As a working studio and local shop, Springfield Hot Glass Studio embodies the downtown arts, dining, entertainment and shopping scene that attracts locals and tourists.

Glass blowing demonstrations draw crowds during monthly First Friday Art Walks. But any day their business is open, visitors can watch father-son owner/artists Terry and Gabe Bloodworth at work, perhaps blowing glass ornaments and oil bottles, or creating colorful figurines, delicate glass bowls and one-of-a-kind art pieces for businesses and homes.

 

Glass sculptures at Springfield Hot Glass Studio in Springfield, Missouri.

There’s a certain romance to the small family-owned business where nearly everything displayed is made just yards away in the open studio. Gabe and Terry share running the business with friend, manager and artist in residence Kathy McCormick.

“It’s unique that a city the size of Springfield has a self-sustainable glass shop like ours,” Gabe said. “And I think that’s a testament to Springfieldians and the fact that people help support us throughout these years.”

The business is housed in a 100-year-old building on Campbell Avenue that exudes historic character, with original 1917 brick walls, tin ceiling and display shelves. Like nearby Springfield Pottery, Springfield Hot Glass has been a consistent presence downtown, established in 2003 as revitalization was ramping up.

 

Glass sculptures at Springfield Hot Glass Studio in Springfield, Missouri.

Springfield Hot Glass is among the district’s pioneers, says Rusty Worley, executive director of the Downtown Springfield Association. And the Bloodworths attracted other artists to the “Campbell Corridor,” among them Art InspiredFresh GalleryRSVPaintRosette Studios: Arts & Letters, and edgier businesses, like Distorted Utopia.

Today the glass shop is one of many local art businesses downtown where visitors can park once and walk. Nearby are dozens of local restaurants and bars, live theater and music venues, coffee shops and breweries plus boutique shops selling everything from wedding dresses to vintage home décor. That lends an air of legitimacy to downtown Springfield as a destination, Gabe says. “There’s a real thirst for authenticity. And that’s something that small businesses can offer.”

Springfield Hot Glass Studio recently received the Hospitality Award at the CVB's annual Salute to Travel & Tourism Awards banquet, which is presented to an attraction, lodging facility or restaurant that demonstrates outstanding hospitality to the traveling public and exhibits a team spirit in promoting the growth of Springfield area travel and tourism.