By Kelly Baughman

With designs as intricate, beautiful, and unique as the artist herself, Hot Sands Glass has become a local favorite along the Gulf Coast.  Artist, Lyn Gentry, combines her experience in glass blowing and slumping, and cuts, layers, and fires the world’s most expensive glass into mind-blowing, glow in the dark, one of a kind pieces that will turn heads and get people talking.   

Having studied design and technique in San Francisco, California, Gentry was in the thick of the studio art glass movement on the west coast in the 80’s.  Honing her skills through trial and error and discovering her own unique style and tricks along the way, Gentry’s years of experience have led her all over the world thanks to her glass creations.  

In the summer of 2012, Gentry was selected from an international gallery of artist to study with her mentor, Narcissus Quagliata, founder of light paintings, at the famous Pilchuck School of Glass outside of Seattle, Washington.  With all of her training and over 25 year of experience, Gentry has become one of the most talented and coveted glass artists is the country.

Having been featured in such prestigious magazines as Florida Design Magazine, the visual arts magazine, Po10tial, and homes of the local elite like attorney Fred Levin, Gentry’s work stands alone by the use of Dichronic glass, a coated metallic glass that absorbs and reflects light to create a rainbow of changing colors that seems to make the piece a living, breathing, and ever changing work of art.

Her custom work can be seen in places like the Perdido Key Visitors Center, located at 15500 Perdido Key Dr., and Gentry encourages anyone thinking of a one of a kind piece to stop by and see what she offers.  “I want people to know that they can have a one of a kind, custom piece of art in their home that doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  I can work with any budget, and will listen to my customer’s wants and needs to give them exactly what they are looking for.  A piece that will be the focal point of their home,” Gentry said.

Gentry added that when it comes to custom pieces, she loves meeting with her clients to get to know who they are and what they expect.  “I love sitting down with my clients and discovering what they’re into.  I can generally tell from entering their home what colors they like, their over-all style, and what kind of vibe they are wanting to compliment the space,” she said.  “I’ll come measure the space we are working with and listen to the ideas they have in order to come up with something special that reflects their personality.”

In addition to Gentry’s custom art for the home or office, she also has a jewelry line that features one of a kind dichronic earrings, pendants, and bracelets and can be found for sale in five places around the Gulf Coast including St. Charles Place in Orange Beach, Perdido Pack & Ship in Perdido Key, Perdido Key Souvenirs in the Villagio Shopping Plaza, Urban Objects on Palafox in Pensacola, and the Hilton on Pensacola Beach.

Gentry added, “No two pieces are the same, so when you buy a piece of my jewelry, you can be sure that you are getting something that no one else will have.”  Jan Weatherly, a Gentry jewelry customer said of her Hot Sands Glass pieces, “I get stopped all the time by people who compliment or inquire about my pendant.  I’ve given them as gifts to my family members, and while they all complement each other, which we think is a cool family theme, no two are alike.  I’ve bought several pieces and no matter where I go, they get noticed.”

If you’re thinking about a custom piece for your own home or office, or maybe even a gift for the upcoming holiday season, Gentry said she holds a meet the artist coffee session the first Tuesday of every month from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the Perdido Key Visitor’s Center.  There, you can see her work up close and personal and chat with this friendly, funny, and fun loving artist one on one about what you’d like to create to make all the jaws of your visitors drop.  

For more information about Lyn Gentry or to contact her for your own custom glass art piece, visit www.hotsandsglass.com or call 850-492-7690.