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