5 Years, 5 Stars, 5 Artists
"The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable." --Robert Henri
“As the founding, and most experienced company with the unity glass concept, we are so proud of the reputation that we’ve gained. It’s been an amazing journey to develop this concept, build our small team, and to work with so many wonderful couples on the most important day of their lives. With other glass companies copying our concept, we're working harder than ever to do our very best, ever time.” – Lee Ware, Owner and Artist, Unity in Glass
It was first developed and then perfected by Unity in Glass.
5 years is a crucial number in the world of small business. 50% of startups do not make it to their five-year anniversary. For Lee Ware, these first five years have grown as if he had planned it all along. Thousands of couples later with hundreds of 5 star reviews and now team of five stars, the Unity in Glass team would like to say thank you for all the sweet notes, pictures, sentiments, and testimonies. The most unique and fulfilling success comes from an original idea and the dedication to create happy clients. 5 stars is a big deal to us especially when it’s hundreds of happy stories. It takes consistency, a desire to communicate, an attention to detail by the entire team and an elegant one of a kind product. The quality and craftsmanship of each glasswork has 5 sets of eyes inspecting quality of product and experience through the process. Planning a wedding can be a busy and stressful time. We aim to be the most unique, convenient addition to your special day. Every time we hear we were the most reliable vendor, it truly makes our day. We love hearing how we’ve made another couples wedding day memories an eternal gift for generations to share. Giving us the responsibility to create a “forever” keepsake isn’t taken lightly. In this beautiful world of temporary moments, it’s an honor to assist in the symbols of love being sculpted, polished and packaged for your home.
When asked to design a glass blower’s version of a unity ceremony in the fall of 2011, Unity in Glass was born. Lee was the first glass blower to translate glass frit or crystals into the new alternative for unity ceremonies. Sand and candles have been the unity ceremony options for decades. He couldn’t be prouder of the popularity Unity in Glass has had in the market. Creating an original idea, you must be prepared for others to mimic the formula. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Since Lee’s first Unity sculpture, the responsibility to the couples, families, and wedding professionals to exceed expectations has been unwavering. The color formulas, the team of experts, the dedication to service, the attention to detail of each piece is more than a star rating. It’s hearing the first few crystals clink and blend together. It’s the moment you’ve realized you forgot a color for the flower girl to pour and we make sure it arrives quickly. It’s the difficult decision of choosing colors without Lee’s knowledge could led to colors blending poorly. It’s the email confirmation your glass is being shipped only to remember you didn’t revise the address. We as a team work to make sure the “oh no” moments are seldom and quickly addressed.
Thank you notes from our clients. Loves!
A “well-oiled machine” or efficient business requires a great leader and visionary. From the age of six, Lee Ware began experimenting with glass-blowing at his parents’ kitchen stove. After studying glass blowing in 1992, at the prestigious Pratt Fine Arts Center, Ware completed an extensive study of Italian glass techniques in 2009 and relocated to West Texas where he opened his studio. In August of 2011, Lee created the first Unity in Glass sculpture. Only five years later, Lee has produced thousands of unity glass works and shipped from coast to coast of the United States and around the globe. He is the face of Unity in Glass. A true craftsman with a high-end attention to detail. Lee Ware has stunned artists and business leaders with his creativity and entrepreneurship. So much so, he was recently awarded for the 2016 William Kerns Award for Visual Arts. He is the voice that answers all the inquisitive emails about color selections, ceremony ideas, and other inquiries. His dedication to Unity in Glass runs deeper than a career endeavor, it’s undying passion for glass artistry and customer service.
About Our Team:
Lee’s team includes two glass artists and two business managers from Texas:
Nick Billalba started his career with Unity in Glass in June 2014 after graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from University of Texas at Arlington. Nick is the head of coldworking. After your glasswork has cooled for a day and half; their base is ground down and polished to an optical shine. It’s a monotonous job which takes patience and a steady hand. When blowing glass, there are many elements of teamwork that must occur to ensure safety and execution. Nick is always on point with his timing to assist.
Sarah McClarty has been blowing glass for seven years. She joined Unity in Glass in July 2015 leaving University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelors in Photography with a strong emphasis on glassblowing. Sarah is the head of organizing your orders as the team prepares to fire. Her job is essential in glasswork going to their correct owner after annealing and coldworking. She also is the first to work your glass and gather your glass mixture.
