Photos by Garrick Ramirez and Annieglass
While Watsonville has become a recent hub for independent artisans, a pioneer of its burgeoning craft scene is Annie Morhauser who founded her Annieglass glassware studio amidst the town’s sprawling agriculture fields in 1983. Today, her luminous pieces are featured at high profile hotels and retailers-Four Seasons, Neiman Marcus, the Bellagio in Las Vegas-and two of her pieces are on permanent display at the Smithsonian. Yet, each elegant piece continues to be handmade here in Santa Cruz County. Here are three reasons to visit Annieglass this season:
#1: Marvel at artful glassware handcrafted in Santa Cruz County
Annieglass’ lustrous glass tableware are functional pieces of art. Offered in a range of styles-from classic to contemporary-Morhauser is constantly expanding her offerings with new pieces each year. Since her start, she’s been lured to produce her pieces offshore, yet Annieglass remains proudly in Watsonville. The company’s pieces are distributed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia, yet, you’ll find the largest selection at retail shop located at the Watsonville HQ. Seasoned shoppers take note: the retail shop also features a great selection of seconds that are available at a considerable discount.
#2: Annieglass Makes for a Great Gift
Annieglass is always an extra special gift, but did you know you can also add a personalized engraved message? For $25, Annieglass will engrave the back of the piece with up to 60 characters using a handheld etching tool. And those etchings are done by the skilled hands of Annieglass employees – some of which have been doing these gorgeous engravings for decades!
#3: Supporting Sustainability
When purchasing Annieglass, you can also have piece of mind that you are buying products that are sustainably made. Endlessly inspired by nature, Annie Morhauser became dedicated to environmental responsibility long before “green” became a trend. Eco-sourcing, recycling, reusing and zero-waste goals have been standards for this atelier-turned-production-studio since opening in 1983. The glassware pictured above is from the Elements collection which is created with scrap glass that has been remelted. The watery green color and ghostlike effect of the many melted pieces of glass fusing together has made this collection a favorite. By reusing scrap glass, the studio is able to maintain near zero waste goals by avoiding using landfills and consciously utilizes green practices in every step of production.