2018 marks the ninetieth year since St. Clair Glass first began production in the tiny shop in Elwood, Indiana. My uncles, Paul and Joe St. Clair remained with their families in Elwood after Macbeth-Evans ceased operations in 1936.
Uncles Paul and Joe scavenged the material to build the first small factory from parts of the Macbeth-Evans plant. In September 1938 the building was finally complete and St. Clair glass began with Paul and Joe St. Clair making the first flower designed weights we have been known for ninety years.
I began at the age of twelve in 1962 working in the shop at 408 North Fifth Street in Elwood. Paul, Joe Ed and Bob St. Clair were instrumental instilling in me the love of the craft. Effective June 1, 2018, I will begin a transition to retirement from my life’s work of making art glass in the St. Clair tradition. I plan to enter a simpler phase from over a half century continuing the family tradition.
The actual production of art glass in the St. Clair tradition will end soon. These next few months I will write some of my experiences as I lived and worked with my uncles. However, the end of an era has a beginning. My hope here is to enlighten and enliven folks with some interesting facts and anecdotes from my experience and the oral tradition of my beloved family.
Ron Schuster, a good friend and fellow glass artist shared this quote from Theodor Seuss Geisel; “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss
May 1, 2018
In early 2008, Lt. Governor Becky Skillman announced the launch of Indiana Artisana program that will support and promote Hoosier artisans and handmade products. Indiana Artisan is a joint venture of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
"Indiana is home to hundreds of talented artisans and boasts a variety of unique handmade products,” said Lt. Governor Skillman. “Governor Daniels and I are committed to supporting Hoosier entrepreneurs and promoting Indiana-made products. This project provides a unique opportunity to enhance the entrepreneurial culture than has been created in Indiana and attract visitors to our state."
The goals of Indiana Artisan include: raising awareness about the availability of hand-crafted and value-added food products made in Indiana; providing artisans, particularly those in rural areas, with access to entrepreneurial support; providing grant funding for artisan business development education and networking; promoting artisan trail development and retail opportunities; and developing branding for Indiana-made goods. Program initiatives are aimed at attracting in- and out-of-state visitors to individual artisan sites and arts-concentrated areas in Indiana.