Nick and Sarah are great team at work and in life.
Heidi Simmons was Lee's first employee and joined UIG in 2011 as Lee's gaffer assistant. Heidi is the head of fused glass. As she creates and sells her own glass jewelry, she is the very reason glass keepsakes arrive with your package. Heidi has been an elemental part of Unity in Glass’s growth. She always has brochures in her purse and cheerful greeting for customers. Heidi is also part of the creative team at Tornado Gallery, an art space with a knack for the interesting and local.
“For over a year Lee had done everything. He had filled each packet of color, shipped it to the customer, handmade each Unity Sculpture, cold worked and polished them, packed and shipped. In addition, he had the website built and had already laid the groundwork for the growth of the company.
My first day, the glassblower who was supposed to train me to be Lee's assistant working with the hot glass was a no-show. Lee simply said, "I'll tell you what to do, and you do it." Needless to say, he's a great teacher! No accidents and no burns. I would assist Lee with the beginning of a Sculpture and then start packing an outgoing order, then back over to Lee to open the furnace door or put a bottom on a piece of hot glass.
We would go days without one order. To save money on expensive labels that we needed, we'd just print them on standard paper and tape them to the orders. Fun with budgeting!
When we got up to four in one day, we decided we better make a work-chart showing orders waiting to be made. (We still use it today)”
Krystal O’Mara joined the team in June 2015. Krystal is our resident clean freak in addition to engraver, email responder, 2nd in order filling, shipment guru, and blog writer. ie.. third person typing is weird. Finding ways to become more efficient is Krystal’s strength. Krystal is the owner and designer of ReMain Designs, designs focused on upcycling and sustainability. She is also organizer of her son’s school garden, photographer and in addition to her business administration role at UIG.
“I get to work with four amazing people, we aren’t all so lucky to be in great company. Being a part of a small culture of genuine, intelligent, creative individuals that thrive on doing it well and doing it right is the most valuable part of teamwork. I think it’s Lee’s integrity to his clients and team that truly sets him apart from the competition.”
Weddings, commitments, elopements all require your precious time, energy, and money. It is an experience to bring all the details together for your friends and family to share. The experience Unity in Glass provides is first class, unique, and timeless. From the words of our customers, we are amazing, fantastic, perfection… Just take a look for yourself.
Our Client Reviews:
We were recently surprised with a video review from a client, Amanda Bartels:
Thank you Amanda, for your very detailed and thoughtful review!
1st review on Wedding wireWhat an excellent, personable vendor. This company provides exactly what I was looking for your far-from-usual typical ceremony rituals. I wanted something unique and permanent and Unity in Glass embodies both these qualities! Lee was easy to contact, helpful and eager to help me in any way possible. Shipping was prompt and affordable. Very pleased.This company is amazing!!! I can't describe how happy we are with our beautiful unity sculpture!! We specifically chose each color of our glass crystals to represent and remind us of our special day. We also got two glass hearts made from a portion of our unity crystals for our parents, which was very special and they absolutely loved them! I also got a pendant of our unity glass that came out great! To have your unity made into a sculpture is just amazing. It is so much better than a sand unity because sand will move easily in your vase and can spill. With this, your crystals are melted together and will always remain as one just like your love for one another. It is such a wonderful thing to have that will last a lifetime and they do incredible work. This company is very easy to talk to and very quick at responding. They help you to understand the process and decide on what will look best in melting together based on color. The packaging process of the glass crystals, back and forth, was very easy and you don't have to worry about printing anything! It is definitely worth every penny! If you want something special and new, Unity in Glass is the way to go and this company does the best work I have every seen!!! When I found this company, I instantly fell in love with their work. I am so glad and thankful for their beautiful work that my husband and I will cherish for the rest of our lives.…..The day it came I was even able to bring it to a local flower shop to have flowers put in it for my wife to see it for the first time. This vase will be a centerpiece in our home for years to come and it will always help us to remember that special day!When my husband and I were planning our unity ceremony, we wanted something unique, something that would last a lifetime, something that would be displayed forever (instead of just put away after a few years)...something timeless! Unity in Glass was all of the above and more! I was able to work with the person blowing the glass on color selection through email, they were extremely prompt with responses. We recently received our glass sculpture, created with our wedding crystals, and it is gorgeous. I would recommend them to anyone who is getting married!!!!Without a doubt, this is the best money I spent on the wedding! The food is eaten, the dress is boxed, the flowers are dried, but the Unity In Glass sculpture will last for years and be enjoyed daily.Working with Lee at Unity in Glass was an absolute blessing! He is kind, thoughtful, creative, and responsive. Some of my favorite planning conversations were those I had with Lee. He is incredibly easy to work with, and he follows through as promised. He also makes the process very easy – once you make the decision to work with him, (a) you select your crystal colors, (b) he ships them to you and includes all of the pre-paid packaging you’ll need to return the crystals