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The Bloodworths – from left, Gabriel, Cindy and Terry – are winding down the family business.
SBJ PHOTO BY WES HAMILTON
The Bloodworths – from left, Gabriel, Cindy and Terry – are winding down the family business.

Springfield Hot Glass to close

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Downtown’s Springfield Hot Glass is slated to close in December after more than 15 years in business.

Owner Terry Bloodworth said the company’s last day is scheduled Dec. 24 to close out the holiday season. The 314 S. Campbell Ave. shop also plans to open for two weeks in January to sell off its remaining merchandise, he said.

Citing rising materials costs, Bloodworth said his son Gabriel, who he previously had been grooming as his successor, was offered a full-time glassblowing position starting in 2019. Bloodworth declined to disclose his son’s new employer but said it’s in the area.

“I’m coming up on my 71st birthday. My son has been offered another position blowing glass, a good job with benefits and all. We’ve also been facing, as everybody else is in the glass business, a lot of rising costs as far as our raw materials,” he said. “We figured this would be the best time to do this.”

Bloodworth said Springfield Hot Glass’ supplier of cullet, glass that’s crushed to be remelted, closed a year and a half ago, meaning the company had to look to Germany for the raw material. Glass coloring also is purchased from overseas, in Germany, New Zealand and Italy, he said.

“That’s transatlantic or transpacific stuff right there,” he said. “The cost of shipping something that heavy internationally is quite a bit.”

Declining to disclose the company’s expected 2018 revenue, Bloodworth estimated 10 percent growth compared with last year, which he said was the best on record at Springfield Hot Glass.

At the shop, Bloodworth estimated he currently has about $45,000 worth of inventory and said he and his son would continue to make new products through Christmas Eve. 

“Our inventory usually peaks around the first of December,” he said. “Our two best days of the year in walk-in business have been, for the last several years, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.”

Bloodworth said he’ll be semiretired when Springfield Hot Glass closes, as he has plans to remain active in the glassblowing community. He entered a lease arrangement with Astral Glass Studio in New Haven, near St. Louis, where he’ll occasionally rent a furnace to produce glass for longtime clients and for art shows. 

“We’ve made a lot of friends here over the last 15 and a half years, and I don’t just want to walk away from that,” Bloodworth said, noting the Springfield Hot Glass corporation will be dissolved in first-quarter 2019. “It’s a nice feeling to know you’re in thousands of homes and you’re part of people’s lives.”

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