Centre County man makes unique decorations for holiday season

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“The actual glass blowing is not the dominant part of the process as I make an ornament.”

For almost 40 years, Jim Byrnes has been helping bring charm to the Christmas season.

“I get to have this, just wonderful feedback a lot of times…from people who have my ornaments,” Byrnes said.

But it’s what got him into ornament making that makes his story even more unique.

“I answered an add in the newspaper for a scientific glass blower apprentice, no experience necessary. And I got the job. So that was the start of it,” Byrnes said.

During the apprenticeship he tried making other products, but it was something about making ornaments that made him want to turn into his full-time job.

“I just kind of gravitated towards the ornaments cause I think that I… they’re just comfortable scale to work in. There’s a lot of design different potential,” Byrnes said.

So what goes into making one of these ornaments? Believe it or not — it starts out as a long piece of glass.

“In this case the ornament I’m making is a snowman,” Byrnes said.

With a lot of work, it will soon turn into something you hang on your tree.

Each year, Byrnes tries to make a new holiday design.

“My wife is encouraging me, and I agree. And we’re both thinking about a design for an angel,” Byrnes said.

While each ornament takes about a half hour to make, they can last for years to come.

“A large number of them are going to out last me. And that’s also an exciting layer of it…these things to the extent that they’ve knit themselves into families’ traditions,” Byrnes said.

And eventually end up on your tree for Christmas day. 

A link to Byrnes’ website can be found HERE

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