Morgan's Brain

Jan. 13, 2009 at 1:31pm

Tacoma: City of Glass?

I've been following the progress of the Cameron Family Glass Company in Kalama, WA for two reasons:
1) they just started making wine bottles (I make wine); and
2) they just started production using a medium that Tacoma should own: GLASS.

Hear that Tacoma?! You should OWN glass!

First some background:
The Cameron family started as an independent soda bottler back east over 100 years ago. Along with bottling orange, grape, and root beer sodas they also bottled Coca Cola  Fast forward a hundred years of gradual growth and regional market domination, the family decided to sell out to the Coca Cola corporation. In 2007, they broke ground on a new wine bottle making facility in Kalama, WA. Why they ended up in Kalama, I have no idea - but check this article out: Cameron Family Glass Packaging LLC soon will open a $109 million, 175,000-square-foot factory. The plant will employ about 111 people and will provide bottles for a number of Washington wineries.

There is one city in the Northwest that should have a bottle making facility and that is Tacoma.

We've got cheap energy (you and I own dams), glass artists (really!), and besides - it would make a perfect companion to the Museum of Glass, the bridge of glass, and the new Hotel Murano. There could even be limited edition Chihuly bottles, plates, glasses, candle holders, produced. Think of the number of jobs that would be created and the possible spin-off businesses - you can do a lot with glass. Plus, think of the marketing that could be done to spread Tacoma's name (see above): Think Tacoma!


comments [14]  |  posted under chihuly, glass, tacoma


by Nick on 1/13/2009 @ 3:40pm
The best way for Tacoma to shed its negative image is by finding a positive one. I think we've been searching for some sort of identity to accomplish this, and I think glass is very quickly becoming just that.

Apparently we're already known as far as the east cost (among the glassblowing community) as a sort of Mecca for glass. It seems only natural that this will extend beyond just glass nuts as Tacoma's infatuation with glass continues to grow.

Even on its own that sounds like a pretty awesome image to cultivate.

by TacomaGnome on 1/13/2009 @ 7:38pm
What a great way to shatter stereotypes!

by morgan on 1/13/2009 @ 10:46pm
Apparently we're already known as far as the east cost (among the glassblowing community) as a sort of Mecca for glass

Exactly! It's sort of Tacoma's best kept secret- from itself. We are very fortunate that Chihuly has kept some of his roots here and boosters invested heavily in the vision of the Museum of Glass.

Then there's the hotshop up at Jason Lee that Chihuly donated. That is another huge untapped asset. Where are all those kids going after they learn that they love working with glass? We need to give them a reason to stay here and not move Up North!

by seejane on 1/14/2009 @ 10:35am
remember the $100,00.00 slogan the city had created for us; "America's #1 Wired City" How about a new slogan "Tacoma, We Blow"

by propriatress on 1/14/2009 @ 12:26pm
sorry Jane...that one is taken...Antique Row aka..."Tacoma, We Blow"....tho we've been bandying about this new one......."Come for the antiques, Stay for the sex"

by seejane on 1/14/2009 @ 1:20pm
While I'm not a big fan of antiquing.....

by propriatress on 1/14/2009 @ 2:53pm
well, let's not judge these things too quickly...

by fredo on 1/14/2009 @ 8:09pm
Propriatress@ Love your slogan! I do think that Antique Row got a bad rap the other day in the tribune. The sad truth is that prostitution is pretty much distributed all over downtown. Just the other day one of them tried to get in my car when I paused for a stoplight at Freighthouse square. That was bad form. She could have at least waited until I dropped off my wife and kids.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/14/2009 @ 11:55pm
Prostitution is the world's oldest profession, appropriate for an Antiques Row, wouldn't you think?

by Nick on 1/15/2009 @ 10:48am
I didn't realize prostitution was still that present downtown . . . maybe I just live in blissful ignorance. I've lived downtown now for about two years and have yet to see any hos . . .

by Nick on 1/15/2009 @ 10:52am
. . . well except for a really meth-y looking one I saw hangin' around that Arco station down the road from the dome station. Reminds me why I'd never want to drive a bigrig for a living, ewww.

by kathy on 1/15/2009 @ 3:44pm
Morgan...great post!

Thanks for linking to Hilltop Artists web-site!
We have some AMAZING young glassblowers!
You have a great point about where they go from Hilltop. Some are working locally (like Tacoma Glassblowing Studio and M-Space...awesome folks there!) Some head north...some go off to further their education, but most just move on...they come back to visit from time to time.

We (Hilltop Staff) were just discussing this very topic yesterday. It would be great if there were glass related careers for them to move into!

by Dave_L on 1/15/2009 @ 9:08pm
HA is so much fun to watch. The creation process is art in itself.
I love that "familiar" logo across the top of the webpage.. Very cool!

P.S. - One of the 12 previous comments was my biggest laugh of the day - Thanks.

by morgan on 1/17/2009 @ 3:43pm
Thanks Kathy- I think others in the community would like to join in on a similar (offline) conversation. I think there is great capacity in Tacoma for greater things- if only there was a little vision, more communication, and a commitment to work together and do some amazing things for the city.