back to him in order for him to make the sculpture, (c) you send back to him the mixed crystals after your wedding, and (d) he returns a one-of-a-kind sculpture very promptly (faster than I expected). We are very happy we made the decision to work with Lee and the Unity in Glass team.PERFECTION!!!!!! We could not be more grateful to Lee for allowing us the opportunity to have a beautiful vase as a daily reminder our wedding day. This was a second marriage for both myself and my husband and we wanted to incorporate something special for our children to be part of the ceremony. We were directed to Lee's website and was ecstatic to see what he could offer for our blended family. My children each picked out a colored glass that represented them and both myself and my husband picked our colors. The ceremonial experience was very special when we all were able to combined the glass we all had chosen by pouring the glass into one vase representing both families coming together as one. My children felt very special and part of the ceremony. I received 100% positive feedback from every single guest that said at was the most sentimental, most meaningful, beautiful ceremony they had ever been to. We cannot say THANK YOU enough to Lee for creating such a unique and special vase for our family that we will be able to cherish everyday and have for a lifetime. We also thank you for your professionalism, and lighting fast turn around time. Warmly, The McCormick Family, Boston MAFrom my very first conversation I knew I had found a winner. Every question answered, each piece of the time line layed out, clear simple directions. Now I have a beautiful mantel piece and ornament not like any other. Elegant personal reminders of our wedding day, especially while my husband is temporarily deployed. Thank you!For our Unity Ceremony we wanted to do something different and I'm so glad we did. A big Thank You to Lee Ware and his team at Unity in Glass for exceeding our expectations! Not only is our wedding sculpture beautiful, but the level of customer service we received was phenomenalThere are not enough adjectives to describe how thrilled I have been with Lee at Unity in Glass! From the response to my initial email asking about color combinations, to the promptness of the shipment of the crystals, to the packaging materials included to send the crystals back, to the crazy-fast completion of my sculpture. The entire process has been fabulous! This unique unity ceremony has been worth every penny…..We received the glass sculpture today in the mail and it is just beautiful. Knowing no one else has a sculpture like ours makes it even more special. The process was so easy and quick; just over a week. I will be happy recommend Unity in Glass to all friends and friends of friends. Thank youMy sculpture is more amazing in person then I could have imagined. When I opened the box my eyes were filled with tears. It's just something so special that generations to come will have. As for Lee, he is a superb vendor to work with. One of the most creative and easy going people I have ever dealt with! If anyone has any doubts about doing this, just do it! You will love it!Just got my final sculpture in the mail today, and I LOVE it!! What an amazing idea. I was so excited when I found this option for a unity ceremony. We were not really into the whole sand ceremony because I was thinking what do you do with it afterwards. The ceremony was outside on the lake, so there was no way candles would survive the wind. I saw a lot of other new ideas like wine boxes, but the glass was too unique to pass up. The husband was a little surprised at the cost, but I convinced him that it is more than worth it. The ceremony was much like the sand ceremony, but I added in a little piece about how the pieces would go through the fire and come out stronger and more beautiful than ever. Isn't that a perfect representation of marriage! We go through so many things together that at times seem impossible, but once you make it through the bond is stronger than ever. I think this is a perfect representation of the union of marriage.Unity in Glass is a FANTASTIC alternative to your typical unity candle/sand ceremony. The website is not only clear and informative but also beautifully displays their wide range of products. My husband and I chose the Aria vase. We received the glass promptly, along with easy instructions as to how/when/where to send the combined glass after the ceremony. During our ceremony, we included a few words about the glass aspect- the fact that the glass crystals were going to be melted together into a beautiful vase, something that can not only be displayed as art, but actually used, and passed down for generations as an heirloom. There was a mix-up when they shipped the vase out; it actually went to another customer. But since Unity in Glass sends out the tracking information, I was able to send them an email and they MORE than cleared up the issue. They had the vase sent BACK to their studio for additional inspection, and then sent it back to us once they were sure it was intact. They even included a beautiful glass pendant necklace that they made with a bit of our glass for the ceremony, to make up for the mistake! Lee Ware (the owner and designer) was in communication with me throughout the entire process, and was so helpful and kind. This was all about a month ago now. Yesterday I received ANOTHER package in the mail from Lee... he made us an ornament, along with a handwritten card, thanking US for being so understanding... I was really amazed. Nowadays it seems like so many businesses, ESPECIALLY in the wedding industry, are just out to make a profit... this is NOT the case with Unity in Glass. It's not often that you come across a company that truly cares about the product they put out and the customers that they serve. This is HANDS DOWN the most positive experience with customer service that I had throughout our whole wedding process, and probably EVER. I am going to recommend Unity in Glass to everyone I know!! Thanks, Lee :)
You're selecting the most elegant option for a unity ceremony. Now, how do you best explain what's going on to your guests?
