Welcome to Morning Star Studios. This glass studio was built on a prayer to bring joy into people's lives through color, light, and creation. Kristen Muñoz began her glassblowing career in 1999 in Austin, TX. She met some artists there doing flamework and became an apprentice. Wanting to learn more and get away from the TX heat, Kristen moved to Asheville, NC.
It didn't take her long to discover Penland School of Crafts where she got several scholarships to attend stained glass, flameworking, blacksmithing, and hot glass classes. Upon seeing the hot glass studio, she fell in love with the art of traditional glassblowing. All elementals fire, earth, air, and water are needed to produce each piece of art. Kristen's mastery of working with these elements, including different metals and minerals, creates a unique piece every time.
Morning Star Studios uses 98% local quartz silica mined in Spruce Pine, NC. Spruce Pine is known for having the purest quartz in the world. All of the world's computer chips are made from this quartz because of it's purity.
NASA carves it into vessels to grow crystals in. It is the only quartz that will grow these crystals.
Kristen lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Marshall, NC with her two sons, Silas and Seneca. She spends her time praying with the Native American Church, hiking, growing food, and learning primitive skills.
Throughout her career she was told, "you're living a pipe dream," "this is just a hobby, and a really expensive one." To these people, Kristen wishes to say, "Keep on dreaming cause when you stop dreaming it's time to die!"
Along with Kristen's love of glass, is her love for Mother Earth. Glassblowing can be very taxing on the environment, using a lot of propane to maintain 2,100 degrees Farenheight. Kristen is one of the very few glassblowers who has a built in recouperation system on her furnace. When she was asking questions about how to do it, she was told, "it can't be done.." The only time her furnace has not been on a recouperation system was through November and December of 2014, because it needed to be rebuilt. During that brief period, Kristen got to see just how much gas she was saving. The furnace required double the gas that it did without that system.
The recouperation system consists of a series of 4 pipes welded together and in alignment with a blower at one end, and the burner head at the other. The chimney is built around the recouperation system and the flu of the furnace. The way it works is air is forced via the blower, through the series of pipes, making the temperature of the air extremely hot before it gets introduced to the gas and burner head.