Montana Treasures | Goose Bay Handblown Glass

Apparently there is something enchanting about glass – and I don’t say that sarcastically. Last week’s post (on Virginia City’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church) was inspired by the dim jeweled light that you only encounter when the sun filters through stained glass windows into an empty church. This week we head to Goose Bay Handblown Glass in Townsend, Montana, which also feels a bit like stepping into a gemstone itself. A diamond maybe, surrounded by hundred of facets of glistening crystal. But the kind of diamond that the longer you look at the more glinting colors you see.

The front room of Goose Bay Glass is filled with shelves of beautiful cups, pitchers, plates, vases, bowls, candle holders, balls, paperweights … all swirling with bright translucent colors.

Each of the delicate glass objects is handblown by owners Terry and Jim Gunderson. The Gundersons have been blowing glass in Townsend since 2002 when Jim, a former blacksmith, built a glassblowing furnace in the back room of their house (learn more about this Townsend shop from the Big Sky Journal article). This itself is no mean feat considering that the sand and quartz that make glass need to be kept at a glowing 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit to be pliable enough to work with.

The Gundersons original furnace was at their house, today, their furnace is in the back room of the store. And, as amazing as the front room – with its shelves of glassware – is, the back room is why you should make the trip to Townsend.

Observing glassblowing is a mesmerizing affair. To watch the molten ball of sand be transformed into an incredible work of art is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

For more information about visiting the store and ordering custom pieces, give the studio a call at (406) 266-4496. In addition to glassware, the shop also features a variety of books from Montana authors, products from other local artisans, and pure raw honey, beeswax candles and home-made soaps using beeswax (from Jim & Terry’s small bee yard) and high grade oils.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Townsend!