When Lee Ware developed this concept, using some creativity and expert glass blowing skills to preserve memories from your wedding day, he left out one thing. How do you precisely, convey what’s going on to your guests? They’ve all seen a unity sand
ceremony, and a unity candle, but how do you best explain that, as part of your wedding, that you are actively participating in the very first step of creating a keepsake of a lifetime?
We’ve heard that guests have been extremely curious about this exciting process. We’ve created a few ideas to help explain exactly what is going on for your guests.
While it’s the combination of colors that make each piece special, we will try to break down each color and talk about some of its individual characteristics. We love the concept that the couple is kicking off the creative process of making the final glasswork. The action of combining the colors is the first step in the artistic process and it takes place on a day to remember.
As mentioned in our Gallery of Color article, we particularly like at least three colors; two main colors and a third highlight color. Each order is hand packed, so we can easily adjust volumes up and down, within the total amount of color glass crystals we send to our clients. Glasswork containing up to 7-8 colors can be very nice too, with a general rule of thumb, to avoid the super dark colors like deep blue, jet black, and gemstone ruby. Of course, if you do want one of these colors, reducing the volume of it substantially compared to the other colors is wise. Not sure how to do that? Just tell us in the comment section on the order form “comments or details about color”, “reduce the jet black substantially” or “jet black at 5%”, or something similar. Don’t be shy about making tweaks in color volumes. This is how you can further customize and make the final glasswork, uniquely yours.
We will talk about “major colors” and “highlight colors” in this article. What we mean by a major color, is one where we send more volume of that color, vs a highlight color, which will be sent in a smaller volume. For example, Pure White can be a major color when you request and we send a larger volume of it compared to the other colors. It can be a highlight, if you request we send a small portion of it, meaning less white, and in general, more volume of the other colors.
One more thing—there is very little blending of the colors in the final glasswork. If you want purple, don’t select red and blue and then expect purple. Just go ahead and order the purple. Our Aria Series Vase may be most prone to some blending. It gets two coats of color when we are making it.
The following list is long. Perhaps jot down which colors you think you might like first, and then focus on our comments about those specific colors below. Stop. Write down your list. Got it? Ok. Proceed.
Not seeing the color you’re looking for? We do keep a stash of other colors in our ‘secret box’. Just send us a request and describe what you’re looking for. We will do our very best to find a color or combination that works just right for you.
Remember to read our article “Gallery of Color” to see more examples and combinations that are used in the final glass work.
How to order “major” and “highlight” volumes? In the comment box “comments or details about color” you can say things like “all colors in equal amounts, with just a touch of the jet black” or “Emerald 20%, Sky Blue 20%, Deep Blue 20%, and the rest Pure White”. Don’t worry about getting too specific or perfect. The artist reviews each color combination prior to shipping and will offer suggestions if needed.
We’d really LOVE your feedback on this article. Did it make color selection more confusing? Did it add clarity? Was it worth the read? How did it affect your color choices? We want to make the process of picking colors very easy, with more importantly, we want the final glasswork to be exactly what you had in mind when making the initial selection.
Even if an item you want isn't available through Amazon.com directly, you can still add it to your Amazon.com registry. Who knew?
