CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A Christmas tree would look like just any old tree were it not for the decorations that adorn it.
For many people, each ornament they hang on those green boughs holds a special memory, and one local business is giving people the opportunity to make their own.
"The first thing we do is get a gather of glass out of our furnace," Eddie Streeter said.
Streeter, along with his wife, own Conway Glass. It's a studio that offers glass products and can teach those who are interested all about this amazing material.
The first ingredient in the process is heat, and lots of it.
"When the glass comes out of the furnace, it's 2,150 degrees," Streeter said. "We're going to do what I call the glass waltz, so we're going to waltz over and pick up some color."
The color combinations are endless. Streeter dabbed the molten, clear glass into tiny, colored fritz. Then he returned it to the heat.
Streeter molded the glass into a post by rolling it over his metal counter top, and then used his lungs to shape the hot glass from the inside out.
It's a mesmerizing process. Streeter molded the glass by spinning it and shaping it.
"The problem with this process, once you start it, you can't stop it," Streeter said. "It stretches just like taffy. You can pull it slow, and it will stay thick. Or you can pull it thin, it will get like fiber optics."
Streeter said this is truly a passion for him, and while it can be dangerous, he uses the experience he's gained over his more than two decades working with this art form to safely teach others how to make their own creations.
"To have our own studio and to be able to share our craft with the public is very meaningful," Streeter said. "I tell people, 'This is what I want to do when I grow up.'"
Streeter's classes are becoming family traditions. Mothers and fathers are bringing their children to Conway Glass to make their own ornaments to hang on their tree.
"Every year when they take it out of the box and put it on the tree, it's a conversation that evening while they are putting their ornaments on their tree," Streeter said. "Now, we've been having these ornament classes for 17 years, so we have a second generation. The kids that were making these ornaments 17 years ago are now bringing their 5 year-olds in to make ornaments and hanging their ornaments beside the ornaments they made when they were kids."
It's a unique experience you can't get just anywhere, and it's right here in our own backyard.
The Streeter's studio is located at 708 12th Ave. in Conway.
To sign up for classes or just get more information about Conway Glass, click here.