Maui Glass Blower Creates Ornaments for 2015 National Tree Lighting
Maui glass blower, Noor Dphrepaulezz, has been selected to create Hawaiʻi’s ornaments for the 2015 America Celebrates: Ornaments from Across the USA display at the White House’s President’s Park in Washington, D.C.
The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced the news today.
Dphrepaulezz joins local artists from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia in designing ornaments inspired by America’s national parks and their programs, paying tribute to the upcoming National Park Service Centennial in 2016.
The ornament display honors the holiday season and celebrates the National Christmas Tree Lighting, a national event presented by the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service.
The 93rd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting event takes place at 5 p.m. this Thursday, Dec, 3, 2015.
“It is an honor to be selected because this is a celebration of the diversity and the unique inspirations from our national parks,” said Dphrepaulezz, who is the owner of Southisland Glass Studio, located on Maui.
“I am excited to be a part of the America Celebrates event. The ornaments being hand made in the states from which they originate and then shared at this tree lighting offers a unique experience. It truly is the People’s Tree,” he said in a park announcement.
In creating his ornaments, Dphrepaulezz heats molten silica based glass in a furnace to the temperature of lava, then gathers the glass from a cauldron pot within the furnace, and colors it with accents of silver, iron, and cobalt oxides. According to Dphrepaulezz, the ornaments’ shimmering surfaces are created by an intense blast of heat at the end of the process. The colors are reportedly inspired by the mineral rich scenic landscapes of national parks found on Pacific Islands and their volcanic origin.
“Art can be an incredible way for people to connect with national parks and we’re thrilled to carry on the time honored tradition of debuting ornaments from all over the country,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation in a press release statement. “We’re honored to have Noor Dphrepaulezz represent Hawaiʻi in this year’s America Celebrates display.”
The National Christmas Tree Lighting reportedly began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse in President’s Park. Since 1923, each succeeding president has carried on the tradition.
Parks representatives say the event falls in line with its Find Your Park campaign, launched in March 2015, as a public awareness and education movement to inspire people to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs.
Park officials say, “Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and setting the stage for the Service’s next 100 years, Find Your Park invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation’s natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.”