We are absolutely thrilled to learn about Amazon.com's wedding registry. As usual, all great ideas come from a creative bride. A question from Sara got us thinking. Thank you Sara!
By building a registry through Amazon.com, you're able to add products available through Amazon.com, AND products from our website (and any other website too!). Our gift cards may be the perfect items to add to your registry. Remember, the ornaments and hearts can be added only after a sculpture, vase, or bowl has been purchased since that covers the colored crystals as well.
To make this happen, you'll need to do three things.
You'll need to setup a registry with Amazon.com and install the "universal registry button" to your browser.
We'd love to hear from you with comments or suggestions.
We've developed a different unity ceremony concept that is unique, lasting, and something to display in your home, forever.
It's Unity in Glass. Instead of sand, you'll be combining your color selection in the form of glass crystals that are specially formulated for glass blowing. The crystals themselves are beautiful, and will compliment your wedding. We've made this our full time job with the goal of providing an amazing product, and a level of customer service that's spectacular (read our reviews).
Flowers (check), Photographer (check), Guest List (check), and on and on and on. How will you commemorate and remember this beautiful day? There are the photographs of course and the wedding ring-- how about the unity ceremony? What if a unity ceremony keepsake could last forever? The classic unity candle really doesn't display well in your home, and the sand ceremony? Well, it might look nice for a year or two.
Our glass crystals are gorgeous.
After the wedding, the mixture is sent back to our glass blowing studio (this is our sole business, so you have our undivided attention, and expertise). We provide a pre-paid mailer to return the glass crystals to our studio. (US only--- international customers will need to provide postage).
In the studio, an experienced team takes over, transforming the glass crystals that you combined during your wedding into your choice of a unity ceremony glass sculpture, a bowl, or vase.
The final results of this unique unity ceremony idea have been spectacular.
Couples, who choose Unity in Glass as a unity ceremony, are upgrading their wedding to the most unique and elegant ceremony option available. The creative couple can further the artistry of Unity in Glass and make it even more personal by how they display the glass crystals before and during the ceremony. In this article, we’ll cover the aesthetic aspects as well as the practical aspects.
Before the wedding, the individual colors of the glass crystals that you’ve selected will be held and displayed in individual containers. During the wedding, they will be combined into a common container as part of the ceremony. You don’t have to have an individual container for each color, by any means. Some of our couples have selected four different colors, but only wanted to display them in two containers. You can premix colors together, or even elegantly layer the colors into the individual containers.
Crystal champagne flutes are a beautiful option to hold the individual colored crystals. These can sometimes be borrowed from the parents or grandparents adding the symbolism and sentiment of “together forever” or couples can purchase new ones as part of beginning their new life together. (Or even borrow display containers from the venue in the case of a destination wedding for added convenience!)
Another very practical option is to purchase small, glass, votive candle holders. These come in many shapes and sizes. Tall slender bud vases are a great option and work well to hold the individual colors prior to the ceremony. The height of bud vases and champagne flutes elevate the crystals, helping to make them visible from a distance. (if there are small price tags on the bases of the containers that you buy, please remember to remove these before the wedding. These tags have been suspect and seem to steal the show in a few wedding photos..)
The central vase or container that the crystals are mixed in, during the ceremony, could be borrowed from a parent, close friend, or grandparent as well. Your grandmother will be beaming with delight to have her favorite cut glass crystal bowl or vase used during the ceremony. Remember, we’ll just be borrowing these during the wedding. After the wedding, just the unified glass crystals need be returned to Unity in Glass. A practical note on the common vase that you’ll be pouring into: Make sure the opening is large enough for easy pouring. An opening that is too small could result in crystals being spilled. The final mixed volume of the crystals is about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups.
We’ve had couples even share with us that they’ve included the entire list of wedding guests to join in on the unity ceremony. They’ve invited guests to add a “pinch” of the crystals from bowls, to each of the couple’s individual containers, as they’re entering the venue for the wedding, while signing the guest book. Having an assistant to explain and help is mandatory in this very inclusive option. The options really are limitless.
Want to include the unity ceremony portion as part of your rehearsal? A previous couple let us know that they used different types of dried beans and peas as stand-ins for the different colors of crystals for the rehearsal. Perfect.
At Unity in Glass, we’re always excited about new ways to display our product. Please let us know your ideas!