S. Clyde Weaver partners with Stiegel Glassworks for unique lighting

By on January 11, 2017
Glass glowing is hot work, even during winter months.

Glass glowing is hot work, even during winter months. (Photos by Alan Johnson)

S. Clyde Weaver’s store and café at 5253 Main St., East Petersburg, has a new look in its café. Renovations that began in September were completed in December with the installation of four pendant lights, crafted by the glassblowers at Stiegel Glassworks 1976, Manheim.

Alan Johnson, store manager, said that the designer had originally specified four commercially-available light pendants to hang over each of the four booth tables.

“Feeling the original light pendants specified for the remodel were too ordinary and lacked character, we naturally thought of Stiegel Glassworks in Manheim as a local option,” he explained, “S. Clyde Weaver has a long history of partnering with our community and local businesses. Some of the S. Clyde Weaver products are family recipes that are custom-produced exclusively for the company by local quality butchers. These partnerships allow a wider variety of unique products to be offered at our stores and markets. Keeping our business relationships local also benefits our local economy.”

Into the kiln it goes.

Into the kiln it goes.

He contacted Anne Phillips, a Stiegel Glassworks’ volunteer, who then put Johnson in touch with glassblower Jeremy Friedly. Although this was the first commercial lighting project for Stiegel Glassworks, Friedly said that he has crafted a number of lights. He explained that the lights that had been at the café were examined an input sought from Johnson for the design.

“What we created has a different shape than the original. Each of the new pendants has character to it,” Friedly said. “Since they’re hand-crafted, they’re not identical, but they’re similar. It adds something to the unique setting at Weaver’s.”

Johnson visited the glass studio at the Manheim Historical Society’s restored railroad station complex, 210 S. Charlotte St., and photographed the pendants as they were being made. He said that this helped to capture the art and skill required to convert basic glass rods into the pieces of art that now hang in the café.

Mathew Jekelski blows air into a ball of hot glass while Jeremy Friedly carefully holds the delicate creation.

Mathew Jekelski blows air into a ball of hot glass while Jeremy Friedly carefully holds the delicate creation.

Temporary glass pendant lights were in place until the hand-blown lights from Stiegel Glassworks were installed the week of Christmas.

“As we shared the story of the new hand-blown pendants, customers were excited to know of the local connection,” Johnson said. “The pendants are not ‘flashy,’ but simple, to match the color and décor of the new café space. Yet if you look at each pendant, they each are unique showing the character of hand-blown glass.”

Now in its third and fourth generation of ownership, S. Clyde Weaver is a family-owned business established by S. Clyde and Emma Weaver in 1920. Their first farmer’s market stand was in Lancaster City at the Northern Market. A few years later, the business expanded with stands at the Fulton and Southern Markets. In 1929, a fourth market stand opened in the Lancaster Central Market, which is oldest remaining operating stand of S. Clyde Weaver. In 1925, S. Clyde and Emma built a new home on Lemon Street in East Petersburg and converted the garage behind their home into product storage and production space, which was renovated and expanded several times. In 1960 a dedicated store on Main Street, East Petersburg was built and has become the home office of S. Clyde Weaver.

Added air and extra heat allow the artisans to add more shape to the pendant lamp.

Added air and extra heat allow the artisans to add more shape to the pendant lamp.

Johnson pointed out that the facility has undergone a number of renovations — a bakery was added in 1965; a garage, cooler and production space was added in 1987; and the retail sales area was tripled, bakery, kitchen and storage areas expanded and café added in 2003. The recent renovation updated café space to improve seating and service.

For more information about S. Clyde Weaver, visit www.sclydeweaver.com  or the company’s Facebook page.

Stiegel Glassworks does offer glassblowing demonstrations, but Phillips said that due to colder winter temperatures, they will not be offered until March. For more information on Stiegel Glassworks call 940-1382 or email anne.phillips23@gmail.com.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

Jeremy Friedly adds extra heat within the glass to help shape his creation.

Jeremy Friedly adds extra heat within the glass to help shape his creation.

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Jeremy Friedly shapes Stiegel Glassworks’ first commercial lighting project — one of four unique pendant lamps for S. Clyde Weaver’s store.

Jeremy Friedly shapes Stiegel Glassworks’ first commercial lighting project — one of four unique pendant lamps for S. Clyde Weaver’s store.

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