One-of-a-kind gifts from Wimberley Glassworks
By Allen Rich
Nov 30, 2022
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Wimberley, Texas -- Looking for that unique gift for someone special?

Imagine a place where you can order a one-of-a-kind, hand-blown glass lamp, vase or sculpture, and then watch your personal artwork begin to take shape before your eyes.

Welcome to the world of Tim de Jong.

A native of Canada who studied glass at Alfred University in New York, Mr. de Jong holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in glass art from Tyler's School of Art at Temple University located in Pennsylvania. The decision to move to the Lone Star State came when de Jong was on vacation and fell in love with the Texas Hill Country.

For more than 30 years, de Jong has owned and operated Wimberley Glassworks and slowly built a reputation as Texas' premier hand-blown glass lighting and art glass studio, where a team of talented artisans breathe life into exclusive glass collections and lighting.

These days, Wimberley Glassworks' custom lighting designs are prominently featured in luxury and commercial properties nationally, but that wasn't always the case. At first, it was the people around Wimberley who fell in love with de Jong's creations and enabled the struggling artist to make his stand in the Texas Hill Country and develop a faithful following.

Now customers shop online or plan vacations to come watch the team at Wimberley Glassworks create large lighting art installations to adorn homes and offices. Texas Country Reporter has featured the art of Wimberley Glassworks in an episode.

From the moment you step out of your car at Wimberley Glassworks, you step into a world where art and color, form and function become one.

Brilliant hues of wildflowers and yard art set the mood for an immersion into an ancient art form that is even more in demand now than it was when it evolved in the first century BC.

From humble beginnings to becoming a beloved Hill Country institution, the one thing that hasn't changed is that spark of passion that electrified de Jong as a young man when he was mesmerized by a magical moment as light sparkled off ice on a winter's day at Niagara Falls.

"Glass is a sensual, sexy, seductive material. Everyone wants to touch it, and everyone is afraid to touch it," remarks de Jong. "When you make a glass piece, you can't just go in and make a glass piece. I haven't made a piece without putting one hundred percent of my heart into it. You just can't work the material without pouring your soul into it."

The live demonstrations at Wimberley Glass are a fascinating glimpse into this complex art form, although the team of artisans makes it look much easier than it actually is.  Glassblowing demonstrations are scheduled Thursday-Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Wes Sweetser, one of the artisans at Wimberley Glassworks, employs a torch during a live demonstration.

The gallery is stunning; it is almost impossible to walk by the displays filled with brilliant hues and eye-catching shapes -- at surprisingly reasonable prices -- without picking out a memento of every visit.

"Each space carries with it its own emotion," says de Jong. "It is my hope to use the interplay of light through glass to evoke a sense of wonder that inspires the viewer to explore and discover that space anew."

Wimberley Glassworks is located at 6469 Ranch Road 12, San Marcos, Texas 78666. The gallery is open Wednesday-Sunday, from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For more information, please visit or call 512-393-3316.

Jaclyn Ritter assists Wes Sweetser.

Wes Sweetser studies a piece as he describes the process.

photos by Allen and Cindy Rich