Stirling Webb is opening a business in the old Enterprise Electric building at 624 S. River Street, and he has a vision of Enterprise being an art mecca in the way Joseph is for bronze — only for glass.
“Enterprise is getting more popular,” he said. “I see this building as a starting point for a glass movement in Wallowa County.”
Webb is enthusiastic, and for good reason. Since arriving here to care for his aging mother, glass has blown up his life in a very good way. It has been an astounding progression.
It began simply. His friend, glassblower Jake Kurtz of Wallowa introduced him to the art. He took to it immediately. Within three months, he had the opportunity to join Kurtz and Russell Ford working in partnership in Ford’s studio.
“It is a really rare opportunity to find a place in a glass shop where you can come in as a partner so quickly,” Webb said.
He’s been in the county and in the studio less than three years and in that time he’s learned an art, taken the NEOEDD business course and written “about 12 business plans coming up with the best one,” and now he’s purchased Moonshine Glass Art from Russell Ford.
“Now, I know what I want to do,” he said. “That was really weighing on me a lot when I came out to Wallowa County.”
Webb already had the requisite background in marketing from his work before coming to Wallowa County. And now he’s got the excitement and enthusiasm besides.
“I love working with glass,” he said. “It’s exciting. That’s molten lava you’re picking up out of a 2,100-degree pot.”
You’ll soon see a huge artisan sign designed by local wood carver Steve Arment across the entire false front of the building reading “Moonshine Glass Art.”
“I loved the location, but I wanted a really big sign across the front,” Webb said. “Steve Arment’s design looks like the county to me.”
Remodeling is ongoing inside; there will be a well-lit showroom with a view of the “hot shop” where Webb and students can be observed dipping molten glass from the furnace, blowing it and finishing it in the glory hole.
Webb also intends to offer seasonal glass blowing opportunities, where customers can try their hand under the tutelage of Webb and advanced students and make themselves a fall pumpkin, a Christmas ornament or the like.
“My ultimate dream is that another glass blower moves here and people begin coming to Enterprise just for the glass,” he said.