Community Spotlight: Hale Fire and Glass

Community spotlight
Terry Hale is a master with the torch. (Chrisitan Stanfield / Hville Blast)

Between the large arts community and the engineering scene Huntsville is arguably one of the most creative cities in the country. People here make things with all sorts of mediums and techniques, from paint to fabrics to Blender.

In Lowe Mill, a family is creating beautiful glass jewelry, beads, sculptures and… pinball machines?

The Hale

Hale fire and glass
Terry makes great little sculptures like the fish you can see to the right. (Christian Stanfield / Hville Blast)

Terry Hale has been making things with glass for over 20 years, her new studio, Hale Fire and Glass, opened this week at Lowe Mill and we wanted to share her story.

First picking up the craft in 2003 she’s been improving and experimenting ever since. Her niche is making glass beads for jewelry and little sculptures of animals like fish and teddy bears.

Not only is she great at working with the medium, she’s great at teaching it as well. She’s taught classes at several schools and colleges on bead-making, and my conversations with her made the medium seem very approachable.

Terry says she’ll be setting up private classes later this year in her new studio.

The Fire and Glass

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Shelves of glass rods and a toolbox kiln are set up next to the workbench. (Christian Stanfield / Hville Blast)

Terry doesn’t work with large blobs of glass like you’d see in certain flashy TV shows, she prefers glass rods that offer more control and precision on a smaller scale.

The glass she uses is called soda lime glass and comes in rods (you can see them on the shelf in the picture above) from all over the world, most of them from Italy, Germany, Russia and America.

Terry will often layer different types of glass or other materials into her pieces to give them unique looks, she then anneals them (a process of carefully heating and cooling the glass in a kiln) to make them strong.

You can find more information about the studio and the art they sell on their website or Facebook, but this studio is worth the trip to the Mill.

StarLight Pinball

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StarLight Pinball Arcade is a great value for a few hours of gaming with friends. (Christian Stanfield / Hville Blast)

In addition to creativity with glass, electronics and engineering also seem to run in the family. Terry’s husband, Sa Hale, is an engineer and computer science professor who helps run their second-floor studio at Lowe Mill.

On the first floor, their daughter Sandra seems to have gotten both the artsy and engineering traits, building and repairing arcade and pinball machines out of Starlight Pinball Arcade.

Here you’ll find an awesome selection of vintage games and pinball machines as well as unique custom-built cabinets like Fix it Felix.

You can find out more about this spot in our arcades in Huntsville guide.

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Christian Stanfield
Christian Stanfield
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