Posted by Dave Anderson
"It's a wonderful three generation business. My father started blowing glass in the 60's and everything in the shop is made by someone in the family." says Tonja Sell of Oulu Glass.
Oulu Glass is indeed a family affair.
Patriarch Jim blows glass, matriarch Sue does stained glass, daughter Tonja makes jewelry and her children pitch in with labor.
12 year old Riley and 15 year old Stazia help their grandfather in his studio.
That's a lot of human bodies and sand melting heat in a little area.
"Yeah, sometimes you get in each other's way so you have to learn to work in small spaces with lots of people." said Stazia Sell.
Jim, Stazia and Riley are working on decorative glass fish today.
Artwork like this pulls people to the studio and gallery from all over the world.
"We have people come from Finland and Minneapolis and Chicago just to see the pieces. They see them in magazines and on TV like this and they venture out." said Tonja Sell.
They venture out with their wallets open. The artworks in Oulu are for sale and the family is able to make a living from them.
Glass is blown during the cold months and sold during the warm ones.
It's a lifestyle Tonja Sell is proud to share with her parents and children.
"It's a unique experience my daughters get to have and my children get to have being able to work with their grandparents and to do something so unique when we live next door and spend time together." said Sell.
In Oulu, Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.
Though the blowing season is now over, Oulu Glass products are available from the company's online gallery at www.ouluglass.com